Coming at you live from my sweat-soaked bed are the third annual Golden Shrimp Awards, the awards show that exists solely on my blog where I celebrate the best and worst cinematic achievements of the year. My voting body consists only of one body, a sexy body, but I am attempting to diversify. If you’d like to be a member on my branch, please reach out via text, email or Facebook comment. The Shrimpies are way better than the Oscars because I can assure you nobody campaigned for any of these awards, though I am open to an Andrea Riseborough-related email in the future.
Let’s get started with the supporting acting performances, just like the Oscars does!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Brian Tyree Henry for Causeway
Barry Keoghan for The Banshees of Inisherin
Oh Kwang-rok for Return to Seoul
Ke Huy Quan for Everything Everywhere All at Once
Mark Rylance for Bones and All
***Song Kang-ho for Broker***
Lots of good, memorable work this year. Brian Tyree Henry gave us two great performances, one in the final two seasons of Atlanta and one as Jennifer Lawrence’s new bestie/amputee recovering from a huge personal tragedy in AppleTV+’s Causeway. Oscar-winner Mark Rylance was a socially awkward cannibal in Bones and All, giving us a performance so wildly entertaining and over-the-top, Nicolas Cage would be proud. Ke-Huy Quan is poised to win the Oscar this year in a tremendous performance as a guy who wants a divorce and veteran Korean actor Oh Kwang-rok blew me away as a sad dad in the French-Cambodian coming-of-age drama, Return to Seoul. I almost gave this award to rising star Barry Keoghan for his scene-stealing and oddly touching performance as the town dipshit in Banshees, but ultimately the best supporting actor performance I saw this year belonged to Korean superstar Song Kang-ho (Parasite, Memories of Murder) as a desperate but warm baby merchant in Hirokazu Koreeda’s adorable family drama, Broker. He’s one of the best actors living today and injects so much nuance into everything he does.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Hong Chau for The Whale
***Kerry Condon for The Banshees of Inisherin***
Nina Hoss for TÁR
Lee Jie-un for Broker
Lee Jung-hyun for Decision to Leave
Michelle Williams for The Fabelmans
Look, Michelle Williams was great as Spielberg‘s mom in The Fabelmans, but she clearly gave a supporting performance. Hong Chau was arguably better than Brendan Fraser in The Whale and Nina Hoss gave us the best face acting all year as Lydia Tár’s fed up partner/employee in TÁR. Over in South Korea, pop star Lee Jie-un was the finest part of Broker as a young woman trying to ghost her baby and Lee Jung-hyun stole several scenes in Park Chan-wook‘s erotic thriller Decision to Leave, as the protagonist’s wife who thought weekly sex could solve any marital issue. Ultimately the best supporting actress performance I saw all year was Ireland’s Kerry Condon as the smartest character in Martin McDonagh‘s The Banshees of Inisherin. Most American folks know her as Mike’s boring daughter-in-law from Better Call Saul, but here she was a total boss.
BEST DANCE SEQUENCE or MUSICAL PERFORMANCE
After Yang – “Family dance competition”
Aftersun – “This Is Our Last Dance”
Pearl – “Scarecrow Fred Astaire and then Porn”
***RRR – “Wedding dance” ***
Return to Seoul – “Freddie’s bar dance”
TÁR – “APAAAAAAARTMENT FOR SALE!”
There was some pretty good musical moments at the movies this year. The opening credit family dance competition of After Yang was fascinating while Mia Goth waltzing with a scarecrow before fucking it to climax in Pearl was even more fascinating. Cate Blanchett‘s improvised accordion number performed to piss off her philistine neighbors in TÁR was a hoot and a holler, while Park Ji-Min‘s anguished bar dance in Return to Seoul was one of the most emotional and sexiest things I’ve seen all year. In Aftersun, the last dance between a father and daughter to Queen’s Under Pressure sent chills down my spine, but nothing roused me quite like RRR‘s wedding dance number, Naatu Naatu, which makes the Step Up movies look like a middle school dance recital. Just ask my roommate, after watching it I burst into his room sideways twisting and proceeded to break three of his bongs. It’s that exciting!
BEST FIRST FILM
***Aftersun – Charlotte Wells***
Causeway – Lila Neugebauer
Emily the Criminal – John Patton Ford
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – Dean Fleischer-Camp
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story – Eric Appel
Look, all these movies are good but the only masterpiece of the bunch is Charlotte Wells‘ Aftersun, a highly cerebral and beautifully nuanced examination on memory, mostly pertaining to how we remember parental figures who died when we were children, when we were too young to truly understand the context of anything. More on this later…
James Friend for All Quiet on the Western Front
Florian Hoffmeister for TÁR
Hoyte van Hoytema for Nope
Janusz Kamiński for The Fabelmans
***Kim Ji-yong for Decision to Leave***
Claudio Miranda for Top Gun: Maverick
This was a tough category to narrow down to six nominees cause everything looked so hot this year. As much as I didn’t appreciate the narrative and character hollowness of All Quiet on the Western Front, it was gorgeous to look at. Longtime Spielberg collaborator Janusz Kamiński made The Fabelmans just glide across that screen, and Top Gun: Maverick practically made us launch out of my seat in excitement. Nolan cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema lent his brilliant eye to Jordan Peele‘s unique alien epic, Nope, while Florian Hoffmeister perfectly captured the uncomfortably rigid world of Lydia Tár. However, no movie looked better than the South Korean erotic thriller Decision to Leave with Kim Ji-yong‘s cinematography being as much a character in the film as the two star-crossed lovers at its center.
BEST FILM EDITING
***Eddie Hamilton for Top Gun: Maverick***
Michael Kahn and Sarah Broshar for The Fabelmans
Kim Sang-bum for Decision to Leave
Blair McClendon for Aftersun
Mikkel E.G. Nielsen for The Banshees of Inisherin
Monika Willi for TÁR
The thing I squawk most about when it comes to the movies is bad pacing. A film editor’s job, among many other things, is to vary the length of shots so we’re not left twiddling our thumbs. Most recent Spielberg outings have suffered from bad pacing (and meh scripts) but his extremely biographical The Fabelmans moved fast enough for my liking while The Banshees of Inisherin never meanders even in its slowest moments. Folks complained that TÁR was slow as hell but I think that was the point because virtually every line of dialogue aided in further exploring the protagonist and her relationships with those closest around her, in turn complicating the audience’s view of her. Blair McClendon had the difficult task of seamlessly blending DVR footage and modern digital footage in Aftersun, while Kim Sang-Bum made Decision to Leave feel like the best of Hitchcock. However, the film editing that really sealed the deal for me was Eddie Hamilton‘s work in Top Gun: Maverick which created the most enthralling and edge-of-your-seat cinematic experience I had all year in theaters.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Michael Abels for Nope
Carter Burwell for The Banshees of Inisherin
Alexandre Desplat for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Hildur Guanadottir for Women Talking
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross for Bones and All
***John Williams for The Fabelmans***
2022 may not have been the best year for movies but it was the best year in recent memory for original music scores. Narrowing this list down to six was a real pain in the ass, but here’s what I came up with. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross‘ minimalist work on Bones and All really compliments it the odd and creepy feel of the movie without overpowering anything. Carter Burwell really captures the tight wire comedy and tragedy balancing act of The Banshees of Inisherin, while Michael Abels creates a subtler and more layered score than his work on Peele‘s Get Out and Us. As much as I thought Women Talking was lacking passion and naturalism as a film, Hildur Guanadottir‘s rousing score was absolutely undeniable. In any other year Alexandre Desplat would run away with this award for his enchanting Pinocchio score which really runs the gamut of emotions, much like the film, but this year there was no way I could not give it to John Williams for The Fabelmans, in which he gifts us his best score in possibly a decade.
BEST NEEDLE DROP
***Aftersun – Sophie & Callum’s Last Dance – “Under Pressure” by David Bowie/Queen***
Aftersun – Sophie hangs out with the older kids – “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
Barbarian – Justin Long driving in Cali – “Riki Tiki Tavi” by Donovan
Benediction – WWI film reels while Sassoon denounces the war – “Ghost Riders in the Sky” by Johnny Cash
Kimi – Angela sabotages home invaders – “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys
Top Gun: Maverick – First flying lesson – “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who
A lot of good needle drops this film season. The Who‘s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” was a perfect choice for an old Tom Cruise teaching a gaggle of younger actors how to fly a fighter jet like an insane person. Steven Sodebergh‘s surprisingly riveting thriller Kimi stuck the landing with a great final scene scored to Beastie Boys‘ “Sabotage.” The inclusion of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” surprised me the most in Terence Davies‘ Benediction and gave a supremely rigid film (totally by design) some spice, while the inclusion of Chumbawamba in Aftersun when Sophie is hanging out with “the older kids” circa 1999, surprised and delighted me even more. It was tempting to hand this over to the single largest tonal shift of the cinematic year – a quick cut to Justin Long jamming out to “Riki Tiki Tavi” in his car right after a character gets their skull bashed in graphic detail – but ultimately no stretch of music in film moved me more than that final father/daughter dance to David Bowie and Queen‘s epic collaboration, “Under Pressure.”
BEST SOUND DESIGN
Avatar: Way of Water – Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Michael Hedge
Barbarian – Richard Kitting, Austin Krier, Ryan Juggler, Matt Davies
Elvis – David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson, Michael Keller
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Alexandra Fehrman, Andrew Twite, Brent Kiser, Julie Diaz
TÁR – Steve Single, Matis Rei, Stephen Griffiths, Deb Adair
***Top Gun: Maverick – Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor***
Shit sounded good this year from laundromat owners doing martial arts across dimensions to 7 foot mom monsters trying to bottle feed Airbnb tenants to two musical giants, one real (Elvis), one fake (Lydia Tár), and the loud-ass worlds surrounding them. James Cameron proved he could continue to make $2 Billion off a franchise only one person I’ve ever met in my life cares about, his story was severely lacking but the technical aspects of the film, including the sound design, were pretty flawless. The sound design of Top Gun: Maverick, however, was perhaps the most essential of any of these films because it’s about scary ass planes that go ridiculously fast in an effort to save America from the bad people. VRRROOOOOM VRROOOOOOOOOOOM.
BEST KID PERFORMANCE
***Frankie Coiro for Aftersun***
Jalyn Hall for Till
Im Seung-soo for Broker
Madeleine McGraw for The Black Phone
Mason Thames for The Black Phone
Jaylin Webb for Armageddon Time
Acting was pretty across-the-boards phenomenal this year in both television and film. There were six child performances that especially stuck out to me including two fantastic leading kid performances by Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw in Scott Derrickson‘s underwhelming but not terrible The Black Phone. McGraw’s line reading of “fucking fart knockers” made me laugh real hard in the theater. Till wasn’t just a great acting showcase for the stupidly underrated Danielle Deadwyler, but showed us a really competent and charismatic kid actor in Jalyn Hall who portrayed young Emmett Till in the first half hour or so of the movie. As much as I didn’t care for Armageddon Time or the leading kid in that movie, Jaylin Webb as the main kid’s friend gave the most compelling performance of the film. Im Seung-soo is definitely my runner-up for this award, turning in a wonderfully entertaining portrayal of a precocious orphan who delivers the funniest lines of the movie. The winner though, without a doubt, is Frankie Coiro as young Sophie in Charlotte Wells‘ carefully observed and sneakily powerful father/daughter indie, Aftersun. She goes toe to toe with Paul Mescal creating one of the most vivid movie relationships of the year.
BEST CAMEO PERFORMANCE
Jack Black for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
***David Lynch for The Fabelmans***
Frances McDormand for Women Talking
Samantha Morton for She Said
Chloe Sevigny for Bones and All
Michael Stuhlbarg for Bones and All
The Oscars should really have a mini-performance category to award some of the great 1-5 minute screen performances we see a bunch of every year. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story had so many great cameo performances but I thought Jack Black‘s Wolfman Jack stood out as the most memorable. Frances McDormand gave the best and most lived-in performance of Women Talking in her maybe 90 seconds of screen time, while Bones and All had a collection of compelling one-scene performances – the two standouts being Chloe Sevigny as an multiple-amputee psychiatric patient and Michael Stuhlbarg as a sociopathic cannibal who laments about eating people’s bones – where the movie gets its title. Samantha Morton maybe delivers the best performance of She Said in her one dynamite scene, but no cameo was more perfect this year than celebrated filmmaker David Lynch playing celebrated filmmaker John Ford in Steven Spielberg‘s The Fabelmans. His scene closes out the movie and it’s arguably the best of the entire movie.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN BABY, ANIMAL, OBJECT or IDEA
Baby Park Ji-yong in Broker
The Electric Dance Floor in Jackass Forever
Jenny the Donkey in The Banshees of Inisherin
Racacoonie in Everything Everywhere All at Once
Posing the question “What Would a Robot Choose to Remember?” in After Yang
***Tom Cruise’s Plane in Top Gun: Maverick***
This a tough category folks, as the acting skills of babies, animals, tangible objects or intangible ideas are often never talked about. Do they even exist? I don’t even know, but let’s say they do. As far as babies go, Broker‘s Park Ji-yong is a pretty good actor. As far as animal actors go, the real life donkey actor who plays Jenny in Banshees of Inisherin is adorably high maintenance, while CGI-generated Racacoonie has some serious cooking on a griddle skills. The fascinating concept of a robot generating select memories like human beings gives filmmaker Kogonada so much room to run in his low-key sci-fi drama After Yang, while the electrified dance floor the boys must Fred Astaire across in Jackass Forever allows the audience to not think about anything at all. However, the most charismatic of this collection of babies, animals and things is Tom Cruise‘s fighter jet in Top Gun: Maverick. That thing moves like the wind and is super sexy to look at. It’s not like I have a crush on a plane or something, stop thinking that.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Babylon – Mary Zophres
***Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Ruth E. Carter***
Elvis – Catherine Martin
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Shirley Kurata
The Fabelmans – Mark Bridges
The Northman – Linda Muir
Lot of cool eye candy this year but everything paled in comparison to Ruth E. Carter‘s costuming for Wakanda Forever. Especially Angela Bassett‘s white funeral dress, pretty gorgeous.
BEST ART DIRECTION / SET DECORATION
Avatar: The Way of Water – Dylan Cole, Ben Procter, Vanessa Cole
Babylon – Florencia Martin, Anthony Carlino
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Hannah Beachler, Lisa K. Sessions
Elvis – Catherine Martin, Karen Murphy, Bev Dunn
The Fabelmans – Rick Carter, Karen O’Hara
***Mad God – Phil Tippet, Samantha Tippet***
Thirty years in the making, this excellent and overlooked stop motion film had the most impressive set and miniature design of any movie I saw all year. This is what I aspired to when I played with action figures as a child. Completely blew me away.
Elvis – Mark Coulier, Aldo Signoretti, Jason Baird
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Anissa E. Salazar, Michelle Chung
***The Whale – Judy Chin, Adrien Morot, Anne Marie Bradley***
Once Fraser takes his shirt off, it’s over.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
***Avatar: The Way of Water***
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Thor: Love and Thunder
Top Gun: Maverick
This one isn’t even close, Avatar: The Way of Water objectively had the best and most groundbreaking visual effects of the year. If only the movie was better.
WEIRDEST FOOD THING
Barbarian – “Mommy’s Hairy Milk Bottle”
***Crimes of the Future – “Eating Plastic”***
Hustle – “One bite only of five different cheesesteaks”
The Menu – “No bread for you”
Resurrection – “A living baby”
Wow, lot of weird food moments this year including the basketball player from Hustle running up Sandler’s food budget by eating a single bite of five different cheesesteaks to Ralph Fiennes‘ refusal to serve his guests bread but instead an empty bread plate with six different dippin’ sauces. The living baby that gets eaten in Resurrection is only talked about but never shown, while mommy’s hairy bottle in Barbarian literally comes flying right into frame. The most disturbing and weirdest of these food moments was in David Cronenberg‘s Crimes of the Future, where cyborg people ate plastic. It’s simple, I know, but something about watching people chomp on plastic bathroom garbage bins like it’s a submarine sandwich is just so fucked up it made me gag.
YUMMIEST FOOD THING
The Menu – “Bomb ass cheeseburger”
NO OTHER NOMINEES!
Way to drop the ball on food porn this year, 2022 Movies! The only mouth-watering scene I can remember is Ralph Fiennes‘ gorgeous double cheeseburger in The Menu, complete with so a metric ton of American cheese. Look at that cheese splotch on the bottom patty. That’s so much cheese. Almost too much cheese. It might be too much cheese. But heck, dude, I’d eat it. I’d totally eat it. Fuck yeah.
BEST SCREENPLAY (ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL)
After Yang – Kogonada
Aftersun – Charlotte Wells
***The Banshees of Inisherin – Martin McDonagh***
Barbarian – Zach Cregger
Benediction – Terence Davies
Decision to Leave – Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kyung
Everything Everywhere All at Once – The Daniels
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – Dean Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate, Nick Plaey, Elisabeth Holm
Return to Seoul – Davy Chou
TÁR – Todd Field
I did away with the separate Original and Adapted screenplay categories because there was too many original scripts I wanted to nominate and too few adapted ones. Everything on this list had a really solid screenplay including Everything Everywhere All At Once, which is the odds on favorite to win the Oscar this weekend, but for my money the best written film of the year that kept shit simple and contained while giving us incredibly complex characters speaking pure poetry was Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin.
BEST SCENE OF THE YEAR
Aftersun – “The ending scene”
***Barbarian – “Justin Long measuring the torture dungeon”***
Everything Everywhere all at Once – Rocks
The Fabelmans – “Sammy meets John Ford”
Halloween Ends – Opening scene
Nope – Monkey freakout
There were a lot of great movies this year that don’t appear in this category, most likely because the film itself worked best as a sum of its parts, making it difficult to isolate the best scene per se. Two movies not on my Top 10 list that had a great individual scene were Nope, a movie I loved that barely missed my list, and Halloween Ends one of the worst movies I saw last year that somehow had a scene so damn good it made this list. The monkey freakout scene in Nope is maybe the best stretch of film Peele has ever directed, while the cold opening of Halloween Ends surrounding a babysitting gig gone terribly wrong gave me false hope for the movie. Moving onto the best movies in this category, Everything Everywhere At Once has so many excellent segments but my favorite was the rock universe. The Fabelmans saved the best for last with its incredible closing scene of young Spielberg meeting David Lynch‘s John Ford, while Aftersun also ended perfectly with a slow, sad walk down an airport tunnel. However, the best and funniest scene at the movies last year was Justin Long’s deplorable #metoo’d actor, AJ Gilbride, who, upon discovering a torture dungeon in his Airbnb, his first thought is, “Well, I should take measurements cause I can add it to the square footage when I sell this place.” What ensues is a tape measure montage that had my whole theater roaring.
WORST SCENE OF THE YEAR
Babylon – “Boogie Nights but with Tobey Maguire“
***Blonde – JFK blowjob***
Empire of Light – “Olivia Colman‘s beach freakout”
Mindcage – “John Malkovich makes a clay head bust”
Moonfall – “Courtroom Scene”
Texas Chainsaw Massacre – “Leatherface Goes Viral”
There sure were some terrible movies this year, and there were some garbage scenes as well. Babylon wasn’t terrible enough to make my Bottom 10 list, but it was pretty bad and featured a “homage” that really just ripped off the great Boogie Nights coke deal scene. It was like Chazelle held a meeting to discuss every way they could make it inferior to that scene. Tobey Maguire is no Alfred Molina, let’s just say that. Texas Chainsaw Massacre was stupid all the way through but the idea of Leatherface boarding a party bus and Gen Z kids whipping out their phones and threatening to cancel him was just too dumb. If you look closely at the instagram live stream in the movie, an IG comment from an account with the director’s name reads, “Who hired this clown???” Just kill me. Mindcage, the awful Silence of the Lambs rip-off starring John Malkovich as Hannibal Lecter and Martin Lawrence as one half of Clarice Starling has a scene where Malkovich makes Lawrence‘s partner, the other half of Clarice Starling, a clay head bust while talking creepy at her. In Moonfall, an enjoyably terrible movie about the moon essentially being Jaws, had it’s dumbest scene in a courtroom of all places, where an astronaut dad (Patrick Wilson) yells at a judge and tells his son, just sentenced to prison for drunk driving, to disregard what the judge says and “…just come here.” It’s wildly dumb.
My runner-up in this category is a scene from Empire of Light, an absolute mess of a movie with four or five different undeveloped plot strands that force Olivia Colman to deliver her only bad bit of acting where she goes apeshit on a sandcastle. Of course, no scene this year was as awful or as depressing as watching Ana de Armas‘ Marilyn Monroe get forcefully skull-fucked by John F. Kennedy while he tries to silence another sexual assault victim over the phone. He calls Marilyn a slut repeatedly and then boasts about her swallowing his seed, all during an extreme close-up of Marilyn’s face from the upper lip up shows her furiously performing fellatio on him. It’s fucking revolting and there’s not a shred of historical proof to support this ever happened, especially like this. Blonde wasn’t the worst film I saw this year but it was maybe the most egregrious.
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Austin Butler for Elvis
***Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin***
Brendan Fraser for The Whale
Brendan Gleeson for The Banshees of Inisherin
Jack Lowden for Benediction
Paul Mescal for Aftersun
Park Hae-il for Decision to Leave
So many great leading performances this year that I had to add an extra slot to my Best Actor/Actress line-ups. Paul Mescal seemingly came out of nowhere to deliver a quietly devastating performance as a dad thinking he’s failing in Aftersun, while Jack Lowden played an early 20th century poet I’ve never heard of before and gave us some of the best and most soulful poetry readings I’ve ever heard on film in Benediction. Even though his co-star got the lion’s share of the accolades and mentions for Decision to Leave, Park Hae-il is wonderfully compelling and holds the entire movie together as a police detective willing to throw his entire life away for a pretty girl. Austin Butler is pretty flawless as Elvis, a role that perhaps demanded the most amount of work of all the nominees, and Brendan Fraser makes the comeback of the year in a wonderfully big (no Whale pun intended), loud and powerful performance as a man unable to deal with the trauma of losing his partner. Brendan Gleeson is competing in the Supporting Actor category at the Oscars which is absurd seeing as though he’s as much a lead in Banshees as Colin Farrell. Both are excellent in their roles, but Farrell definitely has the edge in one of the year’s trickiest roles that requires him to elicit both pity and belly laughs from the audience, sometimes mere seconds apart. He’s my pick for Best Actor.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
***Cate Blanchett for TÁR***
Danielle Deadwyler for Till
Rebecca Hall for Resurrection
Park Ji-Min for Return to Seoul
Andrea Riseborough for To Leslie
Tang Wei for Decision to Leave
Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All At Once
One of the least talked about great performances of the year was Rebecca Hall in Resurrection. No big surprise it got snubbed, it’s a horror movie currently streaming on Shudder. She’s phenomenal and it’s her best role yet, but it’s a really disturbing film and the furthest thing from an “Oscar movie” I can think of. First-time actor Park Ji-Min creates a fascinatingly complex central character in the under-seen Return to Seoul, one of the most impressive acting debuts I’ve seen in years, while Tang Wei delivers equally complex work as well as the absolute sexiest performance of the year in the year’s sexiest movie, bar none. Michelle Yeoh is the favorite to win the Best Actress Oscar and that’s totally fine by me, she’s the best part of an already great movie and manages to give us awesome martial arts stunt work on top of a compelling, reduce-you-to-a-puddle-of-tears type of performance. Andrea Riseborough has gotten a lot of shit for her nomination because her movie didn’t put up $1 Million in campaign funds and she knocked Viola Davis off the nomination list. Riseborough more than deserves to be there though, she delivers one of the most heartwrenching portraits of an alcoholic I’ve ever seen, but while we’re on the topic of great performances that didn’t get nominated, Danielle Deadwyler is even better in Till. She holds that soapy TV movie together with a performance her film manages to work against. The best performance I saw all year though, supporting or leading, TV or movies, was Cate Blanchett‘s extraordinary turn as Lydia Tár in TÁR. I’ve already talked way too much about this already, so if you’d like to know more visit my Top 25 Film Performances of 2022 list.
Davy Chou for Return to Seoul
The Daniels for Everything Everywhere All at Once
Todd Field for TÁR
***Park Chan-wook for Decision to Leave***
Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans
Charlotte Wells for Aftersun
Steven Spielberg gives us his best film in years while Todd Field returns from a 16 year hiatus to make his third great movie and first bona-fide masterpiece. The Daniels swing onto the scene after most people forgot about Swiss Army Man with so much confidence and energy it’s pretty overwhelming, delivering the best film Marvel never made. Davy Chou comes out of nowhere (at least for me) to deliver a staggeringly confident second film, while debut filmmaker Charlotte Wells delivers a 5-star movie her first time out of the gate. While Aftersun was my personal favorite of the year, it’s impossible to ignore how much Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden) is firing on all cylinders with Decision to Leave, perhaps his best film achievement yet. This is the best directed film I’ve seen all year, every frame of this thing is goddamn perfect and the two-way mirror trick he pulls off will probably be taught in film classes five years down the road.
Deadly Cheer Mom
Empire of Light
***Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial***
Jeepers Creepers: Reborn
Jurassic World: Dominion
Tall Girl 2
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
So much garbage this year but the one that really stood out as the worst of the worst was the Tubi Original Movie, Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial which manages to be even more irresponsible than Andrew Dominik‘s Blonde. It was rushed into development during the trial and 90% of the script is verbatim court transcripts or leaked video recordings of the two. The performances are abysmal and you spend a full hour going back and forth wondering if the “movie” is taking Depp’s side or Heard’s side before you realize the movie isn’t taking sides at all. It’s just vomiting crap at you. Audrey Farnsworth, who I suffered through this movie with, said it best, “A parasite has crawled into my ear and made me forever ill. That parasite is Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial.” I can’t recommend you watch this because after it’s over you’ll feel ashamed of yourself.
The Banshees of Inisherin
Decision to Leave
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Return to Seoul
Top Gun: Maverick
It was a tight race between TÁR and Aftersun, but eventually I listened to my heart. You can read about these movies here.