The Solzy Awards for 2019…So Far

The Solzy Awards

As the calendar hits the halfway point of the year, Solzy at the Movies brings you the Solzy Awards contenders for the first half of 2019.

Heading into the midway point, I’ve seen 229 narrative/documentary features and 29 short films (Letterboxd, 2019 releases only.  This comes up to a grand total of 258 films as we enter the month of July.  All films released before 2019 are not eligible.  My overall total for the year includes both film festivals and yes, blindspots missing in my film education.  As such, it would make sense that some of the classic movies are not eligible.

I’ve been privileged to attend some major film festivals in 2019, including Sundance and SXSW.  I’ve also covered both the Chicago Critics Film Festival and the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival.  Because of having a Press Express badge during Sundance, I saw a whopping 62 films in January!  It’s because of attending these festivals that I have kept things similar to last year’s mid-year awards.  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 festival favorites do not include films already released.

The Solzy Awards for 2019…So Far

Best Narrative Feature

  • Booksmart
  • Long Shot
  • Captain Marvel
  • Late Night
  • And Then There Was Eve
  • Little Woods
  • Rocketman
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • The Souvenir
  • Toy Story 4
  • Shazam!

Best Documentary Feature

  • Apollo 11
  • Who Will Write Our History?
  • The River and the Wall
  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story
  • Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz
  • Screwball
  • Ask Dr. Ruth

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Taron Edgerton, Rocketman
  • Emilio Estevez, The Public
  • Jimmie Fails, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • Jim Gaffigan, Being Frank
  • Ethan Hawke, Stockholm
  • Seth Rogen, Long Shot

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose
  • Honor Swinton Byrne, The Souvenir
  • Kaitlyn Dever, Booksmart
  • Elle Fanning, Teen Spirit
  • Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
  • Brie Larson, Captain Marvel
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Fast Color
  • Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell
  • Charlize Theron, Long Shot
  • Emma Thompson, Late Night
  • Tessa Thompson, Little Woods

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Jamie Bell, Rocketman
  • Zlatko Buric, Teen Spirit
  • Robert Downey Jr., Avengers: Endgame
  • Samuel L. Jackson, Captain Marvel
  • Jonathan Majors, The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Clare Cooney, Rendezvous in Chicago
  • Lily James, Little Woods
  • Billie Lourd, Booksmart
  • Tilda Swinton, The Souvenir
  • Lorraine Toussaint, Fast Color
  • Julie Walters, Wild Rose

Best Director

  • Nia DaCosta, Little Woods
  • Dexter Fletcher, Rocketman
  • Nisha Ganatra, Late Night
  • Julia Hart, Fast Color
  • Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir
  • Max Minghella, Teen Spirit
  • Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Endgame
  • Olivia Wilde, Booksmart

Best Film Editing
Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11

Best Original Song
“Speechless”, Aladdin; Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again; Music by Elton John, Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

Best Action Film
Avengers: Endgame

Best Music-Driven Film
Teen Spirit, Wild Rose (Tie)

Best Romantic Comedy
Long Shot

Best Comic Book Film
Captain Marvel by a hair over Avengers: Endgame

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 4

Best Live-Action Narrative Shorts
40 Minutes Over Maui
Lady Hater

The Rat

Best Documentary Shorts
Lowland Kids
Mack Wrestles

Saddest Shot
Tony Stark dying in Avengers: Endgame

Best Film Festival Performances


  • Anna Akana, Go Back to China
  • Awkwafina, The Farewell
  • Jillian Bell, Brittany Runs A Marathon
  • Carlie Guevara, The Garden Left Behind
  • Kara Hayward; To The Stars
  • Nicole Maines, Bit
  • Sierra McCormick, The Vast of Night
    Wendi McLendon-Covey, Imaginary Order
  • Lupita Nyong’o, Little Monsters
  • Kelly O’Sullivan, Saint Frances
  • Alfre Woodard, Clemency


  • Adam Driver, The Report
  • Jesse Eisenberg, The Art of Self-Defense
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr., Luce
  • Jake Horowitz, The Vast of Night
  • Noah Jupe, Honey Boy
  • Viveik Kalra, Blinded by the Light

Supporting Actor

  • Walter Goggins, Them That Follow
  • Tony Hale, To The Stars
  • Shia LeBeouf, Honey Boy
  • Shea Whigham, To The Stars
  • Keith L. Williams, Good Boys

Supporting Actress

  • Annette Bening, The Report
  • Demi Moore, Corporate Animals
  • Octavia Spencer, Luce
  • Jordana Spiro, To The Stars
  • Naomi Watts, Luce


  • Andrew Patterson, The Vast of Night
  • Martha Stephens, To The Stars
  • Jeremy Teicher, Olympic Dreams
  • Lulu Wang, The Farewell

Best Cinematography
Andrew Reed, To The Stars

Best Original Song
“Teddy’s Lament,” Little Monsters; Words & Music by Josh Gad, Piers Burbrook de Vere & Abraham Forsythe

Festival Favorites

  • Brittany Runs A Marathon
  • To The Stars
  • Little Monsters
  • Good Boys
  • The Garden Left Behind
  • Corporate Animals
  • The Report
  • Greener Grass
  • Blinded By the Light
  • Bit
  • Adam
  • Luce
  • The Farewell
  • Saint Frances
  • The Vast of Night
  • Olympic Dreams
  • The Art of Self-Defense
  • Pink Wall
  • Villains
  • Go Back to China
  • The Day Shall Come
  • Extra Ordinary

Festival Documentary

  • Sea of Shadows
  • Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins
  • For They Know Not What They Do
  • Stieg Larsson: The Man Who Played With Fire
  • Mike Wallace Is Here
  • Romantic Comedy
  • It Started As A Joke
  • The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash
  • Changing the Game
  • Jump Shot

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.