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Soundtracking: Hustlers

"YES, this soundtrack was soooo good!!! The Fiona Apple 'Criminal' dance, instantly iconic." - JWB

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Lynn Gives Thanks

Team Experience members were invited to give thanks this week so you'll be hearing from a few of us. Here's Lynn Lee..

In many ways, 2018 – like the two preceding years, only even more so – has felt like a nauseating carnival ride that I, for one, would like to stop and get off.  But the one welcome constant was always having something genuinely engaging to watch and, in the best cases, elevate my feelings on the state of the world and humanity. 

In that spirit, here are some of the many things I’m thankful for:

• The electrifying last 15 minutes of Nanette, wherein Hannah Gadsby turned stand-up comedy into something else altogether – and left our collective jaw on the floor.

• Daveed Diggs – so good in Hamilton, even better in the riveting and underrated Blindspotting.

• The shimmer in Natalie Portman’s and Oscar Isaac’s eyes at the end of Annihilation, one of the most bonkers and most unexpectedly rewarding films of 2018...

• Lily James making even the most ridiculous moments of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again ridiculously irresistible.  I haven’t always cared for her, but she was utterly charming in this.

• Adorable dogs in movies, from Chief, Isle of Dogs’ gruff, flea-bitten manhater-with-a-heart-of-fluff, to Bradley Cooper’s scene-stealing goldendoodle in A Star is Born.

• That I’m not (and don’t have a kid) in Eighth Grade.  And yet could feel every agonizing jolt in Kayla’s mind and body, thanks to Elsie Fisher’s miraculous performance and Bo Burnham’s painfully, wonderfully intimate direction.

• That Crazy Rich Asians was a bona fide, major box office HIT, y’all!  Also, that mahjong scene.  And every scene involving Awkafina.

• Female friendship in HBO’s Insecure, especially the central bond between besties Issa and Molly.  Even if you thought the show flagged this season (I didn’t), there’s no denying their chemistry.  Plus bonus points for every appearance by Natasha Rothwell as the hilariously brash Kelli.

• Matthew Rhys finally getting an Emmy for his outstanding work in The Americans.

• The beautiful gravity - in all senses - of First Man, a film that I hope and believe will outlive its initial reception.  (Remember The Right Stuff, too, was a box office bomb.)

• And of course, Nathaniel, Team Film Experience, and all you dear readers for making this site one of my favorite places to be.  May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Lynn is a government lawyer who spends most of her time outside work obsessing over arts and pop culture.  Her current fascination is with "The Americans" on FX. Her first love, though, will always be movies, thanks to parents who raised her on an eclectic diet of Ingmar Bergman, talky French films, 1960s musicals, Star Wars, and Spielberg blockbusters. Read more from Lynn Lee

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Reader Comments (9)

This is one of my favorite traditions on The Film Experience.
I adore Lily James in Here We Go Again.

November 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

I strongly recomend 1968: The Year That Changed America to all the people struggling with 2018.

November 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Lynn -- i love the reminder of THE RIGHT STUFF. I too think First Man will age well. And though I have never finished watching THE AMERICANS I too was thrilled when Rhys won. I wish Emmys would spread the wealth more in general so that we dont always end up with these last second "maybe the person will finally win for a great character they've aced for years" because naturally not all of them do.

November 20, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Oh, I love these annual columns!

Lynn, you are one of my favorite TFE contributors, so I am thankful for you. And I agree with you on Crazy Rich Asians and Awkwafina, dogs in movies, Eighth Grade, and Matthew Rhys's Emmy (I'm already hoping he gets awards traction for his role in that Marielle Heller movie next year).

November 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

YES! Daveed Diggs was electric in that movie!

November 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

Thank you Lynn for all your contributions to this site.

November 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

This is one of my favourite annual column on the site.
Very heartfelt feelings among your words.
I’ve been a reader for over 10 yrs, since film experience blog time.
Thank you guys, for your devotion every year, Especially for Nat.

November 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAmberWaves

Aw, thanks, Suzanne! And everyone!

November 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

Nice article. I love the Annihilation shout-out---that was one of the most unexpected treasures for me at the movies this year. I'm not even a big horror/sci-fi fan, and I LOVED it.

November 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

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