Top 16 of 2018

This year, I definitely cut back on both film watching and writing on films released this year in favor of viewing for my podcast. Perhaps because of this general consistency of viewing, despite an even lower number of films that I truly loved than the doldrums of last year, I feel much more enthusiastic about the riches that this film year had to offer. Many of these filmmakers were known quantities, but they seemed to surprise me and reveal heretofore unknown depths or avenues, in ways that augmented their strengths rather than serving as the sole overwhelming asset.

The following list is formed from the reds, oranges, greens, and blues that I have seen at time of writing that were commercially released in New York City in 2018. A list, not the list.

first reformed

1. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)

other side

2. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles)

day after

3. The Day After (Hong Sang-soo)

fallout

4. Misson: Impossible – Fallut (Christopher McQuarrie)

ballad

5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel & Ethan Coen)

bisbee

6. Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene)

burning

7. Burning (Lee Chang-dong)

zama

8. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)

soleil

9. Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis)

beale street

10. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)

before we vanish

11. Before We Vanish (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

isle of dogs

12. Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson)

camera

13. Claire’s Camera (Hong Sang-soo)

lazzaro

14. Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher)

girls

15. Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski)

star

16. A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper)

My Top 10 Discoveries During 2018 (for first-time viewings of films made before 2000)

  1. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, Orson Welles)
  2. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944, Vincente Minelli)
  3. Only Angels Have Wings (1939, Howard Hawks)
  4. Late Spring (1949, Yasujiro Ozu)
  5. Napoléon (1927, Abel Gance)
  6. A Star Is Born (1954, George Cukor)
  7. Sansho the Bailiff (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi)
  8. Taipei Story (1985, Edward Yang)
  9. Gertrud (1964, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
  10. That Day, on the Beach (1983, Edward Yang)

2018 Seattle Film Critics Nominations Ballot

Note: Zama was deemed ineligible.

Best Picture

  1. First Reformed
  2. The Other Side of the Wind
  3. The Day After
  4. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  6. Bisbee ’17
  7. Burning
  8. Let the Sunshine In
  9. If Beale Street Could Talk
  10. Before We Vanish

Best Director

  1. Paul Schrader, First Reformed
  2. Orson Welles, The Other Side of the Wind
  3. Christopher McQuarrie, Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  4. Lee Chang-dong, Burning
  5. Hong Sang-soo, The Day After

Best Actor

  1. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
  2. John Huston, The Other Side of the Wind
  3. Kwon Hae-hyo, The Day After
  4. Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  5. Meinhard Neumann, Western

Best Actress

  1. Juliette Binoche, Let the Sunshine In
  2. Kim Min-hee, The Day After
  3. Regina Hall, Support the Girls
  4. Esther Garrel, Lover for a Day
  5. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Steven Yeun, Burning
  2. Peter Bogdanovich, The Other Side of the Wind
  3. Bill Heck, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  4. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
  5. Tim Blake Nelson, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
  2. Isabelle Huppert, Claire’s Camera
  3. Haley Lu Richardson, Support the Girls
  4. Zoe Kazan, The Ballad of Buster Scurggs
  5. Jeon Jeong-soo, Burning

Best Ensemble Cast

  1. The Other Side of the Wind
  2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  3. The Day After
  4. Isle of Dogs
  5. If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Youth Performance

  1. Koyu Rankin, Isle of Dogs
  2. Marco Graf, Roma
  3. Abby Ryder Fortson, Ant-Man and the Wasp
  4. Miguel Lobo, Good Manners
  5. Mahour Jabbari, Ava

Best Villain

  1. August Walker, Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  2. Ben, Burning
  3. Stephen Taubes, Notes on an Appearance
  4. Buster Scruggs, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  5. Ayoub El-Khazzani, The 15:17 to Paris

Best Screenplay

  1. Paul Schrader, First Reformed
  2. Orson Welles & Oja Kodar, The Other Side of the Wind
  3. Hong Sang-soo, The Day After
  4. Joel & Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  5. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Animated Feature

  1. Isle of Dogs

Best Documentary Feature

  1. Bisbee ’17
  2. Monrovia, Indiana
  3. Caniba
  4. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  5. The Green Fog

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. The Day After
  2. Burning
  3. Let the Sunshine In
  4. Before We Vanish
  5. Claire’s Camera

Best Cinematography

  1. Alexander Dynan, First Reformed
  2. Gary Graver, The Other Side of the Wind
  3. Hong Kyung-pyo, Burning
  4. Kim Hyung-koo, The Day After
  5. Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Best Costume Design

  1. The Other Side of the Wind
  2. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  3. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  4. Let the Sunshine In
  5. Claire’s Camera

Best Film Editing

  1. The Other Side of the Wind
  2. Bisbee ’17
  3. Let the Corpses Tan
  4. Let the Sunshine In
  5. Ready Player One

Best Original Score

  1. Michel Legrand, The Other Side of the Wind
  2. Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk
  3. Mowg, Burning
  4. Alexandre Desplat, Isle of Dogs
  5. Thom Yorke, Suspiria

Best Production Design

  1. Isle of Dogs
  2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  3. The Other Side of the Wind
  4. Burning
  5. If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Visual Effects

  1. The Other Side of the Wind
  2. Before We Vanish
  3. First Reformed
  4. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs