Supporting Performance: Michael B. Jordan - Black Panther
Director Ryan Coogler's Black Panther dares to bring some originality and edge to the Marvel universe in this largely standalone
entry. The cast is uniformly excellent, but it's Michael B. Jordan's turn as Erik Killmonger that steals the shows. This is one of the
best villain performances in recent memory, providing a genuinely terrifying threat, as well as powerful motivation to his actions.
"Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, 'cause they knew death was better than bondage" is one of
the best lines of the year. Oh, except for maybe "Hey, Auntie."
Runner-Up: Adam Driver - BlackKkKlansman
Honorable Mentions: Marina De Tavira - Roma, Letitia Wright - Black Panther
Visual Effects: Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War wasn't the best Marvel film of the year (see above), but it did have the best effects. While I wouldn't consider
this a groundbreaking year for visual effects in any form, Avengers showcases an incredibly heavy load of shots with pretty solid
digital effects in almost all of them. The work on ultimate villain Thanos is perhaps the most impressive of the lot.
Sound Mixing: Roma
It's rare that a dialog-driven drama would take this award, but this is one of the most immersive mixes you will find. The sound
places you squarely in every environment, with enveloping use of surround channels and directional dialog.
Sound Editing: Annihilation
Annihilation flew under the radar early in 2018, but it's probably the best pure sci-fi film of the year. There is a lot of impressive
sound design going on in this film. And if you're unconvinced: the bear. Anyone who has seen Annihilation will know.
Production Design: Annihilation
In addition to its sound, Annihilation is also visually-stunning in every sense of the word. Once the film journeys into the shimmer,
we are treated to a visual master class in bizarre, otherworldly art that is alternately hauntingly beautiful and utterly horrifying.
Original Score: Black Panther - Ludwig Göransson
Black Panther's score nearly lost this award due solely to the film's abysmal sound mixing, which has a bad tendency to under-mix
Ludwig's Göransson's excellent score. Despite this, it manages to have a strong presence in the film, with excellent use of
African-inspired instrumentation and vocals, high-flying moments of brassy heroics, and a boldly modern, punchy theme for its
Runner-Up: Ready Player One - Alan Silvestri
Honorable Mention: The Cloverfield Paradox - Bear McCreary
The incredible transformation of Christian Bale into former Vice President Dick Cheney is stunning to behold, and Vice wins this
award for that single accomplishment without reservation.
Between Vice and The Big Short, director Adam McKay has become an expert on integrating exposition into his films. Editor Hank
Corwin does a masterful job in cross-cutting the main narrative with various historical interjections and conceptual explanations.
The fact that it works at all is a testament to his work, even if the film itself has a number of flaws that hold it back from greatness.
Costume Design: Black Panther
The vibrant colors and woven textures of the Wakandan costumes are truly stunning, and are the most impressive examples of
costume design this year.
It might seem trendy to give a black-and-white film this award, but in the hands of visualist director Alfonso Cuarón, who served as
his own director of photography on the film, Roma's cinematography is absolutely stunning. Beautifully lensed with the gorgeous
contrast black-and-white provides, Cuarón's fluid camerawork shines. He even utilizes some of his trademark extended takes,
including an incredible shot as a character wades far into the ocean, making for a genuinely terrifying moment.
Performance: Lady Gaga - A Star is Born
I suppose we already knew Lady Gaga was a star, but who knew she would give a performance like this in what amounts to her true
feature film debut? This is a stunning, raw and natural performance that captivates not just in the concert sequences, but the
character-driven ones, as well. It feels like this role is very personal to her, and she is powerful and authentic in every moment.
Runner-Up: Christian Bale - Vice
Honorable Mentions: John David Washington - BlacKkKlansman, Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born
For a film based on an African American detective working in an inherently racist police department to bring down a local chapter
of the Ku Klux Klan, BlacKkKlansman's screenplay is not what you would expect at all. But it's also exceptional. The story is
horrifying and empowering, but also surprisingly hilarious at times. It's this ability to span multiple tones seamlessly (and
brilliantly) that makes BlacKkKlansman the best written film of the year.
Director: Spike Lee - BlacKkKlansman
Director Spike Lee skillfully fuses the tones mentioned in the previous category into a cohesive film that is brilliantly acted and
expertly edited. There are even a few visual flourishes, and Lee does a phenomenal job interspersing the disgusting, disturbing,
and absurd, with moments of humor and inspiration. It's a powerful and entertaining film that I feel only Spike Lee could have
directed this way, and this well.
Runner-Up: Alfonso Cuarón - Roma
Honorable Mentions: Alex Garland - Annihilation, Ryan Coogler - Black Panther, Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born
Best Picture: BlacKkKlansman
BlacKkKlansman is an exceptional piece of filmmaking that uses history in subtle ways (and some not so subtle) to comment on
the present. It's at times terrifying and disturbing, but also a wonderful piece of entertainment, with its surprising wit and character.
Performances are exceptional, with fantastic supporting work from Adam Driver, and a breakout showing by John David
Washington. Director Spike Lee is in top form, helming the production with confidence and determination. Even the score from
Terrance Blanchard is quite good.
BlacKkKlansman is a powerful film, an exceptional piece of entertainment, and the best film of 2018.
Welcome to the 2019 Greggy Awards! Believe it or not, I do still watch movies!
So, in lieu of any other content this year, please enjoy reading about my picks for the best of film in 2018!