In 2018, the cinema feels like a more precious space than ever. How many other places do we have in the world where we go to sit, in the dark, with our attention entirely transfixed on one thing for at least an hour? In fact, how many spaces do we have where there’s a social contract that we all put our phones away? As a sanctuary of escapism from endless newsfeeds, the cinema is where we took refuge this year. And thank God we did, because it was a great year for film.
After some careful consideration and heated debate, here’s Dazed’s 20 favourite movies of 2018: from the artistic, nuanced documentaries that broadened our horizons, to the blockbuster movies with fresh agendas, to the Netflix rom-com we watched a million times.
The Miseducation Of Cameron Post
Based on Emily Danforth’s novel of the same name, Desiree Akhavan’s Sundance winning The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, is an expertly produced a coming-of-age portrait that’s meaningful, moving, funny and tragic all at once. Coerced into signing herself into God’s Promise at her guardian’s direction – a place she now cannot leave without the approval of the centre’s spiritual leaders – Cameron is enrolled in a relentless programme of menial tasks, prayers, ‘blessercize’ aerobics classes and karaoke nights. It’s not too dissimilar from a typical US summer camp – only this camp has mandatory group therapy sessions, one-on-one spiritual counselling and subconscious ‘icebergs’ on which residents must note down all the traumas that have led to their ‘same-sex perversion.’ It’s an undeniably queer film but Miseducation also has a broad appeal – it’s about gay conversion therapy, but it’s also about something felt universally by teenagers who are on the cusp of adulthood. Something about themselves isn’t quite right, something’s broken, something needs correcting or improving in some way. That mission, to tell an authentic story about adolescence, thoughtfully and with heart, is what makes The Miseducation Of Cameron Post one of the most compelling queer films of the year.