The worst-kept secret in town is how much we at Boise Weekly adore The Flicks, in particular because of the people who make going to the cinema such an absolute joy. This time of year, as thousands of anxious movie-goers stream in and out of its four often-packed theaters, The Flicks is the liveliest place in town.
So, here's a New Year's toast to the place that cures our movie madness. In fact, this week, we'll step aside and let the people of The Flicks share with us their own thoughts on which films made 2018 so special.
Flicks owner Carole Skinner had a healthy list of favorites that included BlacKkKlansman; Can You Ever Forgive Me?; Hearts Beat Loud; Juliet, Naked; The Rider and The Wife. But she had particular affection for the certain-to-be-Oscar-nominated Green Book, which Carole said is "just the movie we need in our country right now."
Carole also loved the heart-tugging documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, as did Flicks General Manager Josie Pusl, who also included A Quiet Place on her list of favorites.
We asked Carole and Josie to poll their employees and army of volunteers on their favorite films of 2018, too, and here are some of their wonderfully insightful comments:
Caitlin Bullock (2 1/2-year employee) loved Eighth Grade: "Gosh, this film is everything I wished I could have seen at that age," she said, adding, "[Writer/director] Bo Burnham and [star] Elsie Fisher are a match made in movie heaven."
Kerry Cooke (20-year volunteer) was a big fan of Ethan Hawke's "sensitive portrayal" of a Protestant minister in First Reformed. She also liked director Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman.
Debbie Dakins (first-year volunteer) also heralded BlacKkKlansman, calling it "incredible," "powerful" and "shocking." And Dakins echoed praise for Green Book, adding, "I loved being on the other side of the theater doors when people came out of Green Book. They're so happy."
Kerry Fitzharris (15-year volunteer) had particular affection for Leave No Trace, calling the drama "the most poignant film I've seen this year."
Jessica Hope (2-year employee) enjoyed Widows, calling it a "smart film that touches on issues of race, politics and gender; and it just so happens that the story includes a heist or two."
Janet McCarthy (8-year volunteer) had high praise for RBG, the wildly popular documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, saying, "This movie renewed my hope that we can effectively make change."
Jessica Means (11-year employee) also loved RBG, writing, "I found this one to be very inspiring. She's such an interesting woman."
Tripling the praise, Janet McCarthy (8-year volunteer) also picked RBG as her favorite. She wrote that "it was an inspirational movie on so many different levels."
Jesiey Mead (2-year employee) chose The Rider, calling it an "incredibly beautiful, heartbreaking film."
Emily Parton (3-year employee and 4-year volunteer) had kudos for the provocative film Sorry to Bother You, which divided critics and audiences: "The nuances and genius of this film cannot be fully summed up in mere sentences. See this film!"
David Rowe (4-year volunteer) said, "I laughed and cried" at Green Book, adding that "The Flicks audience gave it a near-standing ovation after our first screening."
Sydney Slighter (5 1/2-year employee) picked Bad Times at El Royale, writing, "It was different from any movie I had seen in a long time. All the pieces of this amazingly original puzzle fit together so perfectly."
Carolyn Wolfe (20-year volunteer) had a long list of favorites, particularly the documentaries RBG and Free Solo. "This has been an amazing year for docs," she said.
A final movie tip from The Flicks came from Idaho radio icon Arthur Ballinger. He doesn't work at the cinema but he may be its biggest customer. It's a fair bet that Ballinger has seen hundreds of movies at The Flicks over more than two decades. His favorite film of 2018? Leave No Trace, which he said showcases two "stellar" performances from Ben Foster and 17-year-old Thomasin McKenzie. "It was emotionally moving, tinged with sadness and is a quietly offbeat story," he said.