Frank Awards 2018


Welcome to the Frank Awards 2018! These are the awards that are chosen by Jaime Grijalba rewarding the best people related to films and the best films of the year 2018 in various categories.

As I mentioned in all previous ceremonies, if a nominee is in cursive, it means that he’s been nominated before (in parenthetical it’ll be said which movies was he nominated for), and if it’s in bold, it means that the nominee has already won a Frank Award, and the movie that it won for will be in parenthetical as well.

So, let’s begin.

Best Art Direction

The winners last year were the members of ‘The Shape of Water’ (2017) art direction team. From them, Paul D. Austerberry worked in the production design of ‘The Christmas Chronicles’, which I didn’t see, while Shane Vieau worked on the set design of ‘Mortal Engines’, which I wanted to see, but I wasn’t able to watch in time for these awards. On the other hand, the other members Nigel Churcher and Jeffrey A. Malvin didn’t have movies released in 2018, but have plenty of interesting projects for 2019.

The nominees this year are:

  • Yoshihito Akatsuka – ‘Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang’
  • Caroline Barclay, Sarah Bick, Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton, Lynne Huitson and Dominic Roberts – ‘The Favourite’
  • Rory Bruen, Nathan Crowley (‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘Interstellar’), Kathy Lucas, Justin O’Neill Miller, Benjamin Nowicki, Erik Osusky, Eric Sundahl (‘Interstellar’) and Thomas Valentine – ‘First Man’
  • Steve Christensen, Chris Farmer, Jess Gonchor (‘Hail Caesar!’) and Nancy Haigh – ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’
  • Brian Lives, Richard T. Olson and Grace Yun – ‘Hereditary’

And the winner/s is/are:


In films from Asia, there usually is only one person in charge of the visual aspect of it all, so it’s commendable when the art in such a beautiful film like the third installment of the Detective Dee series, ‘Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang’ (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings), was thanks to the effort of Yoshihito Akatsuka, who has worked both in Japan and Hong Kong making the latest beautiful epics. His vision expands from the work with the sets, to the way that the characters look and even into the monsters that could be seen. Those designs are just the most memorable of the year.

Best Choreography, Action

I always say that films from Asia hold a dominion over this category from its start, as they manage to include the most gracious choreography. In fact, last year the winner was ‘Mugen no jûnin’ (2017). Which film will win this coveted award?

The nominees are:

  • Black Panther
  • The Commuter
  • Deadpool 2
  • Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

And the winner is:


The diversity of fighting styles is the key in this Hong Kong film, which manages to mix the variety of combos with a new abundance of movements coming from various characters, which mix both weapons, magic and other elements that bring forward the element of mysticism, which makes ‘Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang’ one of the most beautiful films to come out and at the same time the best of the series.

Best Choreography, Dance

Last year, a single dance sequence, the one at the end credits of ‘Paddington 2’ (2017), was enough for it to guarantee this award. How will that go this year?

The nominees are:

  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Hotel Zentai
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

And the winner is:

From the completely unnecessary sequel, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, this one easily has the best dance sequences that I could see this year. The Trip A Little Light Fantastic sequence in particular is aces because it mixes dance, movements, bike tricks and even fire stunts. Impressive stuff.

Best Cinematography

Last year the winners of this award were J.P. Sniadecki and Joshua Bonnetta, who shot the wonderful film ‘El mar la mar’ (2017). Since then they both went separate ways with their projects, but nothing came out during 2018, so here we are, waiting for whatever comes.

The nominees are:

  • David Chizallet, Jingsong Dong and Hung-i Yao – ‘Di qiu zui hou de ye wan’
  • Alfonso Cuarón – ‘Roma’
  • Acácio de Almeida – ‘A Portuguesa’
  • Gary Graver – ‘The Other Side of the Wind’
  • Carlos Vásquez – ‘Las Cruces’

And the winner/s is/are:


The most beautiful film of the year is clearly the experimental and transcendent ‘Di qiu zui hou de ye wan’ (Long Day’s Journey Into Night) and the work was only possible thanks to three cinematographers (David Chizallet, Jingsong Dong and Hung-i Yao), understandable considering the ambitious nature of the shots, their movement, the colors, the way in which it explores an hermetic narrative behind the narrative, configuring both meaning and beauty, both in the 2D and the 3D parts of the film.

Best Costume Design

Last year, the winner was the wonderful design work done by Sandy Powell, who got her second Frank Award for her work in ‘Wonderstruck’ (2017). This year, Sandy Powell is again nominated for a Frank Award for her impressive gown work in ‘The Favourite’, but she also did work on ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, that wasn’t nominated as it’s a bit derivative of the original film.

The nominees are:

  • Rute Correia and Tània Franco – ‘A Portuguesa’
  • Ruth E. Carter – ‘Black Panther’
  • Sandy Powell (Hugo, Cinderella, Wonderstruck) – ‘The Favourite’
  • Jo Thompson – ‘In Fabric’
  • Mary Zophres (Hail, Caesar!, La La Land) – ‘First Man’

And the winner/s is/are:


The Portuguese period piece ‘A Portuguesa’ (The Portuguese Woman) is lavish in its costume design, wowing with her choices, aided by a visual style that enforces the idea that most of these images are based on Medieval engravings, giving the pastel colors of the costumes a precious edge, congratulations then to Rute Correia and Tània Franco, the two women behind these wonderful garments designs.

“Sally Menke Award” – Best Film Editing

This award is named after the sadly deceased two-time Frank Award winner Sally Menke, so this is a tribute of sorts to the joys of editing that each year grace our screens. Last year’s award was given out to Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki as well, who edited their feature ‘El mar la mar’ (2017), and as we know, they didn’t have work coming out in 2018.

The nominees are:

  • Alfonso Cuarón (nominated for best cinematography for the same movie) and Adam Gough – ‘Roma’
  • Julien Faraut – ‘L’empire de la perfection’
  • Jodie Mack – ‘The Grand Bizarre’
  • Alejo Moguillansky and Agustín Rolandelli – ‘La flor’
  • Bob Murawski (‘Drag Me to Hell’) and Orson Welles – ‘The Other Side of the Wind’

And the winner/s is/are:


Julien Faraut made one of the most impressively creative documentaries of the year with ‘L’empire de la perfection’ (John McEnroe: The Empire of Perfection), taking hours of footage of tennis games, alongside theoretical thinking surrounding the game itself, doing a wonderful relation between the art of filmmaking, shooting and gaming. It’s essentially an editing documentary, so that’s a given for the category.

Best Makeup

Last year the award fell on ‘The Shape of Water’ (2017) with an obviously wonderful make-up work. What film will be awarded this year?

The nominees are:

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Black Panther
  • The Nun
  • A Portuguesa
  • Ultra Pulpe

And the winner is:


The short film by Bertrand Mandico, ‘Ultra pulpe’, has luscious makeup work and wonderful prosthetics and art direction, which wouldn’t work otherwise without the work done in makeup. Big ups for French underground cinema!

Best Performance, Acting, Ensemble

Last year the cast of ‘Get Out’ (2017) was the winner of this award, as it featured enough diversity and a way to embark into the horror territory successfully. This time we have 10 casts nominated for this award, take a gander!

The nominees are:

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Black Panther
  • The Favourite
  • La flor
  • Hereditary
  • Hotel by the River
  • Jiang hu er nv
  • Manbiki kazoku
  • The Other Side of the Wind
  • Roma

And the winner is:


The varying and dizzying cast of ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ performs at the highest point, with many of them giving career defining performances, or even giving sole performances that elevated their careers in other areas. The fact that we found this film is enough cause of celebration, that it manages to become so real through the performance, it’s a miracle.

Best Performance, Acting, Female, Lead

Last year the winner of the Frank Award was the wonderful Isabelle Huppert for her role in ‘Madame Hyde’ (2017). In 2018 she played the eponymous role in the films ‘Eva’ and ‘Greta’, as well as appearing in one episode of two TV series, ‘The Romanoffs’ and ‘Dix pour cent’. All of the works are sight unseen. Who will it be this year?

The nominees are:

  • Sakura Andô – ‘Manbiki kazoku’
  • Yalitza Aparicio – ‘Roma’
  • Toni Collette – ‘Hereditary’
  • Regina Hall – ‘Support the Girls’
  • Tao Zhao (‘Shan he gu ren’) – ‘Jiang hu er nv’

And the winner is:


Regina Hall’s performance in ‘Support the Girls’ is magical, as she can turn from happy to sour to disappointed to surprised and resourceful, to become even sadder at the end. Her strength is in the varying levels of stress she’s handling throughout the film and how she decidedly confronts everything with her complete range. Kudos to one of the best performers that I didn’t know about before.

Best Performance, Acting, Female, Supporting

Last year the award went out to a bit player, Betty Gabriel for her small but powerful performance in ‘Get Out’ (2017). Throughout 2018 she had roles in films as different as ‘Diverted Eden’, ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ and ‘Upgrade’, as well as episodes in TV-series ‘Westworld’ and ‘Counterpart’, I didn’t watch any of these, sadly, as I do think she’s one of those performers that stick with you, but alas, so it goes. Who will win this year, and will it be for a big or small role?

The nominees are:

  • Zazie Beetz – ‘Deadpool 2’
  • Shayna McHayle – ‘Support the Girls’
  • Miyu Sasaki – ‘Manbiki kazoku’
  • Milly Shapiro – ‘Hereditary’
  • Letitia Wright – ‘Black Panther’

And the winner is:


The only shining light in the extremely shallow (yet still somewhat entertaining) ‘Deadpool 2’ was the performance of Zazie Beetz as the supernaturally lucky Domino. Her bright persona and relaxed attitude was refreshing in a superhero movie, specially one as “out there” as the Deadpool movies pretend to be.

Best Performance, Acting, Male, Lead

Last year the winner of the Frank Award was the impressively frightful performance done by Daniel Kaluuya in ‘Get Out’ (2017). In 2018 he appeared as one of the leaders of Wakanda in ‘Black Panther’, as well as in ‘Widows’ and voice work in the Netflix Mini-Series ‘Watership Down’. His performance in the Marvel movie wasn’t enough to guarantee a nomination, and the rest is sight unseen. Where will the award go next?

The nominees are:

  • Chadwick Boseman – ‘Black Panther’
  • Joshua Burge – ‘Relaxer’
  • Lily Franky – ‘Manbiki kazoku’
  • John Huston – ‘The Other Side of the Wind’
  • Lakeith Stanfield – ‘Sorry to Bother You’

And the winner is:


John Huston may be deceased, but his performance in the wonderful “lost” Orson Welles film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ confronts his own persona as a director/actor (much like Orson Welles was) with feelings of love towards women and men, as well as the depth of his own philosophy, all of this combined with a smoking and drinking habit that shows in the performance as crutches for feelings that are deep in the eyes that stare at us.

Best Performance, Acting, Male, Supporting

The Frank Award in this category last year was given for Ewen Bremner’s performance in the likeable ‘T2 Trainspotting’ (2017), and although in 2017 he was full with work, in 2018 he didn’t have anything released, let’s pray for more. But, who will we have on the pantheon this year?

The nominees are:

  • Michael B. Jordan – ‘Black Panther’
  • Nicholas Hoult (‘Mad Max: Fury Road’) – ‘The Favourite’
  • Harry Melling – ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’
  • Keith Poulson – ‘The Great Pretender’
  • Andy Serkis – ‘Black Panther’

And the winner is:


A lot has been said regarding how Killmonger, as played by Michael B. Jordan in ‘Black Panther’, is the greatest Marvel villain they’ve ever had, and I think it’s pretty right! His performance mixes a street attitude that embellishes the streets of the wild Wakanda and brings new malevolent discourse to the Marvel universe, which enhances his performance, the way he moves his eyes, shoulders and body all the way through.

Best Screenplay, Adapted

Last year the award went out both to John Hodge, the screenwriter of ‘T2 Trainspotting’ (2017), who didn’t have any credited work in 2018, and to the writer of the original novel which that movie was based on, Irvine Welsh, because that’s how we do it here, but he didn’t have a work in 2018 based on anything either. What will be the case this year?

The nominees are:

  • Chia-Lu Chang – ‘Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang’ – being a sequel
  • Ernest Cline and Zak Penn – ‘Ready Player One’ – based on the novel by Ernest Cline
  • Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (‘A Serious Man’, original screenplay)– ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ – partly based on short stories by Jack London and Steward Edward White
  • Josh Singer – ‘First Man’ – based on the book by James R. Hansen
  • Charlie Watchel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee – ‘BlacKkKlansman’ – based on the memoir by Ron Stallworth

And the winner/s is/are:


Pictured here is Chia-Lu Chang, writer of the wonderful installment of the Detective Dee series, ‘Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang’ (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings), which perfected the formula and managed to give both mystery and intrigue in the best way possible to the series, playing with the previous films as well as the time shift it went from since the second installment.

Best Screenplay, Original

The winners last year for this award were Pía Rey and Raúl Ruiz, two Chilean workers that crafted the extremely complex and funny screenplay of ‘La telenovela errante’ (2017). Ruiz is dead, so of course there’s no new work from him, but at the same time there’s no new work from Pía Rey either. Let’s see what happens this time.

The nominees are:

  • Alfonso Cuarón (nominated for best cinematography and Sally Menke Award for the same movie) – ‘Roma’
  • Lav Diaz (‘Mula sa kung ano ang noon’ original screenplay, ‘Ang babaeng humayo’ adapted screenplay) – ‘Ang panahon ng malihaw’
  • Abbas Fahdel – ‘Yara’
  • Mariano Llinás – ‘La flor’
  • Joel Potrykus (‘The Alchemist Cookbook’) – ‘Relaxer’

And the winner is:

Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso Cuarón wrote the wonderful screenplay of ‘Roma’, where he poured his childhood memories alongside a wonderful political and social commentary, which explodes into the viewer with emotion. It’s a wonderful source of dialogue and pathos.

Best Special Effects

Last year this award was given out to the forward-thinking special effects done in ‘Blade Runner 2049’. What movie will push boundaries this year?

The nominees are:

  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • First Man
  • Jurassic World: A Fallen Kingdom
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

And the winner is:


‘Ready Player One’ created a virtual world out of nothing, and it managed to become astounding and even puzzle-like with a smorgasboard of references and visual cues that most will become blink and miss, but the fact that they’re there demonstrate the amount of love and craft at work here. There’s also one of the final scenes, which combines live-action and CGI in a wonderful manner.

By the way, I’ve decided to terminate the Best Cinematical Moment award. Each year categories die, and it’s for a reason, I think they become harder and harder to decide, but I take this chance to say that the definitive scene of the year is the one that re-interpreted ‘The Shining’ (1980) in the Steven Spielberg film of this year. Wonderful timeless playful moment there.

Best Animated Film

Last year, it was the Pixar hit ‘Coco’ (2017) the one that took home this award. This time there’s only four nominees because… I only saw four animated films. Sorry, didn’t have the time to explore more.

The nominees are:

  • La casa lobo
  • Early Man
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Una Vez la Noche

And the winner is:


Wes Anderson’s latest animation is a triumph of the stop motion media, combining different textures (much like in his previous effort), emotion and cultural impact of the events that happen onscreen. ‘Isle of Dogs’ is a triumph in aesthetics, the work of a man in pure control of everything that he wants us to see.

Best Chilean Film

Every time I give some space for the best film that came out from my country, Chile. For example, last year the winner was ‘La telenovela errante’ (2017), which was the recovered Ruiz film with the help of Valeria Sarmiento. Let’s see what happened this year in my country.

The nominees are:

  • La casa lobo
  • Las Cruces
  • Petit-Frère
  • SNAP
  • Los Sueños del Castillo

And the winner is:


The wonderful ‘La casa lobo’ (Wolf House) is among the most disruptive Chilean films to come out in the decade, an animated movie where everything seems animated, painted over, made again in each frame and second, everything disintegrates and integrates itself again, a wonderful feat with an actual creepy and discomforting vibe that permeates everything. An incredible step forward.

Best Documentary Film

Last year the documentary award went out to ‘El mar la mar’ (2017), one of the most experimental documentaries of last year and the decade, maybe. What kind of film will make it this time?

The nominees are:

  • Ainhoa, yo no soy esa
  • Las Cruces
  • L’empire de la perfection
  • Introduzione all’oscuro
  • Waldheims Walzer

And the winner is:


‘L’empire de la perfection’ (John McEnroe: The Empire of Perfection) is easily the best documentary of the year, a specific and thoughtful exploration on the nature of image, camera position and editing, taken from the theories of various film scholars, as well as the scholar of tennis itself, John McEnroe, we are enveloped by a game where we see that the perfection of the plays is essential to the understanding of the language of cinematography and editing itself.

Best Direction

Last year this incredible award went out to the couple Raúl Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento for ‘La telenovela errante’ (2017). Although Raúl Ruiz is deceased, Valeria Sarmiento did finish and direct a film in 2018, ‘O Caderno Negro’ and the TV Mini-series ‘Casa de Angelis’. The first film, a Portuguese-French production, was seen and it’s good, but it ultimately didn’t make the cut in most of the categories. On the other hand, her TV production wasn’t seen by me. Who are the nominees this year?

The nominees are:

  • Alfonso Cuarón (winner for best original screenplay, and nominated for best cinematography and the Sally Menke award for the same movie) – ‘Roma’
  • Abbas Fahdel – ‘Yara’
  • Mariano Llinás – ‘La flor’
  • Joel Potrykus – ‘Relaxer’
  • Orson Welles – ‘The Other Side of the Wind’

And the winner is:


The direction craft in ‘Roma’ is impressive beyond belief, moving the camera in distinct and encompassing ways that fully comprehend the inner and the outside world of the character, capturing every nuance of her, without getting too close at all times, but just in those moments that we need to see her face to feel the impact, to understand what’s going on. Alfonso Cuarón gets that and he is a master at that in this film.

Best Film

And now, the end of it all, the Best Film Frank Award. Last year the award also went to ‘La telenovela errante’ (2017), which film will make it this time? Continuing last year’s tradition, I’m putting forward a slate of 10 nominees, here they are.

The nominees are:

  • Ang panahon ng halimaw
  • Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang
  • L’empire de la perfection
  • La flor
  • Isle of Dogs
  • The Other Side of the Wind
  • Relaxer
  • Roma
  • Te quiero tanto que no sé
  • Yara

And the winner is:


‘Roma’ is one of two masterpieces made in 2018. The intimate and the universal combined in a way that I believed wasn’t possible for a filmmaker like Alfonso Cuarón, and with incredible performances, as well as an impeccable visual style that connects immediately with the past and the present of the viewers. A wonderful feat, an emotional movie that wrecks me every time I see it.


The final tally of awards comes below, hope you enjoyed these Frank Awards!

Roma – 3 Frank Awards – 7 nominations

Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang – 3 Frank Awards – 4 nominations

The Other Side of the Wind – 2 Frank Awards – 6 nominations

L’empire de la perfection – 2 Frank Awards – 3 nominations

Black Panther – 1 Frank Award – 8 nominations

A Portuguesa – 1 Frank Award – 3 nominations

La casa lobo – 1 Frank Award – 2 nominations

Deadpool 2 – 1 Frank Award – 2 nominations

Isle of Dogs – 1 Frank Award – 2 nominations

Ready Player One – 1 Frank Award – 2 nominations

Support the Girls – 1 Frank Award – 2 nominations

Di qiu zui hou de ye wan – 1 Frank Award – 1 nomination

Mary Poppins Returns – 1 Frank Award – 1 nomination

Ultra Pulpe – 1 Frank Award – 1 nomination

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – 5 nominations

The Favourite – 5 nominations

La flor – 5 nominations

First Man – 4 nominations

Hereditary – 4 nominations

Manbiki kazoku – 4 nominations

Relaxer – 4 nominations

Las Cruces – 3 nominations

Yara – 3 nominations

Ang panahon ng halimaw – 2 nominations

Jiang hu er nv – 2 nominations

Solo: A Star Wars Story – 2 nominations

A Wrinkle in Time – 1 nomination

Ainhoa, yo no soy esa – 1 nomination

BlackKklansman – 1 nomination

Bohemian Rhapsody – 1 nomination

The Commuter – 1 nomination

Early Man – 1 nomination

The Grand Bizarre – 1 nomination

The Great Pretender – 1 nomination

Hotel by the River – 1 nomination

Hotel Zentai – 1 nomination

In Fabric – 1 nomination

Introduzione all’oscuro – 1 nomination

Jurassic World: A Fallen Kingdom – 1 nomination

The Nun – 1 nomination

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – 1 nomination

Petit-Frère – 1 nomination

SNAP – 1 nomination

Sorry to Bother You – 1 nomination

Los Sueños del Castillo – 1 nomination

Te quiero tanto que no sé – 1 nomination

Una Vez la Noche – 1 nomination

Waldheims Walzer – 1 nomination

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