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Abe's SXSW Wrap: Top Ten + Best Performances

by Abe Fried-Tanzer

Jay Duplass and Tatiana Maslany star in the romantic drama "Pink Wall"

The SXSW Film Festival is officially over, and the official winners have all been announced. I managed to catch 34 titles this year, but just three of them won prizes: Alice, the story of a mother who becomes an escort after learning her husband spent all their money on them (which just barely missed my top 10 best of the fest), the comedy Yes, God, Yes and the doc Running with Beto, which was cool to see with an audience of Texas liberals.

Nathaniel likes us to do "jury of one" wrap-ups if we see a lot of festival films so here are my picks for the best in multiple categories, including acting honors... 

Abe's Top Ten from SXSW 2019

Feldstein & Dever star in "Booksmart"

Pink Wall – an intimate romantic drama from actor-turned-director Tom Cullen (Weekend). His girlfriend Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) stars.

Olympic Dreams – a relationship starts at the Olympics

Booksmart – Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever star in the kind of wild teen comedy that generally stars young men. (Opens May 24th)

Long Shot – Charlize Theron is Secretary of State and Seth Rogen is her speechwriter (Opens May 3rd)

Good Boys – Superbad gets younger with three foulmouthed twelve-year-olds including Jacob Tremblay. (Opens August 16th)

Ravi Patel, Hayden Szeto, Grant Rosenmeyer, and Gabby Sidibe in "Come As You Are"

Yes, God, Yes – the intersection of religion and masturbation in the early 2000s

Running with Beto – the upcoming HBO documentary about a Texan Democrat’s breakthrough campaign. (Coming soon to HBO)

Come As You Are – Three young men with disabilities take a road trip to a Canadian brothel

Mickey and the Bear – a young woman can’t abandon her disturbed father in rural Montana 


Best Director: Tom Cullen (Pink Wall)

Best Actor: Grant Rosenmeyer (Come As You Are)

Best Actress: Anna Margaret Hollyman (Sister Aimee)

James Badge Dale and Camilla Morrone in "Mickey and the Bear"

Best Supporting Actor: James Badge Dale (Mickey and the Bear)

Best Supporting Actress: Michaela Watkins (Sword of Trust)

Best ScreenplayBooksmart

Best CinematographyThe Beach Bum

Best Ensemble CastYes, God, Yes

Special Award for Best Performance in a Bad Movie: Maeve Higgins (Extra Ordinary)

SXSW is a wrap. Pictured: Jay Duplass, Abe Fried-Tanzer, Tom Cullen and Tatiana Maslany 

Some of these films already have distribution, and I know I missed out on a handful of titles that were very well-received, including The Peanut Butter Falcon and Saint Frances. It’s been a blast being in Austin, and hopefully most of these films and more will be playing (or streaming) near you soon!

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Reader Comments (4)

I've been on the James Badge Dale bandwagon since he showed up on 24 back in 2003. It's nice to see him get some critical acclaim for a change.

March 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBen

Ben -- i love Dale too. Hoping for great things soon.

Abe -- thanks for doing this roundup. Want to see most of these titles.

March 19, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Ben & Nathaniel - make sure to check out DONNYBROOK if you haven’t already for another superb Dale performance this year.

March 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAbe

Yes, James Badge Dale! He was very good in HOLD THE DARK on Netflix recently, too.

March 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

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