Roma and A Star is Born garnered the most nominations from the members of the Chicago Film Critics Association. That’s not the surprising part. One of those movies won steadily throughout the evening while the other was completely shut out.
Tip your hats to Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga for their incredible work coming up with a fourth version of the classic film, but it was Alfonso Cuaron’s intimately moving love letter to the nanny that raised him that resonated most with the voters, taking home Best Picture, Direction, Cinematography, Editing, and Foreign Language feature, with three of those awards going directly to Cuaron (although Adam Gough was a co-editor).
Other notably surprising but fitting outcomes saw Ethan Hawke nab Best Actor for Paul Schrader’s harrowing character study of a priest losing all hope for the world in First Reformed (Paul Schrader also won the award for Best Original Screenplay), with Toni Collette winning Best Actress for Most Promising Filmmaker Ari Aster’s psychologically disturbing Hereditary. HAIL PAIMON!
Best Documentary also resulted in a righteous upset with Minding the Gap (debut filmmaker Bing Liu’s personal and arresting study of skateboarding and dysfunctional lives within Rockford, Illinois). The film won out over some heavy competition including the depressingly uplifting Fred Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor, a timely look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg in RBG, and Chicago Critics Film Festival crowdpleaser Three Identical Strangers.
However, and far from an upset, Elsie Fisher was named Most Promising Performer for Eighth Grade, one of the best and most vital films of the year for parents and teenagers alike. I sincerely hope she remarks “GUCCI!” after hopefully reading that, which I still have no idea what the hell it means.
The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk also each won a pair of much-deserved awards, but the fact that these remarkable films only took home two a piece is as strong a testament as there is to how much quality cinema 2018 bestowed upon moviegoers.
Without further ado, here is the full list of winners:
Best Picture: Roma
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (-) Roma
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke (-) First Reformed
Best Actress: Toni Collette (-) Hereditary
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant (-) Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Best Supporting Actress: Olivia Colman (-) The Favourite
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader (-) First Reformed
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins (-) If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Foreign Film: Roma
Best Documentary: Minding the Gap
Best Animated Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best Cinematography: Roma (-) Alfonso Cuaron
Best Editing: Roma (-) Alfonso Cuaron & Adam Gough
Best Art Direction/Production Design: The Favourite
Best Original Score: If Beale Street Could Talk (-) Nicholas Britell
Best Use of Visual Effects: Annihilation
Most Promising Filmmaker: Ari Aster (-) Hereditary
Most Promising Performer: Elsie Fisher (-) Eighth Grade
For those interested in the full set of nominees, they can also be viewed here.
So what’s next? Well, many of our members will be heading out to Sundance in January to scout for some films to bring to the seventh annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, which always has an outstanding slate of films and special guests throughout its week-long run at the historic Music Box Theatre on the north side of Chicago. Five of the films nominated for awards premiered at the festival this year, and generally, the programming is promising enough to where this will be a rare opportunity to see many great films way ahead of release. It is absolutely worth taking a trip to Chicago for, with next year’s festival planned to run May 17-23. Stay tuned at the official website for more announcements, and of course, I will be sharing those details here.
For now, let us know what you think of Chicago’s awards winners!
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check here for new reviews, friend me on Facebook, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, check out my personal non-Flickering Myth affiliated Patreon, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com