Top Ten Noteworthy Movies of 2018

Awards season is fast approaching and I couldn’t be more excited. For most of my teenage years, I denounced any and all Oscar-nominated films. I always found them to be pretentious, boring and a waste of my oh-so precious time. Since coming to college a year ago, I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with and an affinity for pretentious things—thus was born my love of film. 

That’s not to say I’ve lost the part of me that once referred to “Sydney White” as my favorite movie of all time (A statement I still kind of stand by). Right now, we are in that awkward limbo period where most Oscar contenders haven’t been given wide releases yet. During this time, I’ve taken it upon myself to give my own awards to films and actors who most likely won’t get their moment on stage at any major event this winter. 

10. Best Screenplay- Blockers

Due to my sense of humor being virtually destroyed to the point where a photo of Miley Cyrus circa-2008 staring into the camera makes me actually laugh out loud, comedy films often have little to no effect on me anymore. “Blockers,” however, was really funny. The jokes were written into the script in such a way that they didn’t even come across as jokes and the comedy was just at that level of stupidity where it wasn’t stupid enough to not be funny. 

9. Best Cinematography- Annihilation

Unlike everything else on this list (for the most part), “Annihilation” very well may snatch up at least a nomination in this category. The film, which follows a group of scientists entering an unknown, dangerous region, is absolutely beautiful. Aside from stunning visual effects, just the shots alone were remarkable. 

8. Best Animated Feature- NOT Isle of Dogs

I am so angry. The two things I hate most in all of the film world are pretentious animated films and stopmotion films. This dumb, stupid movie combined both of those into one hellish nightmare of a movie. Granted, I never saw it, but the trailer played enough times earlier this year (before literally every movie I saw) that I feel like I was subjected to enough. 

7. Best Original Score- Boy Erased

Once again, this very well may get a nomination. I don’t really know how that works, but I do know that the score to “Boy Erased,” a film about an Arkansas teen sent to conversion therapy, is tremendous. Aside from two Troye Sivan tracks, the score is all orchestral. It is floaty when it needs to be floaty, harsh when it needs to be harsh and the timely climaxes make you feel like you are watching the film each time you play the score. 

6. Best Supporting Actor- The Dog, The Grinch

Last year, the Academy royally screwed up when they handed Sam Rockwell the “Best Supporting Actor” award that belonged to Willem Dafoe. This year, I’m saying “screw you” to the Academy and giving this award to the little dog from “The Grinch.” I didn’t really like the 2018 adaption of the classic tale, but I loved the dog. He was fun, adorable, a bit moody and an all-around great character. 

5. Best Supporting Actress- Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians

Awkwafina starred in two major films this year; “Oceans 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” While she stole the show in both, her performance in the latter was outstanding. The rapper-turned-actress has impeccable comedic timing and even just her presence on screen can make you laugh out loud. She undoubtedly has a long career ahead of her. 

4. Best Director- Tamera Jenkins, Private Life

When you think of Netflix films, you probably think of “The Kissing Booth” or “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” which are fine in their own right—but Tamera Jenkins’ “Private Life” takes Netflix film to a whole other level. The film, about a middle-aged couple going to any and all lengths to have a child, features outstanding performances from Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti and some genius direction from Tamera Jenkins. The end credits are the best end credits I’ve ever seen… which is a weird statement but watch it and then you’ll get it. 

3. Best Actress- Blake Lively, A Simple Favor

Blake Lively. Cocktails. Pantsuits. Mystery. If those four things don’t already have you racing to your illegal streaming sight of choice to watch “A Simple Favor,” then you are hopeless. Lively is so good in the role of Emily Nelson, a mysterious mother who disappears, leaving her husband and best friend to solve the case. 

2. Best Actor- Nick Robinson, Love, Simon

I’m still holding out hope that Nick Robinson will receive a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in “Love, Simon.” But just as a precaution, he is getting my best actor nod. Robinson delivered a great performance as Simon Spier, a closeted teenager navigating the fear and anxiety that comes with coming out. While there are multiple moments that Robinson shines, the scene where he comes out to his friend for the first time sticks out as particularly praise-worthy. 

1. Best Picture- Paddington 2

This isn’t satirical in the slightest. I am being very, very serious. “Paddington 2” is one of the best movies I have seen in probably my whole life. The follow-up to “Paddington,” in this edition, we follow Paddington through his quest to buy a present for his dear Aunt Lucy. The cinematography is stunning, the performances from all actors (both real and CGI bear) are outstanding, the score is beautiful—I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this movie. It’s an hour and a half reminder of the good that still exists somewhere in the world, and a welcome escape from reality that will have you wanting to be a better person. We can all learn a lot from Paddington and Aunt Lucy’s motto; “If we’re kind and polite, the world will be right.”