Lightle-tainers of the Year 2018

Brian Tyree Henry

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If you went to any movies this year, you saw (or heard) Brian Tyree Henry. If you’re me, you even saw him in Lobby Hero on Broadway opposite Chris Evans and Michael Cera and I can confirm he really is that good. His measured voice and imposing figure can be terrifying or beguiling, whatever the occasion calls for. I’ve also heard he’s great in Atlanta which I haven’t watched yet but mark my words: this kid’s got it and he’s going places.

Bradley Cooper

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Look, I’ve been a Cooper stan since 2005 and unless we find out something awful about him, I’m not going to stop. As if his stellar voice work in Avengers: Infinity War wasn’t enough, he pulled off the wildest of flexes by directing himself and Lady Gaga in Oscar-worthy performances and dropping a full-length soundtrack of absolute bops. If you haven’t listened to “Shallow” in the dark while sobbing, you’re a liar. A Star is Born didn’t have to be as good as it was but he gave us that because he loves us and wants us to be happy.

Emily Blunt

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How does one go from one of the best horror movies of the year (and one I actually liked!) to the best Mary Poppins movie ever? If you’re Emily Blunt the answer is *effortlessly*. And if the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack isn’t enough for you, she’s also partially responsible for this gem which I personally have watched ~27 million times.

John Legend

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In his own words, John Legend “began the year playing Jesus and ended the year playing Santa.” He also won an Emmy (completing his EGOT), released A Legendary Christmas which features the all-time best new holiday song “Bring Me Love” and continued to be a model husband and father. He’s honestly one of the most gifted performers working today and consistently stands up for what he believes in while remaining unbelievably kind. A TRUE LEGEND.

Tessa Thompson

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Tessa Thompson had a very busy year. Between Annihilation, Sorry to Bother You, Creed II, Furlough, Westworld, and appearing in Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer, she basically did it all, and how! She’s funny and smart and I love it when she talks and looks like she’s almost going to cry but doesn’t and then someone else cries and it’s pure poetic cinema. I’m constantly in awe of her talent and badassery and how vocal she is about socio-political issues. I can’t wait to see what she blesses us with in 2019, starting with this:

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