The 2018 Cinematique Film Awards: Part 2

As well as the writing and acting categories, I will also be revealing my Top 11 of the year! Hope ya’ll agree with my picks….

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BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

OTHER CONTENDERS

  • BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
  • I, TONYA
  • ISLE OF DOGS
  • LADY BIRD
  • ROMA
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BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

THE SHAPE OF WATER

OTHER CONTENDERS

  • CRAZY RICH ASIANS
  • CREED II
  • MARY POPPINS RETURNS
  • THE POST
  • READY PLAYER ONE
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BEST DIRECTOR

GUILLERMO DEL TORO – THE SHAPE OF WATER

OTHER CONTENDERS

  • ALFONSO CUARON – ROMA
  • ROB MARSHALL – MARY POPPINS RETURNS
  • MARTIN MCDONAGH – THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
  • ANTHONY RUSSO & JOSEPH RUSSO – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG – READY PLAYER ONE
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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

ALLISON JANNEY (LAVONA GOLDEN) – I, TONYA

Never much doubt with the winner of this category. Janney deservedly scooped the Best Supporting Actress Oscar earlier this year for her portrayal of Tonya Harding’s abusive and embittered mother in I, Tonya. Runner-up was a tough call between the lovely Lucy Boynton’s role as Freddie Mercury’s loyal friend Mary Austin in Bohemian Rhapsody and Michelle Yeoh’s intimidating turn as wealthy socialite Eleanor Young in Crazy Rich Asians.

OTHER CONTENDERS

  • LUCY BOYNTON – BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
  • LAURIE METCALF – LADY BIRD
  • OCTAVIA SPENCER – THE SHAPE OF WATER
  • TESSA THOMPSON – CREED II
  • MICHELLE YEOH – CRAZY RICH ASIANS
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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

SAM ROCKWELL (JASON DIXON) –
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

Again, no big surprise here with another Oscar-winning performance landing the win here. Sam Rockwell was dominant in awards season earlier this year as he clinched the Academy Award for his role as violent Missouri cop Jason Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Runner-up was Josh Brolin’s sinister turn as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.

OTHER CONTENDERS

  • JOSH BROLIN – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
  • WOODY HARRELSON – THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
  • RICHARD JENKINS – THE SHAPE OF WATER
  • MICHAEL B. JORDAN – BLACK PANTHER
  • SYLVESTER STALLONE – CREED II
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BEST ACTRESS

FRANCES MCDORMAND (MILDRED HAYES) –
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

This was probably the strongest Best Actress category ever with plenty of stunning performances. Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) were strong contenders but I eventually opted for the Academy Award winner of last season in Frances McDormand. Her portrayal of scorned Missouri woman Mildred Hayes was her second Oscar success for Best Actress having previously won for Fargo in 1997.

OTHER CONTENDERS

  • EMILY BLUNT – MARY POPPINS RETURNS
  • SALLY HAWKINS – THE SHAPE OF WATER
  • MARGOT ROBBIE – I, TONYA
  • SAOIRSE RONAN – LADY BIRD
  • MERYL STREEP – THE POST
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BEST ACTOR

RAMI MALEK (FREDDIE MERCURY) – BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

My thoughts on Rami’s performance from my review of Bohemian Rhapsody back in October.

“In a role that is far away from his socially-awkward portrayal of Elliot Alderson in Mr Robot, Rami Malek transforms into Freddie Mercury even without having to actually sing. He does a terrific job of conveying the many mannerisms of Freddie from the way he walks and talks while also capturing the showmanship of the great man’s talent. But there is also another side to the performance that reveals the vulnerability that Freddie struggled with during his conflict with sexuality and illness and we can only hope that Malek will be a major contender for Best Actor throughout the upcoming awards season.”

OTHER CONTENDERS

  • CHADWICK BOSEMAN – BLACK PANTHER
  • TOM HANKS – THE POST
  • MICHAEL B. JORDAN – CREED II
  • LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA – MARY POPPINS RETURNS
  • GARY OLDMAN – DARKEST HOUR

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FILM OF THE YEAR

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: BLACK PANTHER, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, THE POST, ROMA

#11. ISLE OF DOGS

Our list begins with Wes Anderson’s offbeat and crisply-made animation Isle of Dogs. The film’s premise about a boy who tries to retrieve his dog from an island inhabited by other canines was an unusual one for Anderson to make. But like most of his previous work, the film is very stylish and full of beautiful visuals while also incorporating a strong use of dry and ironic humour (“I bite.”) that is enough to make anyone chuckle. However the film also deals with some weighty issues (including fascism and corruption) that eventually lead up to a strong ending. Extra praise also must go to the brilliant voice cast ranging from Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton to Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray.

 

#10. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

One of the big awards favourities of 2018, this compelling drama from writer-director Martin McDonagh centred on the frustrations of scornful individual Mildred Hayes who would go to war with the local authorities over their failure to find her daughter’s killer. Frances McDormand was in spectacular form in her role as Mildred and deservedly won her second Best Actress Oscar. The film’s strong ensemble further strengthed it which included Sam Rockwell’s explosive turn as morally ambiguous cop Jason Dixon. Despite its low budget, the film did well to include black comedy in its powerful story while also being remembered for its ‘three-billboard’ image which was memorably renacted by Grenfell protestors earlier this year.

 

#9. I, TONYA

We take to the ice for my next entry on the list which depicts the true story of one of the most controversial female athletes of all-time. Having already showcased her ability to play a deranged individual in Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie mesmerised audiences with her fantastic portrayal of ice-skater Tonya Harding whose career was defined by a memorable incident involving her rival Nancy Kerrigan. The film brilliantly captured Tonya’s struggles with Allison Janney deservedly winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as her horrible mother LaVona. Throw in a top-notch soundtrack and some well-choreographed skating scenes and you’ve got one of the best biopics of recent years.

 

#8. READY PLAYER ONE

As one of the greatest directors of all-time, Steven Spielberg made a welcoming return to the sci-fi genre with his action-packed and nostalgia-filled blockbuster Ready Player One. From start to finish, the film is just pure fun and thrills as we find ourselves following young hero Wade (Tye Sheridan) in the virtual reality world known as the Oasis. The visuals are a joy to behold with some spectacular scenes worthy of the big-screen including the first race and the film’s climatic showdown. However it’s the incredible Shining sequence that is most memorable as our heroes try to find an Egg inside the Overlook Hotel. If you love pop culture references from the 80s and 90s, then this film is for you!

 

#7. CRAZY RICH ASIANS

Acclaimed rom-coms have been in short supply over the years but thankfully Crazy Rich Asians proved a delightful surprise for many audiences. Featuring a mostly-Asian cast, the film delivered an exquisite story about a Chinese-American professor (Constance Wu) struggling to overcome the snobbery of her boyfriend’s wealthy family. From its solid cast, newcomers Wu and Henry Golding produced excellent chemistry in their roles with Michelle Yeoh effective as the disapproving Eleanor. Additionally, the incredible setting of the film in Singapore also proved to be a masterstoke as we found ourselves spellbound by this beautiful country as well as the costumes and sets. We can only hope that the sequel is just as satisfying.
 

#6. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Following the heavy ending of Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe decided to sit back and have a little fun by catching up with Scott Lang and co. in the very enjoyable Ant-Man and the Wasp. Like its predessessor, the fast-paced sequel saw Paul Rudd’s Scott teaming up with Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne and Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym to save San Francisco from a new threat. The narrative gave equal time to both and Scot and Hope as well as producing an interesting villain played by Hannah-John Kamen. The production is slick and revels in its visuals which once again involve shrinking and growing. A fun caper with plenty of memorable characters and a powerful post-credits scene that ties in to THAT other Marvel film.

 

#5. CREED II

After the success of 2015’s Creed, the follow-up to the Rocky spinoff series saw Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) continue his rise as a talented fighter. But being presented with the opportunity to fight the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) made the stakes in this outing much, much higher. Once again, the film relies on the effective partnership between Adonis and his loyal coach Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) as the pair encounter their toughest challenge yet. Fans of Rocky IV would also savour the return of Drago whose backstory is given more complexity and makes the climatic fight between Adonis and Viktor an important one. A very satisfying sequel that looks to have been a solid swansong for Stallone and his beloved character.

 

#4. THE SHAPE OF WATER

Just shy of the bronze position is this year’s Oscar-winning fantasy drama The Shape of Water which was beautifully made by visionary Guillermo del Toro. Though some were perplexed by the bizarre love story between a mute cleaner and an amphibian man, the film won the hearts of many critics and audiences with its complex characters and enchanting production values (including a wonderful score from Alexandre Desplat). A lot of credit also had to go to the talented cast spearheaded by the brilliant Sally Hawkins who was well supported by Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and the versatile Michael Shannon. A worthy winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture and certainly a heart-warming, extraordinary piece of cinema.

 

#3. MARY POPPINS RETURNS

Into the top 3, we have the long-awaited sequel to Disney’s beloved family classic Mary Poppins which was also the last film I watched in 2018. There was a lot of skepticism about whether Rob Marshall could pull off making a strong sequel to the 1964 masterpiece but thankfully Returns proved to be just as magical and warm-hearted. Stepping into Julie Andrews’s shoes was always going to be a tough ask for Emily Blunt but her portrayal of the legedanry nanny deserved just as much praise while there were also fine acting contributions from the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer. Everything else about the film was also a delight to savour from the production and costumes to the terrific cameos and of course, the stunning music. This certainly was a trip a little light fantastic!

 

#2. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Forget the Greatest Showman and Mamma Mia 2, the runner-up on this list was a film that REALLY made me belt out the tunes as one of the greatest bands of all-time finally saw their story hit the big-screen. Though Bohemian Rhapsody sent shivers down the spines of many critics, the biopic was a huge success with audiences and has already made over $600 million in the world-wide box-office. In a far cry from his subtle role in Mr. Robot, Egyptian actor Rami Malek turned on the style with his flamboyant and acclaimed turn as legendary singer Freddie Mercury with Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joe Mazello also lending solid support as the rest of the Queen members. Of course, it’s the music that made us fall in love with the film with the incredible Live Aid sequence proving to be the perfect end to a musical rollercoaster. As for the critics, well sorry guys but us fans don’t care what you think, it’s a kind of magic! Ayyyy-Oh!

 

#1. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

Was there any doubt? Marvel delivered exactly what they promised us after ten years and eighteen exhilarating films with a devastating and epic blockbuster that took our breath away. The opening scenes of Thanos (brilliantly played by Josh Brolin) taking out two key characters from the Thor series already set the tone for what was to come as the sinister villain reigned havoc on the people of Earth. The film excelled at getting some of our favourite superheroes like Iron Man and Star-Lord together which provided plenty of light humour (especially from Drax) but also incorporated a number of unexpected surprises e.g. the death of one of the Guardians and the return of a former Marvel supervillain. However the final few minutes would ultimately change the course of the MCU as one click of a finger from Thanos would lead to heavy losses and set everything up for next year’s hugely-anticipated follow-up. A spectacular masterpiece worthy of the number one spot! Bring on Endgame!
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And that’s that for 2018. Thank you once again to all my readers for continuing to support my website throughout.

Have a Happy New Year guys!

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