The Solzy Awards for 2018

The Solzy Awards

It’s the end of the year so that means that it’s the time of year to announce the Solzy Awards for 2018.

This has been another great year for film.  As a result of film festivals more so than living in Chicago, I’ve seen more films than ever before.  This comes after setting a personal best in 2017 with 264 films.  At the end of November, I had seen 422 feature films–all first viewings!

While I’ve picked my top 20 during the last few years, I expanded things this year to my top 25 films and top comedies.  None of these include the documentaries because I’ve already awarded those.  The awards I issue today are strictly for narrative features only.  What follows are my acting awards–split into drama, comedy, and musical.  I had to make a judgement call for All About Nina and The Favourite.  Both of these films fall into the dramedy category but I’ve classified them as comedies for my awards given how much I laughed during the film.

Some of the acting categories were so deep this year that it’s not even funny.  As for the films itself, all the lists are in alphabetical order rather than ranking in order.

All year long, my favorite film has been Hearts Beat Loud.  Some films have given the Brett Haley-directed film a run for its money but it never left my top slot.  I interviewed producer Sam Bisbee at Sundance, director/co-writer Brett Haley and star Nick Offerman at SXSW, and composer/songwriter Keegan DeWitt just before the film’s release this past summer.

The Solzy Awards for 2018

Top 25 Narrative Features
A Star Is Born
All About Nina
Avengers: Infinity War
Ben is Back
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Blindspotting
Blockers
Crazy Rich Asians
The Favourite

First Man
Game Night

Hearts Beat Loud
If Beale Street Could Talk

Lez Bomb
Mary Poppins Returns
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Paddington 2
Roma
Searching
Stan & Ollie
Summer ’03
Vice
What They Had
Widows

Honorable Mentions*
Black Cop
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Cold War
The Hate U Give
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Ralph Breaks The Internet
A Simple Favor
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Thunder Road
You Were Never Really Here

Best Comedy Features
All About Nina
Blockers
Clara’s Ghost
The Favourite

Game Night
Hearts Beat Loud
Juliet, Naked
Lez Bomb
The Oath

Paddington 2
The Spy Who Dumped Me
Set It Up
Stan & Ollie
Summer ’03

Best Documentary Features
Please see my Documentary Awards

DRAMA
Best Actor:  
Christian Bale, Vice
Best Actress:  Julia Roberts, Ben is Back (Runner up: Lady Gaga, A Star is Born)
Best Supporting Actor:  Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (Runner Up: Steve Carell, Vice)
Best Supporting Actress:  Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (Runner Up: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk)

COMEDY
Best Actor:  Nick Offerman, Hearts Beat Loud (Runner ups: John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie; John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman)
Best Actress:  Mary Elizabeth Winstead, All About Nina
Best Supporting Actor:  Jesse Plemons, Game Night
Best Supporting Actress:  June Squibb, Summer ’03

MUSICAL
Best Actor:  Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns
Best Actress:  Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
Best Supporting Actor:  Ben Whishaw, Mary Poppins Returns
Best Supporting Actress:  Emily Mortimer, Mary Poppins Returns

Best Director:  Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (Runner ups: Ryan Coogler, Black Panther; Adam McKay, Vice)

BEST FIRST FEATURES
Ike Barinholtz, The Oath
Kay Cannon, Blockers
Aneesh Chaganty, Searching
Elizabeth Chomko, What They Had
Paul Dano, Wildlife
Bridey Elliott, Clara’s Ghost
Carlos López Estrada, Blindspotting
Becca Gleason, Summer ’03
Jenna Laurenzo, Lez Bomb
Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You
Eva Vives, All About Nina

Best Original Song (TIE)
Hearts Beat Loud, Music and Lyrics by Keegan DeWitt
The Places Where Lost Things Go (Mary Poppins Returns); Music by Marc Shaiman, Lyrics by Scott Whitman and Marc Shaiman

Best Action Film
Game Night

Best Comic Book Film
Black Panther

Best Drama
Vice

Best Dysfunctional Comedy
Lez Bomb

Best Family Film
Paddington 2

Best Foreign Language Film
Roma (Runner-up: Cold War*)

Best Musical
Mary Poppins Returns

Best Music-Driven Comedy
Hearts Beat Loud

Best Mystery Thriller (TIE)
A Simple Favor, Searching

Best Animated Feature
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Runner Up: Ralph Breaks the Internet)

Best Live Action Short
Please see my Short Film Awards

Best Unreleased Film That I Saw At A Film Festival
7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh
Runner Ups: FreaksFunny Story, Teen Spirit, Wild Rose

Best Acting Performances in Festival Films Not Yet Released
Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose
Bruce Dern, Freaks
Elle Fanning, Teen Spirit
Liv Hill, Jellyfish
Lexy Kolker, Freaks
Emily Bett Rickards, Funny Story

Most Likely To Be In Everything:  Brian Tyree Henry

Special Mentions

These films and performances didn’t getting theatrical releases and went straight-to-digital.  As such, they are are not eligible for The Solzy Awards.  Laura Dern’s performance in The Tale should have been considered for film awards but because HBO acquired the film out of Sundance, it’s not eligible for The Solzy Awards for Film.

Comedy: Cold War***
Drama: Beauty Mark

Best Actress in a Comedy: Madeline Walter, Cold War
Best Actress in a Drama: Auden Thornton, Beauty Mark

* I hated myself for leaving A Simple Favor out of my top 25 films so I went back in to add in some more films as an honorable mention.
** denotes Cold War the comedy shot in Chicago.
*** denotes Cold War the comedy shot in Chicago.

The Solzy Awards annually honor the best films and performances of the year.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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