I am still confused about how we got to it being July already, but here we are. The movie scene for the year has been a wild one, with dual releases, will it or won’t it come out in theaters, and the massive amount of delays for movies shifting the climate. So, I am here to announce some of the best of the best of the first half of 2021.
A few rules, the movie would have to have been released to the public. This one makes me sad because I saw many great films at a couple of different festivals. The next rule, the performances or movies could not have been in the running at the Oscars, so this knocks out basically anything in January and February.
Here are my favorite performances and movies of the first half of the year.
A Quiet Place Part II
One of the most challenging choices I had to make was picking my favorite out of Sound of Violence, Funny Face and AQPII. Each of these films brings something unique to the table. However, AQPII edges the other two out by a small margin based on Krasinski’s ability to blow my mind in his simultaneously with three separate groundbreaking intense scenes.
Runner Up: Sound of Violence, Funny Face
Tie: John Krasinski – A Quiet Place Part II, Tim Sutton – Funny Face, Alex Noyer – Sound of Violence
Notice a trend? Each of these movies are three of my favorite of the year.
Krasinksi – I couldn’t believe he could not only recapture that magic from the first film but elevate it even higher for the sequel. As I mentioned in Best Movie, the simultaneously three-shot intensity that he brought blew me away.
Sutton – Funny Face is simplistic in so many ways and that art gets lost as each year passes. However, I truly appreciate how he approached the film behind the camera and gave us what might be the best love story we’ve had in the last decade.
Noyer – Different is what I love to approach and different is what Noyer brought to the table. We see some of the same killings repeatedly in horror, but how he utilized this one tragic night to bring us some of the best creative kills that the SAW franchise would be jealous of is perfect.
Kevin Hart – Fatherhood
He single-handly carries this film in this emotionally charged role. Of course, everyone can’t make the switch from comedy to a serious part, but this was personal for Kevin because he could put himself in Matt’s shoes, which is the connection we feel throughout the movie. This 100% is a career-defining performance for him, and I hope this is only the beginning of seeing him in roles of this nature.
Runner Up: Cosmo Jarvis – Funny Face
Tie: Emma Stone, Cruella and Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sound of Violence
Cruella is still one of the movies from the year that BLEW ME AWAY. It’s one of those movies you aren’t sure what to expect because Disney is in the driver’s seat. But it is still one of my favorite movies of the year, and Emma Stone’s performance is a banger. She is an absolute delight as Cruella, and the way she transformed into this role and knocked it out of the ballpark was beautiful.
Some of you might be like ‘What is Sound of Violence,’ and I am here to tell you that it is a fantastic Horror movie that you need to watch right now. Alex Noyer brought an original idea that was a breath of fresh air. Jasmin Savoy Brown steals the show throughout the film. I was impressed with Jasmin’s ability to sell us in the little moments and make you empathize with her journey.
Runner up: Taylour Paige – Zola
Best Supporting Actress
Millicent Simmonds – A Quiet Place Part II
The heart and soul of A Quiet Place Part II was Millicent Simmonds. From her facial expressions to how she carries herself to how she transformed into this powerhouse before our eyes throughout the film was magnificent. I hope her performance still holds up come award season because it would be well deserved.
Best Supporting Actor
Colman Domingo – Zola
I had my list complete and well, I saw Zola and Domingo skyrocketed to the top of my supporting actor list, and rightfully so. Without this performance, the movie doesn’t work at all.
Runner Up: Shazad Latif – Profile
Shazad Latif give one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. Latif had charm and charisma about him that made you believe what he was selling to Amy. Latiff also showed his range throughout the film, as we witnessed his humor, his vulnerability, and of course, the ruthless side of him. When he got ruthless, he was downright scary and showcased this powerful villainess that we rarely see on screen anymore.
Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Slight cheating, as the movie did come out Friday, but it is so close to ignore. I was blown away by this movie when I saw it on opening night of the Sundance Film Festival (my review). This film made such an impact on me that, as the end drew near, I was frustrated. I was frustrated it took this long for me to hear this incredible story. It oozes hope, power, and inspiration and Questlove brings it to life.
Runner Up: The Crime of the Century
Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar
If you have not seen Barb and Star yet, you are in for a treat as it drops on Hulu on July 9th. Jamie Dornan is downright perfect in this movie, and the reuniting of Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig’s is a chef kiss. PLEASE WATCH THIS MOVIE!
Runner Up: Queen Bees
Best Action Movie
F9: The Fast Saga
F9 is a movie that has gotten a lot of hate, but you know what, I DON’T CARE!!!! Dominic Toretto is the man. The family is back, we went to space, we had some great cameos, we had some fantastic flashbacks, I laughed, I cried, I jumped for joy, and I had a damn good time.
Runner Up: Without Remorse
Best Animated Movie
Runner Up: The Mitchells vs. The Machines