In the 7th Post post-Oscars, my true love sent to me: the years of the year.
—2018 Favorites: Introduction
—In the 1st Post post-Oscars: 2018 Movies — Intro + Complete List
—In the 2nd Post post-Oscars: 2018 Genre Movies
—In the 3rd Post post-Oscars: 2018 Movie Beginnings and Endings
—In the 4th Post post-Oscars: 2018 Miscellaneous Movies
—In the 5th Post post-Oscars: 2018 Movie Music
—In the 6th Post post-Oscars: 2018 Acting
Which actor had my favorite year of 2018 — AKA: the year of the year. After each’s name, I list their 2018 work, separated by dashes, in order of personal preference:
- Claire Foy, Unsane / First Man / The Girl in the Spider’s Web
- A star is born (on the big screen).
- Toni Collette, Hereditary / Hearts Beat Loud / The Yellow Birds / Please Stand By / Madame / Birthmarked
- Lucas Hedges, Ben is Back / Boy Erased / Mid90s (and The Waverly Gallery on Broadway!)
- If he had properly campaigned — because the Oscars, like everything else in life, often boils down to a popularity contest — he could’ve schmoozed his way to a nomination (probably for Ben is Back). But instead of shaking hands and kissing babies, he starred in a Broadway play. For that, he earns my eternal respect.
- John David Washington, BlacKkKlansmen / Monsters and Men / The Old Man & the Gun
- Min-hee Kim, The Day After / Claire’s Camera
- Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate / Vox Lux: A 21st Century Portrait / Aquaman (lol)
- Don’t sleep on his Vox Lux voiceover.
- Bryan Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk / Widows / Hotel Artemis / Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / White Boy Rick
- Regina Hall, Support the Girls / The Hate U Give
- Steven Yeun, Burning / Sorry to Bother You
- He didn’t make much of an impression on me when I first saw Sorry to Bother You, which is in no way his fault — there’s just so much going on in the movie to focus on. Kudos to him for being able to both help create AND blend into Boots Riley’s specific and distinct tonal world, all the more impressive after seeing his can’t-take your-eyes-off-him turn in Burning.
- Tiffany Haddish, Night School / The Oath / Nobody’s Fool / Uncle Drew
- Awkwafina, Ocean’s 8 / Crazy Rich Asians
- 2018 was only the beginning; expect to see much more of her in the coming years (hopefully not on some turgid sitcom).
- Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate / Life Itself / Operation Finale
- There’s no landmark performance in this bunch; just another stellar year — which included some tepid movies — from an actor quietly becoming one of the greatest alive.
- Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here / The Sisters Brothers / Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot
- Sometimes, the greatest actor alive defends his crown. Other times, he stars in baffling movies. The best must be free to experiment, to take risks, and thus to crash and burn on occasion.
- John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie / The Sisters Brothers / Holmes & Watson / Ralph Breaks the Internet
- 2018: The year I belatedly realized John C. Reilly is one of our finest actors. He’s always been a celebrated character actor, but that subtly-backhanded pejorative fails to encompass the breadth of his range, on full display in 2018, often in otherwise forgettable flicks.
- Tessa Thompson, Sorry to Bother You / Annihilation / Creed II / Furlough
- Ben Whishaw, Paddington 2 / Mary Poppins Returns
- Is anyone better at capturing the whimsy of childhood without sacrificing mature emotional resonance?
- Olivia Cooke, Thoroughbreds / Life Itself / Ready Player One
- Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther / Creed II / Kin
- Hot take: Black Panther is a better movie, but I preferred his work in Creed II. Great actors can knock great material out of the park, but it takes a superstar to singlehandedly carry schlocky material like Creed II.
- Ethan Hawke, First Reformed / Juliet, Naked
- Michelle Williams, I Feel Pretty / Venom
- Peter Bogdanovich, The Other Side of the Wind / The Great Buster
- Billy Howle, On Chesil Beach / Outlaw/King / The Seagull
- Jason Clarke, Chappaquiddick / Winchester / First Man
- Jude Law, Vox Lux: A 21st Century Portrait / Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Dakota Johnson, Suspiria / Bad Times at the El Royale / Fifty Shades Freed
- Zoë Kravitz, Gemini / Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald / Kin
- Ben Mendelsohn, The Land of Steady Habits / Ready Player One / Robin Hood
- Betty Gabriel, Upgrade / Unfriended: Dark Web
- Cynthia Erivo, Bad Times at the El Royale / Widows
- If I didn’t already stan, her 2018 performances on their own wouldn’t have registered for me (besides her voice in Bad Times, obviously), mostly because she was kneecapped by underwritten characters. I still believe she’ll be a movie star one day, which is awesome…as long as she remembers to return to the stage every now and then. Bring home that bacon, build your brand, but pleeeeeeeease don’t shirk what started it all. COME BACK TO UUUUUUUUUUS!!!!!!!