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Baldwin Public Library staff share favorite films, TV shows, and albums from 2018.

Film

Annihilation
After a meteor impact hits a section of Earth, another mysterious world inside an eerie phenomenon, known as “The Shimmer,” begins to slowly change the life forms. A team of all women explorers set out to find out why others who entered before them never returned. A beautiful, yet scary environment of possible alien “DNA annihilation” that will leave you with a lot to think about. –Denice, youth librarian

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
This film is based on the true story of Lee Israel, a hard-luck author who turns to forging letters from literary greats to sell on the collector’s market. –Dan, adult librarian

Hostiles
Directed by Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper, this slow burn of an American western features Christian Bale as Captain Joseph Blocker, a U.S. Army Captain in the 1890s, as he escorts an old enemy, Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk, and his family through dangerous territory back to sacred Cheyenne land. –Maria, Head of Adult Services

Love, Simon
Based on the YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, this is a modern take on teen rom-coms.  The story of 16-year-old Simon, a not-so-openly-gay young man coming to terms with his sexual identity, is a heartwarming, funny tale. –Cathy, youth librarian

Pick of the Litter
In this heartwarming documentary, watch as a litter of puppies is raised and trained to be potential service dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind. –Rebekah, Associate Director

A Quiet Place 
John Krasinksi and Emily Blunt star in this creepy post-apocalyptic thriller, as they try to keep their children safe while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing. If they hear you, they hunt you. –Elisabeth, teen librarian

RBG
Featuring interviews with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s family, friends, and colleagues—and Justice Ginsburg herself—the documentary provides a fascinating portrait of a career and an entire life dedicated to bringing justice to everyone and fighting for fairness and equality on numerous important cases.  The film also includes footage of her fitness routine, which is amazing for someone in her mid-eighties! –Susan, adult librarian

Roma
This stunning film tells the story of a family in Mexico City during the 1950’s, and, more particularly, the moving story of Cleo, a young woman who is their servant. It is one of the most artistically shot films I have ever seen. –Elizabeth, circulation

Sorry to Bother You
This memorable film that I keep thinking about—and can’t wait to see again—is a slightly futuristic alternate reality tale of corporate greed and personal ambition. The characters are sympathetic, the acting is marvelous, and it’s equally hilarious, insightful, witty, shocking, and horrifying. –Kathleen, adult librarian

A Star is Born
A musician helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral. This is such an engrossing and intimate film and the performances by Cooper and Lady Gaga are superior. –Barby, adult librarian, and Jamie, IT Coordinator

Television 

Barry
A disillusioned hitman attempts to retire. Murder and hilarity ensue.  –Dan, adult librarian

Dine & Dish Nation
An informative, weekly half-hour restaurant review program featuring Detroit restaurants and culture that airs on PBS/DPTV. –Cathy, youth librarian

The First
A(nother) show about going to Mars, although we’ve only just left Earth by the end of the first season.  I agree with critics that it is slow, ponderous, and a bit pretentious. However, it is very well-acted, thought-provoking, and the pace gives you time to absorb and contemplate the issues raised—plus the science consultant is the former director of the JPL, and thus it is a real look at what it will take to get to the Red Planet. –Kristen, Circulation Services Coordinator 

The Good Fight
Those who loved and miss The Good Wife will revel in this spin-off. It features the same sharp writing, snappy dialogue, timely issues, and even Christine Baranski! –Elizabeth, circulation

The Good Place
Four people and their otherworldly frenemy struggle in the afterlife to define what it means to be good. –Jamie, IT Coordinator

The Handmaid’s Tale
Season 2 of this Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Hulu show is emotional, poignant, and perhaps even traumatic at times, but features stellar dramatic performances by Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski. –Maria, Head of Adult Services

Sharp Objects
Amy Adams stars as the alcoholic reporter who goes back to her small southern hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to investigate child murders and deal with her own personal demons. Based on the book by Gillian Flynn.  –Elisabeth, teen librarian

Album

Anthem of the Peaceful Army by Greta Van Fleet
This is a great rock album from the young musicians from Frankenmuth, MI. If you like classic guitar-driven rock, check out this band. –Elisabeth, teen librarian

Black Panther The Album by Kendrick Lamar and Various Artists
Kendrick Lamar brings together his hip hop and R&B family for this album of songs inspired by the film Black Panther. –Dan, adult librarian

By the Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile
Americana artist Brandi Carlile’s sixth studio album was recently nominated for five Grammy awards, including Album, Record, and Song of the Year. Maybe she’ll finally get the attention her superb songwriting, guitar playing, and emotional vocal performances deserve! –Maria, Head of Adult Services 

Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae
If David Bowie and Prince had a love child, this album would be it.  –H, adult librarian

Nation of Two by Vance Joy
Fun, bouncy, feel-good music from Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy.  Not as sparse as Jack Johnson, but the songs are just as easy to sing along with and several are guaranteed to turn into earworms if you’re not careful (“Saturday Sun” is particularly enjoyable and the video is, pardon the pun, joyful!). –Kristen, Circulation Coordinator

Best Media of 2018 Staff Collage

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