The Solzy Awards for 2018…So Far

The Solzy Awards

We’re at the halfway point of the year and here are the Solzy Awards contenders for the first half of the year.  Heading into the midway point, I’ve seen 230 narrative/documentary features and 40 short films.  This comes up to a grand total of 269 films as we enter the month of July.   It’s a new personal best having set my old record of 264 films during the last calendar year.

I’ve been privileged to attend some major film festivals in 2018, including Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca.  Thanks to both the Chicago Critics Film Festival and the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, I was able to catch a number of feature films that I missed during those festivals.  It’s because of attending these festivals that I’ve set things up a bit differently.  I have my main mid-year contenders while awarding my top performances and films that I’ve seen during those festivals.

If a film has been released in theaters before the end of June, they are eligible for The Solzy Awards regardless of whether or not those films have expanded to Chicago yet.

The Solzy Awards for 2018…So Far

Best Narrative Feature
American Animals

Black Panther

First Reformed
Game Night

Hearts Beat Loud
Leave No Trace
Paddington 2

Set It Up
Uncle Drew

Best Documentary Feature
Half the Picture
The King

Poop Talk
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Nick Offerman, Hearts Beat Loud
Charlie Plummer, Lean on Pete
Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Shailene Woodley, Adrift
Kiersey Clemons, Hearts Beat Loud
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Leave No Trace
Zoey Deutch, Set It Up
Charlize Theron, Tully

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
David Tennant, Bad Samaritan
Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
Jesse Plemons, Game Night
Hugh Grant, Paddington 2
Anton Yelchin, Thoroughbreds

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Lupita Nyong’o, Black Panther
Letitia Wright, Black Panther
Candice Bergen, Book Club
Millicent Simmons, A Quiet Place
Sara Sevigny, Rogers Park

Best Director
Alex Garland, Annihilation
Ryan Coogler, Black Panther
Kay Cannon, Blockers
Brett Haley, Hearts Beat Loud
Clare Scanlon, Set It Up

Best Original Song
Hearts Beat Loud, Music and Lyrics by Keegan DeWitt

Best Action Film
Game Night

Best Music-Driven Comedy
Hearts Beat Loud

Best Romantic Comedy
Set It Up

Best Comic Book Film
Black Panther

Best Animated Feature
The Incredibles 2

Best Live Action Short
End of the Line
Home Shopper
Shiva Baby
Souls of Totality
We Forgot To Break Up

Saddest Shot
The Brachiosaurus burning alive on the dock as the boat departs from Isla Nublar, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Best Film Festival Performances

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, All About Nina
Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Emily Bett Rickards, Funny Story
Liv Hill, Jellyfish
Rose Byrne, Juliet, Naked
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Kindergarten Teacher
Dominique Fishback, Night Comes On
Meredith Johnston, Pet Names
Joey King, Summer ’03

Cory Michael Smith, 1985
Daveed Diggs, Blindspotting
Rafael Casal, Blindspotting
John Cho, Searching
Lakeith Stanfeld, Sorry to Bother You

Supporting Actor
Dan Harmon, 7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh
Mark McKinney, 7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh
Common, All About Nina
Geoffrey Lewis, High and Outside: A Baseball Noir
Armie Hammer, Sorry to Bother You

Supporting Actress
Paula Niedert Elliott, Clara’s Ghost
Kayli Carter, Private Life
Michelle La, Searching
Tessa Thompson, Sorry To Bother You
June Squibb, Summer ’03

Eva Vives, All About Nina
Carlos López Estrada, Blindspotting
Aneesh Chaganty, Searching
Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You
Becca Gleason, Summer ’03

Festival Favorites
7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh
All About Nina
Clara’s Ghost
Eighth Grade
Funny Story
Juliet, Naked
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Night Comes On

Pet Names
Sorry to Bother You
Summer ’03

Festival Documentary
Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes
Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary
Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel
Love, Gilda

Special Mentions

These films and performances aren’t getting theatrical releases and went straight-to-digital or in some instances, they aired on television.  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.

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

Similarly, the sports documentary, Alone in the Game, aired on AUDIENCE following a few festival screenings.

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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