An entire year of film is impossible to sum up quickly.
Some things changed in 2018. Netflix absorbed the romcom and dipped a toe into prestige filmmaking. The horror genre kept "elevating." RBG and Won't You Be My Neighbor? made it a surprisingly lucrative year for documentaries.
Some things stayed the same. Women received far too few directing opportunities, but still made gems (Leave No Trace, The Rider, You Were Never Really Here). A superhero movie no one seemed to care about or like (Venom) grossed the GDP of a small nation. Tom Cruise jumped from a high thing and remained 35 years old for the 20th consecutive year.
So here's a list of "awards" we think do justice to 2018 as a movie year.
Funniest Performance by a Dramatic Actor
Playing Field Marshal Georgy Zhukov in The Death of Stalin, Jason Isaacs reveled in what a hilarious wild card an army jock can be in a hellscape of bureaucrats.
Best Use of Oregon
Debra Granik captured Forest Park (actually played by Clackamas County's Eagle Fern Park) as a glistening ocean of dewy green in Leave No Trace.
Best Encapsulation of 2018
Plenty of films aimed for relevance this year, but no entry pinpointed the anxious, unfocused, exaggerated, unescapable blitz of a satire violently collapsing in on itself like Sorry to Bother You.
Best Single Facial Expression
I dare you to think about Hereditary without imagining Toni Collette's mangled, screaming maw.
Best Foreign Release You Probably Still Need to See
If you haven't yet watched the South Korean mystery-drama-romance-masterpiece Burning, I envy what awaits you. If you're about to watch it again, can I please join?
Best Oscar Candidate to Piss People Off
Critics and journalists have already started ripping up the historical inspiration and racial dynamics at work in Green Book, an instantly dated switcheroo of Driving Miss Daisy.
Best Reminder That Scripts Are Important in Comedies
Improv has cast a 15-year shadow over studio comedies. But with a precise screenplay from Mark Perez and the comedy performance of the year from Jesse Plemons, Game Night mined hilarity from detail.
Best Movie Weapon
There are the chain saws in Mandy and the ball-peen hammer in You Were Never Really Here, but not all weapons are for brutality, folks. Give me Haley Lu Richardson's glitter firework in Support the Girls.
Whitest Flag Waved by a Tired Franchise
It's quitting time when a new sequel rehashes not an original film, but a prior sequel. If Jurassic World was 40 percent worse than Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is 40 percent worse than The Lost World, I'm bad at math, but these fake numbers and real movies are getting ugly.
Most Divisive Movie
The remake of the 1977 Italian thriller Suspiria is long, inscrutable, preposterously bloody and hotly debated among film nerds. It'd be hard to lure anyone who actually uses the phrase "giallo genre" into a bar brawl, but over Suspiria? Dukes up.
Movie Star of the Year
Michael B. Jordan is skilled and charismatic enough to embody broad characters—Killmonger of Black Panther and Adonis Creed of Creed II—who are far more than their names and getups.
Top 10 Films of 2018, FWIW
2. Minding the Gap
3. First Reformed
4. Sorry to Bother You
6. The Favourite
9. The Old Man and the Gun
10. A Star Is Born