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Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

The 2019 Bi-Czarries: A Final Look Back at 2018


The Bi-Czarries Awards and 2018 Postmortem -- by FilmZ and Guy S. Malone, Researcher

We wrap up each movie year a week after the Oscars with the Bi-Czarries, our reflection on what the previous year's film awards might look like if chosen by an arbitrary and capricious despot and a research wonk, with input from the Lunatic Fringe Film Group and FilmZ's family. 

The lists below reflect only the 2018 movies we saw.  Note, though, Guy S. Malone, Researcher vets the films, so there's a strong likelihood we will like them or that they will be in the running for awards.  Despite significant evidence to the contrary, GSM,R is human, so there were klunkers, and we list them at the end.  Also note, each film in our Best of 2018 made several critical Top-Ten lists, but the two of us selected the final 15, with feedback from our family and our movie group of Lunatic Fringers. 

Here are a few quotes from Lunatic Fringers:
Captain HE - "Many good movies did not receive the critical acceptance I thought they deserved. Red Sparrow leads that category, from my perspective, along with Blindspotting and American Animals."
Serfing Dude - "Among my favorites were Green Book, BlacKkKlansman, Vice, and Bohemian Rhapsody. I am sure I missed one or two others that I also thought highly of this year, but I guess I should be happy I remembered that many!"
Ambrose Wolfinger, PhD - "Seeing Green Book, Lady Gaga‘s performance & ending the season with They Shall Not Grow Old says it all for me!"

Here we go:

BEST FILMS OF 2018

The Favourite - period drama with a surreal, black comedy twist; best film of the year

Green Book - for the last time, they saved each other, a top pick of the group

Vice - McKay makes history memorable and fun, even as we watched democracy die

Black Panther - yes, it was that good

Blindspotting - a film worth rallying around (see Hidden Gems, below)

The Death of Stalin - Steve Buscemi as Khrushchev; Michael Palin as Molotov--'nuf said

BlacKkKlansman - intense, entertaining memoir Black detective's infiltration of the KKK

Red Sparrow - LeCarre'-style spy intrigue, terrific international cast, gorgeous locations

Free Solo - climb Yosemite's 3,200-foot face of El Capitan with no ropes or safety gear

They Shall Not Grow Old 
- Peter Jackson's incredible rendering of archival WWI film

Leave No Trace - Debra Granik's contemplative brilliance shines (see Hidden Gems, below)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - an animated feature with comic book flash

Mission Impossible: Fallout - the best action movie of the year

Bohemian Rhapsody - fan favorite stole the show at the end--both plot and the film itself

American Animals - part heist film, part documentary that gave us insight into the crooks

____________________________________________________________________________

PERFORMANCES

Actress: 
Toni Collette - Hereditary

Actor: 
Christian Bale - Vice

Supporting Actress: 
Amy Adams - Vice

Supporting Actor:
Richard E. Grant - Can You Ever Forgive Me?

______________________________________________________________________________

We recommend all of the films unless otherwise noted (see the last category for movies that disappointed).  In the categories below, the film titles in Bold made our list of Top Films of 2018 above.  You'll also note that some films fall in several categories and some do better in one category than another; for example, we ranked Ant-Man and the Wasp higher than Deadpool 2 in ACTION/FANTASY, but Deadpool 2 higher than Ant-Man and the Wasp in COMEDY.

Outside of this, there isn't much in the way of explanation until the last two categories: HIDDEN GEMS and DISAPPOINTMENTS because, you know, you deserve an explanation.

______________________________________________________________________________

DRAMAS

The Favourite
Green Book
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
Tully
A Star is Born
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
The Wife

_____________________________________________________________________________

INDEPENDENT FILMS 
(under $20 million budget)

Blindspotting
Leave No Trace
American Animals
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Eighth Grade
Roma
If Beale Street Could Talk
The Wife
Hereditary
At Eternity’s Gate

_____________________________________________________________________________

POLITICAL AND CRIME DRAMA

Vice
Red Sparrow
American Animals
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Widows
Operation Finale
Sicario: Soldado

_____________________________________________________________________________

ACTION/FANTASY

Black Panther
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Avengers: Infinity War
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Deadpool 2
Solo: A Star Wars Story
A Quiet Place
Annihilation
Hereditary
Sicario: Soldado

______________________________________________________________________________

COMEDY

The Death of Stalin
Deadpool 2
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Game Night
Eighth Grade
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

_____________________________________________________________________________

DOCUMENTARY

Free Solo
They Shall Not Grow Old
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
RBG
Fahrenheit 11/9

_____________________________________________________________________________

ANIMATED

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs

_____________________________________________________________________________

HIDDEN GEMS

Blindspotting - two friends confront past and present; Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal wrote and star

Leave No Trace - Ben Foster's vet with PTSD, daughter Thomasin McKenzie live off the grid

American Animals - documentary and heist film blend seamlessly in this true story

Tully - Charlize Theron did enough to deserve an Oscar nom in this comedy-drama

Solo: A Star Wars Story - critics and fans missed out on the most underrated Star Wars film

At Eternity's Gate - a truly artisitic work Julian Schnabel; Willem Dafoe eyes tell it all

___________________________________________________________________________

DISAPPOINTMENTS

Oceans 8 - good heist films have twists and surprises, Oceans has coincidences and deus ex machina

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - dead-end subplots, sequel set-up, that's it

Bad Times at the El Royale - the trailer promised more than the film provided

The Girl in the Spider’s Web - traded intelligence for action; fans of the series will feel betrayed

The House with the Clock in its Walls - small children might like it, but it might be too scary for them




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