In 2016, I watched 108 films. Not bad going – I think I beat last year but I don’t think it was a personal best. My memory of it has been a little hazy. There were certainly at least one great, dare I say classic amongst them but time will tell; however, there have also been lows for me, with controversial choices that others have enjoyed (a lot) more than I had. Am I getting jaded or cynical?? Perhaps, but for better or worse, here’s my annual offer of my Favourite 10 and my Worst 5. With a few tweaks this year.
Wishing you a cinematically challenging and fruitful year ahead: roll on 2017.
My Favourite TEN of 2017
La La Land – the highlight of the year. Pure joy and pure cinema. A classic in the making.
Hell or High Water – Poignant and thought-provoking, this is the Western that isn’t a Western but really, it is. Drama of the year.
Sing Street – this may be a sentimental and nostalgic choice but I think anyone who isn’t touched by this charming and sweet film is probably heartless.
Arrival – come for the intelligent Sci-Fi, stay for the amazing and inventive storytelling.
Love & Friendship – surprise of the year: Jane Austen + Whit Stillman + Kate Beckinsale? Not in a million years would I think that can be funny, entertaining and narratively coherent for me.
Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) – another surprise for me, this time following the critical acclaim this had I ventured in and I was gobsmacked not only by the stunning animation but the story, which if you know me, it’s First and Foremost.
The Revenant – last year’s Oscar contender was a tense but simple story well told as well as a technical triumph, I am still reeling from it after a year has gone by.
Julieta – a welcomed return from one of my favourite director-writer, this is a tightly written piece of melodrama that has complexity and interwoven narratives yet so elegantly presented itself in its own sombre but colourful way. I loved every minute and every frame of it, even the strangely beguiling but still satisfying ending.
High-Rise – Glossy and slick but also extremely memorable for me and not just because Tom H. sunbathed in the nude (though that helped); a fascinating and frightfully relevant reflection of our troubled times even though it’s written and set in the 70s.
For the last one, I could have chosen from this lot of 4 stars-rated films: I, Daniel Blake, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Green Room, Frantz, Neruda or even Captain America: Civil War but I ask myself which one of them would I want to watch again? So instead, I am going to pick the film that I know I’d want to watch again more than that list above:
Deadpool – Funny, inventive and rather profane and juvenile, just the way I like it. He would’ve be proud of me throwing tradition and caution to the wind, if he isn’t a fictional character.