Film

2016: My year in film

A list seen this year across the U.S. and Sydney, and occasionally, VOD and mid-air.

In a slight change from years past, I can safely say I have a definitive favourite! Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. It felt like the ending this year needed, and I wouldn’t be mad if it swept every category at the Oscars. Truly an incredible achievement that left me in a state of euphoria for a good day and a half.

Initial tweet-reactions to the “5 star” films included. In alphabetical order, by star rating…

5 star

American Honey
Youthful exuberance in middling, middle America. A joy. The performances and music make it. Andrea Arnold does it again.

Arrival
My mind and heart are racing. Villeneuve nails melancholy, thanks in large to Adams.

La La Land
Pure happiness, magic and romance by a wizard named Chazelle! Music and acting are second to none. The cure for 2016.

Manchester by the Sea
Casey Affleck absolutely delivers in conveying, and likely elevating Lonergan’s complex, grief-filled story.

Moonlight
Touching and beautiful, fantastically acted. No on-screen meal has made me happier. That entire diner scene, really.

Old Stone
The transportive class struggles and human drama of Farhadi dialled up in ferocious style by Ma. Perfection.

One More Time with Feeling
Nick Cave has a power over me. Dominik’s eye and the subject matter heighten it to new levels. Floored. The link between emotion and creation, his honest articulation, the beautiful, beautiful B&W shots + direction. And of course, the songs.

4pt5 star

A War

Captain Fantastic

Fireworks Wednesday

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Ixcanul

O.J.: Made in America

Other People

Sully

The Handmaiden

The Invitation

The Neon Demon

The Revenant

4 star

10 Cloverfield Lane

13th

45 Years

Born to Be Blue

Certain Women

Don’t Think Twice

Embrace of the Serpent

Green Room

Hell or High Water

Jackie

Maggie’s Plan

Midnight Special

Mustang

Paterson

Tale of Tales

The Hateful Eight

The Nice Guys

Tickled

Weiner

3pt5 star

Aferim!

Captain America: Civil War

Dheepan

Everybody Wants Some!!

Hail, Caesar!

I, Daniel Blake

Indignation

Pete’s Dragon

The Fits

The Greasy Strangler

The Lobster

The Witch

3 star

Batman v Superman

Deadpool

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Finding Dory

Jason Bourne

Krisha

Neon Bull

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Rogue One

Star Trek: Beyond

Swiss Army Man

The Boy and the Beast

Youth

2pt5 star

Cameraperson

Chi-raq

Creative Control

Keanu

Neighbors 2

Nocturnal Animals

Sausage Party

Son of Saul

The Jungle Book

The Light Between Oceans

2 star

Doctor Strange

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

1pt5 star

Allied

High-Rise

Suicide Squad

The BFG

1star

Elle

X-Men: Apocalypse

Standard

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