in , , ,

The Best Films and Performances of the First Half of 2021

Netflix

Welcome to the second half of 2021! The first half was a weird one, to say the least. It featured the end of quarantine and the return, to some degree, of in person movie watching. I saw nearly 150 films, putting me on pace to break 300 again, which is insane, admittedly. That being said, the best of the year so far is a top-heavy list, at least for me. That’s just way it has gone. Still, to mark the occasion, I want to hand out some prizes. So, today I’ll be doing so, highlighting the best films and performances of the first half of 2021…

Interestingly, my list would have looked a lot different if I had been looser in my criteria. I’ve opted not to include festival films that aren’t out yet, as well as movies I’ve seen already that are second half releases. You can see what some of them are below, but they would have heavily contended. I’ve included one unique title, but aside from that, it’s just the basics, first half wise.

Here we go…my picks for the best films and performances of the first half. Enjoy:

*Films seen in the first half but ineligible since they’re second half releases (but would have contended for this list: Black Widow, Clerk, Coda, Mark, Mary & Some Other People, Mass, The Novice, Pig, Pleasure, Recovery, and Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain*

Top Ten Films of the First Half of 2021

A24

10. In the Heights

9. Army of the Dead

8. The Mitchells vs the Machines

7. Luca

6. Stray

5. Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street

4. A Quiet Place Part II

3. Shiva Baby

2. Spiral: From the Book of Saw

1. Zola

  • Special Citation: Bo Burnham: Inside

Top Ten Performances of the First Half of 2021

Colman Domingo stars as “X” in director Janicza Bravo’s ZOLA, an A24 Films release. Cr. Anna Kooris / A24 Films

10. Andrew Garfield in Mainstream

9. Molly Gordon in Shiva Baby

8. Jason Segel in Our Friend

7. Polly Draper in Shiva Baby

6. Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place Part II

5. Riley Keough in Zola

4. Rachel Sennott in Shiva Baby

3. Taylour Paige in Zola

2. Bo Burnham in Bo Burnham: Inside

1. Colman Domingo in Zola

First Half Awards

Utopia

As you might have figured out from above, my number one pick from before would be my choice for Best Picture so far (with number two the runner up, and so on, but here are the other awards I would give out…

Best Director: Janicza Bravo for Zola (runner up: Bo Burnham for Bo Burnham: Inside and Emma Seligman for Shiva Baby)

Best Actor: Bo Burnham for Bo Burnham: Inside (runner up: Andrew Garfield for Mainstream and Anthony Ramos for In the Heights)

Best Actress: Taylour Paige for Zola (runner up: Rachel Sennott for Shiva Baby and Millicent Simmonds for A Quiet Place Part II)

Best Supporting Actor: Colman Domingo for Zola (runner up: Fred Melamed for Shiva Baby and Jason Segel for Our Friend)

Best Supporting Actress: Riley Keough for Zola (runner up: Polly Draper for Shiva Baby and Molly Gordon for Shiva Baby)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Zola (runner up: The Map of Tiny Perfect Things and Spiral: From the Book of Saw)

Best Original Screenplay: Shiva Baby (runner up: Bo Burnham: Inside and The Mitchells vs the Machines)

Best Ensemble: Zola (runner up: In the Heights and Shiva Baby)

Best Animated Feature: Luca (runner up: The Mitchells vs the Machines and Raya and the Last Dragon)

Best Documentary Feature: Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street (runner up: Hysterical and Stray)

Best Foreign Language Feature: I Carry You With Me (runner up: Night of the Kings)

Best Production Design: Spiral: From the Book of Saw (runner up: Army of the Dead and A Quiet Place Part II)

Best Cinematography: Zola (runner up: In the Heights and A Quiet Place Part II)

Best Costume Design: In the Heights (runner up: Coming 2 America and Zola)

Best Film Editing: Zola (runner up: Bo Burnham: Inside and Shiva Baby)

Best Makeup: Spiral: From the Book of Saw (runner up: In the Heights and Zola)

Best Sound: A Quiet Place Part II (runner up: In the Heights and Spiral: From the Book of Saw)

Best Original Score: A Quiet Place Part II (runner up: Shiva Baby and Zola)

Best Original Song: N/A

Best Visual Effects: Army of the Dead (runner up: A Quiet Place Part II and Spiral: From the Book of Saw)

*I’m forgoing any Worst of the Year content. Positive vibes, folks*

Lionsgate

Stay tuned to see how the second half of the year turns out!

Comments

Leave a Reply

Loading…

0

Written by Joey Magidson

Interview: Julia Stiles Chats About ‘The God Committee’ and More

Catching Up on All the Quentin Tarantino and ‘Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood’ Book Tour News