The Top Film Performances of 2018

9 Jan

15. (TIE) Julia Roberts, “Ben Is Back” & Joanna Kulig, “Cold War”

14. Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

13. Melissa McCarthy & Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me”

12. Daveed Diggs, “Blindspotting”

11. Olivia Cooke, “Thoroughbreds”

10. Amandla Stenberg, “The Hate U Give”: A fiery role that grows in intensity over the course of the film, marking an unavoidable and sobering transition away from innocence and childhood.

9. Thomasin McKenzie, “Leave No Trace”: In her first major role, McKenzie shines with a quiet yet impassioned performance, truly making you feel the unbreakable father-daughter bond.

8. Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Kindergarten Teacher”: The always exceptional Gyllenhaal beautifully navigates a complex role, walking the line between caring and creepy as she guides the film toward its dark end.

7. Helena Howard, “Madeline’s Madeline”: Howard’s performance is raw, wild, and yet also completely controlled. She’ll be a star.

6. Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone, “The Favourite”: A trio with boundless chemistry and a sardonic playfulness that’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

5. Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”: Thoroughly authentic, down to every awkward interaction and moment of self doubt. Fisher creates a bond with the audience unlike any other this year.

4. Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”: Hawke delivers a career best performance here, committing to his character’s spiritual crisis with an indelible boldness and ferocity.

3. Sakura Ando, “Shoplifters”: Shines brightest in an incredible ensemble, pouring every bit of love and care into her character while acknowledging the complicated moral questions at play.

2. Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”: An astounding debut for Aparicio, made even more impressive by the fact that she had never acted nor been aware of Cuaron beforehand. She is captivating in every single frame, from the moments of quiet comfort and warmth to the moments of unimaginable grief and terror.

1. Toni Collette, “Hereditary”: Collette is an absolute force of nature in this film. A virtuosic, ticking time bomb of a performance that also plumbs the dark depths of loss and pain. It’s the perfect horror film performance and the perfect devastating family drama performance. It’s all that and more, and it is unmatched in 2018. Special shoutout to Alex Wolff as well.

OTHERS CONSIDERED: Zoey Deutch (Set It Up & Flower), Carey Mulligan (Wildlife), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Steven Yeun (Burning), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Claire Foy (Unsane & First Man), Rachel McAdams (Game Night), Madeline Brewer (Cam), Regina Hall & Haley Lu Richardson (Support the Girls), Robert Redford & Sissy Spacek (The Old Man and the Gun), Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee), John Cho (Searching), Brady Jandreau (The Rider), Charlize Theron & Mackenzie Davis (Tully), Natalie Portman (Vox Lux), Rachelle Vinberg (Skate Kitchen), Hugh Grant (Paddington 2), Rachel Weisz & McAdams (Disobedience), Viola Davis (Widows), Glenn Close (The Wife), Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here), Charlie Plummer (Lean On Pete), Sandra Bullock (Bird Box), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Kelly MacDonald (Puzzle), Nicolas Cage (Mandy), Christian Bale & Amy Adams (Vice), Laura Dern (The Tale), Benicio del Toro (Sicario: Day of the Soldado), Maia Mitchell & Camila Morrone (Never Goin’ Back), Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased), Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther), Felicity Jones (On the Basis of Sex), Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)


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