The Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018 has been a lot of fun for me. This year was my first year with a press pass, which means that I could go into movie overload and see a lot more than usual. But, one of the best things about this year was the sheer amount of great movies that were shown. Not just good, but great. There were a fair share of duds to be fair. But now that the festival is closing out for another year, I’ve decided to end my coverage with a top five list of best movies from the 28 films I caught.
5. Who We Are Now
One that I never found the time to review in full but wish that I had is Matthew Newton’s Who We Are Now. The story follows a mother (Julianne Nicholson) who recently got out of jail for manslaughter and is attempting to get custody of her children back from her sister. The movie is superb with a great performance by Nicholson. There is also a surprisingly great turn from Emma Roberts as a lawyer with problems that don’t even come close to the ones that she deals with at work. The movie does a great job of putting all of its characters problems into perspective. There is also a surprise in Zachary Quinto’s excellent performance, despite looking unrecognisable with a beard. Who We Are Now is emotional, dramatic and has great performances.
Searching is a murder mystery that takes place entirely on a desktop. It manages to toe the line between gimmicky and a tool that is used to tell a story well. The main mystery is the disappearance of a girl and her father tracking down information on her using the internet. Star Trek’s John Cho plays David, the father who is desperate not to lose the only close family member that he has left. He does well considering that he has to act to himself for the majority of the film. It has some great twists and turns and is an enjoyable film with a mystery worth trying to solve.
Incredibles 2 had a lot to live up to. The first one is not only a favourite Pixar movie but an all-time favourite. That is why I was really happy to learn that it does live up to the super expectations that I had for it. Full of laughs, heart and animation that blows the original out of the water, the only area you could say that this sequel lacks in is its villain. Screenslaver has much less of a motive compared to the heavily detailed Syndrome. However, it is as excellent as you would expect from Pixar on their ‘A’ game.
As mentioned in my full review, only one other film has made me feel as tense and on edge of my seat as much as Matt Palmer’s Calibre managed to, which would be Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. This Netflix Original is on a much smaller scale than that but it is special all the same. It is really a masterclass in building tension and will leave you clenched until the moment the credits roll. Not only that, but it has a collection of great performances and a tight and contained script. I was lucky enough to be one of the few people who would get to see this on the big screen, but it is now available for everyone to stream on Netflix. It has been garnering some great responses from audiences and completely deserves the recognition it has received from critics. It also picked up The Micheal Powell Award at the festival, a category that contained some tough competition.
Brie Larson nails her feature directorial debut with this lovingly crafted modern fairytale in which she also shines in the leading role. Kit has to change her childlike ways and become an adult as she believes she is a disappointment, but she is invited to buy a unicorn by a salesman (Samuel L Jackson). The script is great. The entire movie is full of positive energy, a big heart and has some quirky comedy as well. I found it practically perfect and the best film at the festival by far.
That is it for the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year. I’ve had a blast watching and reviewing movies over the last 12 days. I hope you all get a chance to check out these movies.