The cast list was released last fall for the upcoming Netflix adaptation of the young adult fantasy series Shadow and Bone. The casting revealed Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov, and Ben Barnes as her manipulative antagonist and love interest General Kirigan, also known as the Darkling. Alina is meant to be around seventeen, while Ben Barnes is 38.

Yes, I know there’s still a week or so left until the end of 2018, but as most of the bloggers of the Collective will be taking a break for the holidays, I thought I’d share my favorite films from the year (so far), in case you need a watch-list to queue up on Netflix during your vacation. I still have plans to see two or three more films before the end of the year, but they’ll be hard pressed to beat these films from earlier this year! So, gather your Christmas cookies and press play on one of these if you haven’t seen it yet!

I have done my best to keep this review spoiler-free but will tag any potential spoilers with **.

I have waited for this film for longer than I meant to. By that, I mean to say that I’ve waited for Lady Gaga to take part in a major film since well, her music video for “Paparazzi” came out over ten years ago (the lady has a flair for the dramatic, it was only a matter of time before she became a quadruple threat). But I did not know that I was waiting for Bradley Cooper to direct and co-star with Lady Gaga in this film. A Star Is Born not only captures our fascination with celebrity, but it gives us an achingly real relationship between two people who find out that sometimes, love just isn’t enough.