Monday, 31 December 2018

The Best of 2018: 38th Shadows Awards

These are films I saw in 2018, regardless of their release dates. All were seen by public audiences in cinemas - either on general release, specialty screenings or at festivals, during the past 12 months. These were especially difficult lists to narrow down!

A far more extensive version of this is on the website at 38TH SHADOWS AWARDS, for those who can't get enough of this sort of thing: longer lists, many more categories, trivia-o-rama.

My top film this year is not only a bracingly ripping true story, but it captures and confronts the current cultural mood with skill and invention. It's also a wonderful return to fighting form for filmmaker Spike Lee, who last won my best film prize in 1989 for Do the Right Thing.


  1. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee)
  2. Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski)
  3. The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)
  4. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
  5. Generation Wealth (Lauren Greenfield)
  6. Capernaum (Nadine Labaki)
  7. We the Animals (Jeremiah Zagar)
  8. Colette (Wash Westmoreland)
  9. Shoplifters (Hirokazu Koreeda)
  10. Sofia (Meryem Benm'Barek)

  1. Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
  2. Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
  3. Ari Aster (Hereditary)
  4. Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk)
  5. Nadine Labaki (Capernaum)
  6. Bart Layton (American Animals)
  7. Chloe Zhao (The Rider)
  8. Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
  9. Jeremiah Zagar (We the Animals)
  10. Meryem Benm'Barek (Sofia)


  1. Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk)
  2. Pawel Pawlikowski, Janusz Glowacki (Cold War)
  3. Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland, Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Colette)
  4. Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara (The Favourite)
  5. Daniel Kokotajlo (Apostasy)
  6. Bart Layton (American Animals)
  7. Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
  8. Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting)
  9. Alex Garland (Annihilation)
  10. Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek (The Breaker Upperers)


  1. Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
  2. Joanna Kulig (Cold War)
  3. Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place, Mary Poppins Returns)
  4. Agnes Jaoui (I Got Life!)
  5. Eva Melander (Border)
  6. Toni Collette (Hereditary, Hearts Beat Loud, Madame)
  7. Anna Brun (The Heiresses)
  8. Natalie Portman (Vox Lux, Annihilation)
  9. Claire Foy (Unsane, First Man)
  10. Rosamund Pike (A Private War, Beirut, Entebbe)


  1. Michael B Jordan (Black Panther, Creed II, Fahrenheit 451)
  2. Brady Landreau (The Rider)
  3. Rupert Everett (The Happy Prince)
  4. Tomasz Kot (Cold War)
  5. Marcello Fonte (Dogman)
  6. John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman, Monsters and Men)
  7. Zain Al Rafeea (Capernaum)
  8. Steve Carell (Beautiful Boy, Vice, Welcome to Marwen)
  9. Alex Lawther (Freak Show, Ghost Stories)
  10. Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)


  1. Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
  2. Florence Pugh (Outlaw King)
  3. Millicent Simmonds (A Quiet Place)
  4. Sarah Perles (Sofia)
  5. Cynthia Erivo (Widows, Bad Times at the El Royale)
  6. Sissy Spacek (The Old Man & the Gun)
  7. Danai Gurira (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War)
  8. Sakura Ando (Shoplifters)
  9. Molly Wright (Apostasy)
  10. Elizabeth Debicki (Widows, The Cloverfield Paradox)


  1. Brian Tyree Henry (Widows, If Beale Street Could Talk, White Boy Rick, Hotel Artemis)
  2. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Outlaw King)
  3. Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther, Widows)
  4. Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)
  5. Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite)
  6. Jonah Hill (Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot)
  7. Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  8. Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place, That Good Night)
  9. Barry Keoghan (Black '47, American Animals)
  10. Jude Law (Vox Lux, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald)

  1. Mile 22 (Peter Berg)
  2. The Strangers: Prey at Night (Johannes Roberts)
  3. Truth or Dare (Jeff Wadlow)
  4. Midnight Sun (Scott Speer)
  5. Fifty Shades Freed (James Foley)
  6. Life Itself (Dan Fogelman)
  7. Strangeways Here We Come (Chris Green)
  8. The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood)
  9. Venom (Ruben Fleischer)
  10. Action Point (Tim Kirkby)

N O N - F I L M   D I V I S I O N


  1. Pose (FX)
  2. Schitt's Creek (CBN)
  3. Fleabag (BBC)
  4. Everything Sucks! (Netflix)
  5. Killing Eve (BBC)
  6. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (Prime)
  7. Patrick Melrose (Showtime)
  8. A Very English Scandal (BBC)
  9. Atlanta (FX)
  10. Trust (FX)


  1. This Is America (Childish Gambino)
  2. Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (Mark Ronson & Miley Cyrus)
  3. One Kiss (Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa)
  4. Shallow (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper)
  5. Promises (Sam Smith & Calvin Harris)
  6. Happier (Marshmello & Bastille)
  7. Make Me Feel (Janelle Monae)
  8. Better Now (Post Malone)
  9. Ruin My Life (Zara Larsson)
  10. This Is Me (Keala Settle)

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