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The Films of 2018. The 19th annual FiLM BiTCH Awards

PICTURE | ACTING | VISUALS | AURALS | EXTRAS - YOU ARE HERESPECIAL | SCENES 

 

AND THE NOMINEES ARE...

Best Actress in a Limited Performance, Cameo,
or Voice Only Role

discuss
Jeanne Balibar
"Juliette"
COLD WAR
Leticia Brédice
"Sherezada"
MUSEO
Jane Curtin
"Marjorie"
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Rebecca Field
"Gail"
A STAR IS BORN
Elizabeth McGovern
"Elaine Mozell"
THE WIFE 
 She's the perfect blend of French intellectual sophistication and sexual nonchalance as a renowned poet who briefly comes between the central lovers. Immediately knows what's up with Wiktor and Zula; also doesn't care.
This Argentine actress/ singer arrives late in Museo's rambling second act but seduces and emotes with worn-out aplomb as a dancer/actress leading the protagonist through an ill advised drug-fueled night.  Imagine dealing with Lee's misanthropy for years. From Marjorie's guarded welcome at her literary party to that brutal dressing down in her office (I suggest you look for a new line of work), she's giving you exasperated personal history. Her calm but hurried competence reaches right out, pulling you so warmly through the backstage frenzy that you're already in love with A Star is Born's signature scene before Lady Gaga blows the roof off the place with "Shallow"  While The Wife's flashback sequences are its weakest element, McGovern gifts one of them with true potency, as an influential writer, delivering a sharply cynical and no-fuss direct address to the movie's thesis statement.
 

Finalists: Jackie Weaver as "Agnieszka" in WidowsPhoebe Waller-Bridge as "L3-37" (voice only) in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Angela Lansbury as "Balloon Lady" in Mary Poppins Returns

Semi-FinalistsGreta Gerwig as "Tracy Walker" in Isle of Dogs (voice only), Jean Smart as "Margaret McLanden" in A Simple FavorKate Bornstein as "Joan" in Saturday Church, and Alix Bénézech as "French Policewoman" in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

 

Best Actor in a Limited Performance, Cameo
or Voice Only Role

discuss
Simon Russell Beale
"Frank Graves"
MUSEO
Philip Ettinger
"Michael"
FIRST REFORMED
Corey Hawkins
"Kwame Ture"
BLACK KLANSMAN
Brian Tyree Henry
"Daniel Carty"
IF BEALE ST COULD TALK
Bradley Whitford
"DiFranco"
DESTROYER
 Beale is one of the most reliable undersung character actors in the world. Here he goes through a full range of feeling, trying to suss out the amateur criminals who are trying to sell him stolen goods. 
 While Ethan Hawke is indeed brilliant at the center of this despairing drama, he doesn't do its first haunting. That honor falls to this fine stage actor whose despair is spellbindingly complete and whose mind is on one dead-end track alone. 
Hawkins is utterly believable as a gifted orator who can keep a room of locals in rapt attention while unknowingly enlightening an undercover cop who wasn't really there for it. What a speech. And what a scene.
 Over the course of one long scene Henry gives us a full life -- a glimpse of the fun-loving lighthearted soul that Fonny once knew -- and the shell of that same man just underneath the happy facade, haunted by a life broken by an unjust prison sentence.
Oozing wealth, criminality, and a soul long-since sold, he's chewing the scenery, sure, but it's delicious. The aftertaste sure is bitter as he swings from cruel superiority and mockery to fearing a threat he didn't take seriously.
 

Finalists: A shout out to the supremely gifted stuntman/actor Liang Yang as the fake "John Lark" in Mission: Impossible - Fallout's best scene: the bathroom brawl. Also Harry Belafonte's gravitas in monologue as "Jerome Turner" in Black Klansman

Semi Finalists: Willam Belli as "Emerald" in A Star is BornJon Michael Hill as "Reverend Wheeler" in Widows, Christopher Abbot as "Reporter" in Vox Lux, Joe Alwyn as "Henry" in Boy Erased, and Steven Roberts as a calming teacher in Tully

 

 

Best Juvenile Performance (Under 18)
discuss
Elsie Fisher
"Kayla Day"
EIGHTH GRADE
Jyo Kairi
"Shota"
SHOPLIFTERS
Evan Rosado
"Jonah"
WE THE ANIMALS
Victor Polser
"Lara"
GIRL
Zain Al Rafeea
"Zain"
CAPERNAUM
 What a tremendous talent Fisher already is, fashioning a whole multi-faceted young person from awkward monologues to non-existent fans. The greatest touch is the peaks at who future Kayla might be -- a common concern of the film given its time capsules -- how she might well blossom or what could lead her to shut down, nature and nurture always at play.
 Though Shoplifters is an ensemble drama, Kairi has to do a lot of its groundwork heavy lifting, keeping us guessing about his exact relationship and feelings toward his "parents" and also navigating a new relationship with an adopted sister. He's terrific throughout, nailing that final emotional piece of the film's overall thesis. What a task to paint a portrait of a little boy gradually awakening to his otherness, ambivalent and then angry about separating from what he knows he'll have to leave behind. The way Rosado watches his screen parents (Sheila Vand and Raul Castillo, both doing fine desperate work) is revealing and touching in equal measure.

While the casting was controversial (the casting challenge was enormous as Lara is a trans girl trained in boys ballet her whole childhood), the performance is blessedly free of the film's often questionable POV, offering up a careful introverted depiction of a willful girl, impatient for her life to begin and very very hard on herself. Great rapport with screen-father Arieh Worthalter.  

 Tempted to just slot him in the Best Actor list but we created this category for a reason. It's always hard to judge what a child actor is doing versus how they're being directed but when they're great they still deserve kudos. One of the best child performances we've ever seen. Emotionally raw but street hardened, Zain is just riveting and on camera every moment.

 

Finalists: Miyu Sasaki breaks your heart as abandoned "Yuri" in Shoplifters, blossoming with the tiniest bit of affection, Jake Ryan is hilariously and adorably nerdy as "Gabe" in Eighth Grade

Semi Finalists: Ed Oxenbould as "Joe Brinson" in Wildlife, Luke Prael as "Aiden" in Eighth Grade, Millicent Simmonds as "Regan Abbott" in A Quiet Place, Noah Jupe as "Marcus Abbott" in A Quiet Place, and Emily Robinson as "Olivia" in Eighth Grade

 

Breakthrough Performer
The basic criteria is being a) early in movie career and b) making us
immediately want to see them in something else soon! (Note: Actors are not eligible for this category if they are nominated in one of the four traditional acting categories)
discuss
Awkwafina
for
CRAZY RICH ASIANS and OCEANS 8
Cynthia Erivo
for
WIDOWS (debut) and BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
Henry Golding for CRAZY RICH ASIANS (debut) and A SIMPLE FAVOR Jun Jong-Seo
for BURNING (debut)
Joanna Kulig
for COLD WAR
  Though she's mostly had comic supporting roles to date she's already a scene stealer, and after we'd selected her for this honor (this draft was done a month or two ago) she got raves for a dramatic role at Sundance. She's obviously in it for the long haul.    Not all stage talents transfer well to the screen. Erivo won the Tony and blew the roof of the theater with her turn as Celie in The Color Purple and -- hooray! -- she's also completely watchable on the big screen. Can't wait for Harriet.   It's no surprise that people are already suggesting him for James Bond as he appears to have it all. We haven't yet seen much range (idealized groom in a smash hit romcom and then great catch husband in a fun mystery) but we're eager to see what's next. It was absolutely shocking to learn that this was Jun Jong-Seo's first movie, she's so preternaturally gifted in front of the camera. A mesmerizing screen presence and if Burning is anything to go by she can handle complex characters, too. This Polish actress has been working in Poland for some time but after a brief apperance in the Oscar winning Ida really breaks out with this leading role. The camera loves her. Such fire and ice this performance.  
 

Finalists: Thomasin McKenzie Leave No Trace, Elsie Fisher Eighth Grade and Letitia Wright for Black Panther and Infinity War

Semi Finalists: Alex Sharp How to Talk to Girls at Parties (debut), Brady Jandreau The Rider (debut), Victor Polser for Girl (debut), Yalitza Aparicio for Roma (debut)

Note: I did not see Madeline's Madeline so apologies to Helena Howard who impressed a lot of people.

 

Best Ensemble Performance
discuss
BLACKkKLANSMAN BLACK PANTHER THE FAVOURITE SHOPLIFTERS WIDOWS

Driver
Washington
Hawkins
Grace
Harrier
Eggold
Paakonnen
Burke
Whitlock Jr
etc...

 There's as much difference in acting styles from broadly cartoonish to minimalist nuance, as there is in Spike Lee's typically dexterous tonal juggling. And yet it all works.

Boseman
Jordan
Bassett
Whitaker
Wright
Nyong'o
Gurai
Serkis
Freeman
etc...

All of them are so savvy about how to make the fantasy pop with utmost conviction, without being too serious. Sly handoffs, regal bearing, and believaby complex loyalties

Colman
Stone
Weisz
Hoult
Smith
Alwyn
Gatiss
Horatio
etc...

 One might say that any actor would excel with dialogue this good. But when a whole team is on fire, and simultaneously peaking, there's more than just a fine script on hand. There's perfect ensemble chemistry and a strong director.

Ando
Kairi
Sasaki
Franky
Matsuoka
Ikematsu
etc...

 With a theme of the value and love of non-biological families, this ensemble needs to feel both totally like blood and also like islands choosing to share the same waters. So much moving connection within their isolation.

Davis
Debicki
Erivo
Kaluuya
Haas
Henry
Dillahunt
Neeson
Oduye
etc...

  What all all-star ensembles should strive for. There's meat for each actor to chew on but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts with frictions, alliances, betrayals, animosities, from an electric collective.

 

Finalists: Crazy Rich Asians, Support the Girls

Semi-Finalists: Love Simon, Hereditary, We the Animals, The Hate U Give, and What They Had

 

Best Casting
discuss
Kim Coleman
BLACKkKLANSMAN
Sarah Finn
BLACK PANTHER
Jennifer Euston
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Allison Jones & Meredith Tucker
EIGHTH GRADE
Sally Allen & Tobi Cobb Brock
SUPPORT THE GIRLS
 For so many memorable faces in all three locales (police station, kkk dens, and activist events). For pairing Washington & Driver.  For assembling such a who's who of black excellence and actors with conviction and gravitas enough to sell the fantasy. For such a full circle part to Richard E Grant (when it could have been anyone) for rich array of NYC stage talent in supporting roles.  For one of the most believable collection of 8th graders and all of them who can actually act, or least be on camera with a glorious lack of actorly affectation For a new way to think about and love Regina Hall and Haley Lu Richardson. For the debut of comic natural Shayna McHale and that "Rainbow Policy" staff. 
 

Finalists: The Favourite (Dixie Chassay)... even the extras are pitch perfect, Crazy Rich Asians (Terri Taylor) so much talent and sexiness.

Semi Finalists: Boy Erased (Carmen Cuba), We the Animals (Ann Goulder), Sorry to Bother You (Eyde Belasco), The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Jessica Daniels), and A Star is Born (Lindsay Graham and Mary Vernieu)

 

The Films of 2018. The 19th annual FiLM BiTCH Awards

PICTURE | ACTING | VISUALS | AURALS | EXTRAS - YOU ARE HERE | SPECIAL | SCENES