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C O N S I D E R - Best of the First Half of the Film Year

by Nathaniel R

For our halfway mark party we've covered biggest hits of multiple kinds, favorite actresses, and favorite actors. To be eligible for these "best ofs / favorites" whatever you'd like to call them lists, a film must have been released from January 1st through June 30th in 2018. Oscar holdovers like Loveless (Russia's nominee) don't count because the Oscar nomination permanently marks them as a 2017 film even though they weren't released until 2018. To conclude our halfway mark year in review party, here are seven favs from each category we hope Oscar will at least think about once the onslaught of fall prestige films happen. So, ready? Here we go...

Well, here we almost go. Before naming the "Best" a DISCLAIMER: I see far less films in the first half of the year than I do in the second so I still hope to catch up with these titles I missed before year's end: Lean on PeteThe RiderRed Sparrow, Game Night, The Seagull, Hearts Beat Loud, You Were Never Really Here, and Death of Stalin.

The honors are listed alphabetically - no rankings. Why are there seven listed instead of the traditional five, you ask? Well, I like to keep an open mind and let films percolate for awhile before making final decisions on best of the best -- we all have until late December to do that! I should not because some people always seem confused about this that these are in no way shape or form Oscar predictions or things that necessarily have any shot whatsoever at Oscars. It's just fun to make lists and this is a handy reminder for myself as much as for anyone reading that there's more to any given film year than the last three months of it so it's good to jot things don't so that we don't forget them. 




  • Wes Anderson, Isle of Dogs
  • Ari Aster, Hereditary
  • Ryan Coogler, Black Panther
  • Valerie Grisebach, Western
  • Sebastian Lelio, Disobedience
  • Paul Schrader, First Reformed
  • Jason Reitman, Tully



  • Blame - Quinn Shephard & Laurie Shephard
  • First Reformed - Paul Schrader
  • Hereditary - Ari Aster
  • I Feel Pretty - Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein
  • Isle of Dogs - Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Swartzman, and Kunichi Nomura
  • Tully - Diablo Cody
  • Where is Kyra? - Darci Picoult & Andrew Dosunmu


  • Annihilation - Alex Garland
  • Black Panther - Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole
  • Disobedience - Sebastián Lelio & Rebecca Lenkiewicz
  • The Incredibles 2 - Brad Bird
  • Love, Simon - Elizabeth Berger & Isaac Aptaker
  • Oceans 8 - Gary Ross & Olivia Milch
  • Zama - Lucrecia Martel


  • Black Panther - Ruth E Carter
  • Blame - Celeste Montalvo
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties - Sandy Powell
  • I Feel Pretty - Leesa Evans & Debra McGuire
  • Isle of Dogs - (Unknown. Seriously who did it?)
  • Mary Shelley - Caroline Koener
  • Oceans 8 - Sarah Edwards


  • Annihilation - Rob Hardy
  • Disobedience - Danny Cohen
  • First Reformed - Alexander Dynan
  • Hereditary - Pawel Pogorzelski
  • A Quiet Place - Charlotte Bruus Christensen
  • Racer and The Jailbird - Nicolas Karakatsanis
  • Solo - Bradford Young


  • Annihilation - Mark Digby
  • Black Panther - Hannah Beachler
  • Disobedience -Sarah Finlay
  • Hereditary - Grace Yun
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties -Helen Scott
  • Isle of Dogs - Adam Stockhausen & Paul Harrod
  • A Quiet Place - Jeffrey Beecroft


  • Annihilation - Barney Pilling
  • Avengers: Infinity War - Jeffrey Ford & Matthew Schmidt
  • Black Panther - Debbie Berman & Michael P Shawver
  • Disobedience - Nathan Nugent
  • Hereditary -Lucian Johnston & Jennifer Lame
  • A Quiet Place - Christopher Tellefsen
  • Western - Bettina Bohler 


(Just for in-the-now clarification Ant-Man and the Wasp was released in July so ineligible for this particular prize but those visual effects were insanely fun and I think they're worthier of the Oscar nomination that won't come than Black Panther or Infinity War with the nominations that might)


  • Black Panther
  • Disobedience
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties
  • I Feel Pretty
  • Life of the Party
  • Oceans 8
  • Zama


  • Disobedience - Matthew Herbert
  • Hereditary - Colin Stetson
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties - Various Artists
  • The Incredibles 2 - Michael Giacchino
  • Isle of Dogs - Alexandre Desplat
  • Oceans 8 - Daniel Pemberton
  • A Quiet Place - Marco Beltrami 


  • Annihilation
  • Black Panther
  • Hereditary
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties
  • The Incredibles 2
  • A Quiet Place
  • Zama



  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Annihilation
  • Black Panther
  • Hereditary
  • The Incredibles 2
  • A Quiet Place
  • Solo

(It's difficult to keep track of which movies have original songs, so as always, if we've missed something obvious or one of these is not original, please do let us know)

  • "All the Stars" from Black Panther
  • "Pray for Me" from Black Panther
  • "Eat Me Alive" from How to Talk to Girls at Parties
  • "Here Comes Elastigirl" from The Incredibles 2
  • "Come Sun or Come Rain" from Saturday Church
  • "So Lost Without You" from Saturday Church
  • "Flower of the Universe" from A Wrinkle in Time

THOUGHTS? OBJECTIONS? SECONDS? Which film achievements you've seen thus far this year do you hold most dear?

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Reader Comments (32)

Gonna do it... love the list but Won't You Be My Neighbor belongs here. :p

Otherwise team Hereditary for top honors/sound/score and Black Panther for basically everything else.

July 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

No "Ready Player One" for sound categories?

July 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I liked "Saturday Church" but actually thought it would function better if they cut the musical numbers entirely. They alternated between being either too literal or adding sudden depth/perspective that seemed too external from the actual characters' circumstances.

July 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

75-90 percent not nominated for Oscars.

July 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

A QUIET PLACE for the sound mixing category is really bothering me. That score is unnecessary and took me out of the movie in parts that should have been much more tense. I think it kinda botches its reason for existence as a play on silence.

July 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Too much Black Panther love - it's just a superhero movie and not even a very good one at that.

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Surprised at all the Black Panther love but no mention of its wonderful score! In my opinion one of its best aspects! Not to say it doesn't deserve all the love (it does), but that score would be among the top 3 things for me to highlight.

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAlexD

Please never apologise for watching or rewarding films that are just plain fun! Not everything f needs to challenge us or break new barriers and boundaries! The simple formula works for a reason and it’s fine to love it when the actors are having a blast

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

Black Panther is this year Wonder Woman/Deadpool.

Incredible how the Best Song category is ignored by filmmakers and studios. Some movies that got lost in time are remembered/mentioned today for a single nomination/award in this category like Thank God It's Friday(1978),Ice Castles (1978), Yes, Giorgio(1982), Endless Love (1981),The Little Ark(1972), The Magic of Lassie(1978),The Big Broadcast of 1938(1938), etc, etc... Producers/directors of superhero films should invest in this category instead of trying Best Picture in wich the spot seems more difficult.


July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Fillis

Sandy Powell's costumes for How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Loved every stitch.

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

Loveless actually did open in 2017, so you're good to go there, but I take your larger point (incl re: On Body and Soul, The Insult, etc).

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

The Death of Stalin
The Rider
First Reformed
Lean on Pete
American Animals
Love, Simon
A Quiet Place
You Were Never Really Here

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRod

Best Original Song: "Ashes" (Deadpool 2)

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRon

I second adding “Ashes” to that lineup of “Best Original Song”

Also, although Annihalation was a fun, thrilling film with good performances and especially great visual effects, I read the source material, and it’s a terrible adaption. In fact, only the main plot of the film is similar to the book. They pretty much gutted the source material. I see it popping up on lists for a potential Adapted Screenplay nomination, and I’m like “No! People please read the source material! Compare the film with the book!”

Glad you left out the disappointing A Wrinkle in Time in most categories. The only thing that had going for it was some pretty good special effects.

And yes, Black Panther is this year’s Deadpool/Wonder Woman. And it was a great film, but the other two were sooooo much better. I would hate to see it get nominations from the Academy when the other two did not. And if it does so BECAUSE the other two didn’t, that’ll be even worse

But YES to Hereditary, A Quiet Place, and Isle of Dogs

I need to see Tully and How to Talk to Girls at Parties

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEric Fremen

Ulrich -- well if it makes you feel any better it's not my #1 choice in any of these categories ;) but it's a good superhero movie for sure.

Eric -- i think How to Talk to Girls at Parties hits streaming really soon

July 7, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I am astonished that The Rider and Lean on Pete were totally overlooked. Both classics.

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPete

We deserve better than what the movie year has offered us so far.

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Did you managed to see Let The Sunshine In after that podcast?

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

After all the fanfare around Black Panther - deserved fanfare not only for the qualities of the film but also for the issues of diversity and inclusion - everyone is seeing that it's a good movie and that's it. Better to wait for the next attractions to come. Certainly among them eight, nine or ten films for the vacancy in the main category of the Oscars. I think Black Panther has already fulfilled his function as a barrier breaker in many ways.

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGiovanni

tried to click the Western hyperlink cause I have not heard of that one but the lonk took ne to a cannot display error

July 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhuh

No Acting Categories yet? ;-

July 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Patrick -- they're linked in the piece up top. They came before this post.

Huh - fixed! sorry about that.

Pete -- as i said at the beginning of the post, those were among the most I regretted missing. I WILL definitely seee those two.

July 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Patrick -- they're linked in the piece up top. They came before this post.

Huh - fixed! sorry about that.

Pete -- as i said at the beginning of the post, those were among the most I regretted missing. I WILL definitely seee those two.

July 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Has ‘Leave No Trace’ opened in the US yet? A tremendous achievement by Debra Granik & the leads. Ben Foster is my pick for best actor so far, Thomasin McKenzie also fantastic (& would top my list if it weren’t for Collette).

July 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChoog

"Ashes" is def. an amazing original song nominee.

July 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan (the 1st)

...and the Hotel Artemis' production design is solid

July 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan (the 1st)

Choog -- another film i'll have to add to my list. damn that list keeps growing. Just looked it up. Apparently that film did open on June 29th so it would be eligible for halfway honors had I seen it quickly enough.

July 8, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I found "Black Panther" to be highly over rated- it's just another well made Marvel movie.

July 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

"We deserve better than what the movie year has offered us so far."

Do we though?

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

1. Paddington 2
2. The Tale
3. American Animals
4. A Quiet Place
5. Game Night

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

While LOVELESS, FANTASTIC WOMAN, THE SQUARE and THE INSULT did get 2017 releases, ON BODY AND SOUL did not, so it would be eligible for your Too 10 list (it's my #1 of the year. It opened in January in L.A. before Netflix).

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoeS

JoeS - Even though On Body and Soul did not get a 2017 release, it was successfully nominated and therefore not eligible in 2018. Only submissions that were not nominated can be eligible in 2018 (if they get a release) such as A Ciambra or Summer 1993. It's a Catch 22. For example, if City of God had been nominated in 2002, it would not have been eligible in 2003, even though that was the year of its commercial run in the USA. Many pointed out that it was lucky that it had been passed over in 2002.

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

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