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‘Roma,’ Alfonso Cuaron, Ethan Hawke, Regina King Dominate Critics’ Awards Circuit

Several films have been singled out, but Cuarón's autobiographical stunner is way out in front

Nearly all regional film critics groups (36 so far) have chimed in with picks for the best of 2018 cinema. So it’s time for a cross-section before the industry continues weighing in with guild announcements this week and next.

Critics have singled out 11 films as the year’s best, but one stands above the rest. Netflix’s “Roma” has racked up 16 best film prizes, while Alfonso Cuaron has netted 21 director trophies. A far distant second is Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite” with five best film accolades, followed by “Green Book” and “A Star Is Born” with three apiece. The only other films to score multiple awards are “The Hate U Give” and “Black Panther,” with two each.

Other films awarded are “Eighth Grade,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Leave No Trace,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (a bold choice by the Utah crowd) and “You Were Never Really Here.”

Unexpectedly, Lynne Ramsay, the helmer of “You Were Never Really Here,” is among Cuaron’s closest competition in the directing ranks. Along with “BlacKkKlansman” helmer Spike Lee, she’s picked up four prizes. Debra Granik (“Leave No Trace”) and Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) each have a pair, while Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), Lanthimos, Adam McKay (“Vice”) and Paul Schrader (“First Reformed”) have landed one apiece.

For his performance in Schrader’s film, Ethan Hawke is crushing it among lead actors, with 22 awards. “Vice” star Christian Bale is way back with four, while Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”) and Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) each have three. Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”), Joaquin Phoenix (“You Were Never Really Here”), Victor Polster (“Girl”), John C. Reilly (“Stan & Ollie”) and John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”) are all on the board with one.

Far more contentious is the lead actress race. Toni Collette and Olivia Colman have been duking it out for their committed performances in “Hereditary” and “The Favourite,” respectively. At press time, they were neck-and-neck with nine apiece. Also strong is Melissa McCarthy, with six honors for her “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” performance, as well as Lady Gaga, with four for “A Star Is Born.” Regina Hall (“Support the Girls”) has picked up three, with Glenn Close (“The Wife”) and Viola Davis (“Widows”) landing a pair each. Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”), Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”), Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”) and Amandla Stenberg (“The Hate U Give”) each have one.

The fact that 11 separate actresses have been honored gives you an idea of how vast that category is this year.

Supporting actor is dominated by “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” scene-stealer Richard E. Grant with 15 trophies. Mahershala Ali is a number of paces back with six for “Green Book,” while Sam Elliott (“A Star Is Born”) has four. Russell Hornsby (“The Hate U Give”) Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther”) and Steven Yeun (“Burning”) each have a trio, with Josh Hamilton snagging one for “Eighth Grade.”

Regina King is blistering supporting actresses with 22 prizes for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” “The Favourite” players Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz each have three, though co-star Colman has picked up a pair from organizations that balked at her official lead categorization. Sakura Ando from “Shoplifters” also has two, while Amy Adams (“Vice”) and Nicole Kidman (“Boy Erased”) have one apiece.

In the screenplay categories, “BlacKkKlansman” leads the adaptations with six prizes. Others recognized multiple times include “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “The Hate U Give” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” each with four, while “Black Panther,” “Burning,” “The Death of Stalin,” “Leave No Trace” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” each have one.

“Far more contentious is the lead actress race. Toni Collette and Olivia Colman have been duking it out for ‘Hereditary’ and ‘The Favourite,’ respectively.”

Among originals, “The Favourite” is, well, the favorite, with 12 honors. “First Reformed” has nine, while “Vice” has three. “Eighth Grade,” “Green Book” and “Sorry to Bother You” each have landed two, while “A Quiet Place” has one.

“Spider-Verse” is the surprise heavy in the animated feature field, with 18 prizes to 12 for “Isle of Dogs” and one each for “Mirai,” “The Wolf House” and, shockingly, Pixar’s “Incredibles 2.” “Roma” is blowing away competition in the foreign race with 24 prizes, while Palme d’Or winner “Shoplifters” has four, “Burning” has three and “Cold War” has two. Finally, Mr. Rogers study “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is leaving documentaries in its wake with 24 awards as well. “Minding the Gap” and “Three Identical Strangers” each have three, while “Quincy” and “Shirkers” have two. “Free Solo” and “RBG” have each wrangled one.

Will the Academy see things the way the critics have? We’ll find out at the 91st Oscars on Feb. 24, but we have some nominations to get to first. Those will be revealed on Jan. 22. Ballots go out to Academy members Jan. 7.

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