Awards season is in full bloom. The Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and The Oscars all consider “A Star is Born” and “Black Panther” among the best films of 2018.
Though many WUNC listeners were fans of “Black Panther,” nobody reached out to name “A Star Is Born” as his or her favorite film of last year. In fact, the most mentioned film was by first-time, feature-film director Boots Riley. Film experts Marsha Gordon and Laura Boyes join host Frank Stasio to review listener picks for best films of 2018, which range from a sing-along to a documentary set in rural Alabama. They cover topics ranging from awkward adolescence to immigration and the magic power of vibranium. Not to be overlooked, the Razzie Awards announced its nominations for worst movies of 2018. The experts will also address the films that flopped.
Gordon is a film professor at North Carolina State University and Boyes is a film curator for the North Carolina Museum of Art and curator of the Moviediva Film Series.
On the performance of Elsie Fisher in “Eighth Grade”:
I think a lot of times actors that are cast in the roles of pre-teens are really glamourous and over the top, but she was so wonderfully awkward and uncomfortable … She just nailed the role. – Listener Amy White, a professor of theatre and musical theatre at William Peace University
On the memories evoked by the Mr. Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”:
Feeling like he was just talking to me. Feeling like he really meant it when he said I was special. Having a trust relationship through the television with someone at a pace that was so different than the other shows that were on at the time. – Listener Amy Drever
On the comedy-drama “Blindspotting”:
Some of the important themes [include] white privilege, cultural appropriation, loyalty, and friendship. – Listener Kyle Reece
On the Bollywood Indian spy thriller “Raazi”:
Normally in Bollywood films the main role is normally [a] man and the heroine is just to bring the charm in the story. In this one, the heroine is the main character. – Listener Afroz Taj, a professor of Asian Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and co-host of the weekly radio show “Geet Bazaar”
On “Sorry To Bother You” from Boots Riley:
The way that they showed capitalism and race and imagined this very surreal, but very real near future … blew my mind. – Listener Monet Noelle Marshall, a Durham-based actor, director, playwright
On the live-action film “Paddington 2”:
One of my new year’s resolutions was not to be critical of any films or filmmakers in public this year. It’s hard enough to make a film, and nobody ever sets out to make a bad one. – Listener Tim Kirkman, a writer and director behind “Dear Jesse” and “Lazy Eye”
On the documentary “Hale County This Morning This Evening”:
The director RaMell Ross – he spends I think about five to seven years in a town in Alabama. And it’s really documenting several people’s lives over the course of these years. – Listener Chris Everett, the communications manager for Full Frame Documentary Film festival
On Rob Marshall’s “Mary Poppins Returns”:
In 1964 when the original came out … that was such a strong part of the culture … The thing that made me a bit melancholy, though, as I left the theater was wondering if it would really impact the youth of today … The theater when I left … there were hardly any kids in the audience – Listener Doug Brown, a High Point University theatre professor
On the drama “The Wife” starring Glenn Close:
It was character driven. It was psychological, and nobody could do this better than Glenn Close. She has such interior acting. In fact, I think it’s one of the best things she’s ever done. – Listener Kevin Lewis
On why “Ocean’s Eight,” featuring an all-female cast was dissapointing:
These characters were way underdeveloped. You never got that sense of camaraderie … I particularly take issue with the underdevelopment of Rihanna ... as the pot-smoking, token black character. [It] was at best reductive and at worst racist. – Listener Lyric Thompson, a women’s rights advocate
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