5. Eighth Grade – Bo Burnham
For a poignant, tartly observant account of middle school anxiety with a tender managing of its characters.
4. Bodied – Alex Larsen, Joseph Kahn
For an exceptional, refreshingly unfettered and unpretentious sports comedy that exhibits a rare valuation for the English language. They use counterculture dissection as a discourse for exploring themes of microaggression, gentrification, insincere liberalism and general racism.
3. Support the Girls – Andrew Bujalski
For an acute, coolly identifiable exemplification on present-day American scruples and conduct in the workplace.
2. Private Life – Tamara Jenkins
For a witty and refreshingly un-sentimentalized account of current-day concerns and desires. She brazenly explores the ebbing of families when obstacles become foundational principles, with characters that never feel like mere plot elements.
1. First Reformed – Paul Schrader
For an intense and solemn treatment on the interdependent politics of today’s great environmental challenges. It could’ve so easily gone way over the top (and very nearly does). He’s simply one of American cinema’s greatest authors.
Runner Up: Life and Nothing More – Antonio Méndez Esparza
To return to the main awards page, CLICK HERE.