I saw Crazy Rich Asians last night for the second time. And it was even better. Probably because last week, when I hosted a private screening for friends and family, my ma was there. Whenever she’s anywhere with me, at least 15% of my mind is tuned into whatever it is that she might need. The Squawking Chicken is like an energy cloud connected to my mainframe. Even when she’s not being dramatic, I’m braced for a storm.
Which is why, with 100% focus on the film last night at the Canadian premiere at TIFF, I could fully immerse myself in the experience, in the world. I could really fixate much more on the details. Reviews are still embargoed so all I can say now is that they did it, they really did it. They really, really delivered on the expectation and on the longing. Crazy Rich Asians is my favourite movie of 2018.
However, the best movie of 2018, in my opinion, is Eighth Grade. Sarah and I were talking about Eighth Grade last night, because we were trying to figure out when we could post her review – obviously not until she’d seen it. She lives in Chicago, a major market. And even for a film critic living in Chicago, it’s been hard for her to get to, the availability is so limited. Her point: “If I am having trouble seeing (these films), how is someone in Omaha, Nebraska supposed to see them?”
Eighth Grade was written and directed by Bo Burnham about a 13-year-old girl, Kayla, who is approaching the end of Eighth Grade, awkward and lonely but also optimistic. This is a magical combination. And it’s a fleeting combination. Because something happens to us all, eventually: the awkwardness and the loneliness never goes away but that optimism…well…it becomes much more temperamental. It becomes much more difficult to summon. At some point, it ends up in the shadow of cynicism. Eighth Grade shows us, however, that youthful possibility – pure hope – is actually not as fragile as we think. This is such a wonderful story, so lovingly told. That’s the word I would use if you asked me to describe it: loving. I hope you make it part of your life… that is, if it’s playing near you.
Yours in gossip,