Movies: The year in performances

Brad Keefe
Ethan Hawke (left) stars in “First Reformed,"

Last week, I ran down my top 10 movies of 2018. This week, let's recap some of the year's best individual performances, along with some other category winners.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”

Given his body of work, one could make the case that Cuaron is simply the best director. His deeply personal portrait of a Mexico City domestic worker showcases his ability to both wow you and make you feel everything.

Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

In a film that boasts up to four of the best acting performances of the year, Colman's frail and emotionally unstable queen is both comedically perfect and an incredible display of range.

Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”

Hawke's performance as a small-town minister navigating his own crushing existential dilemma is as jaw-dropping as the inexplicable fact that he's already been snubbed by the Golden Globes and SAG.

Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Though Emma Stone's performance in the same film is almost on-par, Weisz employs icy calculation in navigating royal court politics to magnificent places with deadpan perfection.

Best Supporting Actor: Josh Hamilton, “Eighth Grade”

While “Eighth Grade” had one of the year's breakout performances in young star Elsie Fisher, let's not forget Hamilton's sweet and loving single dad, who had me crying every time I watched that fire pit scene.

Best Documentary: “Won't You Be My Neighbor?”

Speaking of crying, here's the Fred Rogers documentary I recommended to friends if “they wanted to start crying and possibly never stop crying again.”

Best Foreign Language Film: “Cold War”

Set across several years in post-war Poland, this is one of the year's best love stories. And like the best love stories, it's a complicated one.

Best Horror Film: “Hereditary”

In a year that also saw the unlikely and deserved success of “A Quiet Place” and the instant-cult status of “Mandy,” this is the one that best got under the skin, thanks to a brilliant performance by Toni Collette.

Best Crowd Pleaser: “Crazy Rich Asians”

Thankfully, the Oscars have scrapped that “best popular film” idea, but this would have been my nominee. It was glossy, poppy, romantic comedy perfection, and I think people don't appreciate how hard that is to pull off.

Best Pulp Fiction: “Bad Times at the El Royale”

Meaning this category as both a genre and, yeah, a Quentin Tarantino nod, Drew Goddard's twisty and wild noir ensemble flick was criminally underseen.

Most Brad Movie: “Destination Wedding”

Years and years ago, a friend (accurately) described me as “a romantic masquerading as a cynic,” so this direct-to-Amazon Winona Ryder/Keanu Reeves comedy was a movie I can't expect anyone else to love as much as me. It's “His Girl Friday” meets bad Hallmark romantic comedy, if that sounds like something that would float your boat.