Monday, January 09, 2017

THE BEST OF TIMES, THE WORST OF TIMES: MOVIES OF 2016



2016: the reviews are in! And they have been for quite some time, actually. If you keep up even a distracted presence on social media you’ll be well aware that the year past is largely considered at the very least a bad patch, and in thinking of it as something more than an isolated phenomenon of 365 random days I’d probably have to agree—it was a pretty disagreeable and sometimes dispiriting 365 days, geopolitically speaking and for speculating on days to come. To paraphrase the words of Timbuk 3’s Pat MacDonald, the future’s so bright we’d better wear shades.

Some are even speculating dim prospects for the cinema too. To hear Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott tell it, the medium, in which they are both still vitally active, is more or less dead. “Cinema is gone,” Scorsese recently said in a widely circulated interview, but Scorsese was mourning more the death of the theatrical experience than the quality of the movies themselves:

“The theater will always be there for that communal experience, there’s no doubt. But what kind of experience is it going to be? Is it always going to be a theme-park movie? I sound like an old man, which I am. The big screen for us in the ’50s, you go from Westerns to Lawrence of Arabia to the special experience of 2001 in 1968. The experience of seeing Vertigo and The Searchers in VistaVision.”

The director argued that the “proliferation of images” on all manner of portable devices and screens has diluted the experience for younger audiences—and, I’d add, for some older audiences too. “(The theatrical experience) should matter to your life,” he said. “Unfortunately the latest generations don’t know that it mattered so much.”

Ridley Scott’s concern was more about the movies themselves. “Cinema mainly is pretty bad,” said the director, and maybe if you focus on the industry’s ongoing dirty infatuation with the blockbuster mentality and the phenomenon of the superhero movie you could find some common ground with Scott’s surly conclusion. The director managed to recognize that many of his movies (he pointed out Blade Runner as an example) have plenty in common with the average comic book movie of the 21st century, but he says that there is a difference. “You could almost put Batman or Superman in that (Blade Runner) world, that atmosphere, except I’d have a fucking good story, as opposed to no story,” said the man who made Exodus: Gods and Kings and GI Jane.

And Scott’s got a point too, but only if your eyes are fixed unshakably on the slate of heavily promoted releases choking the studio pipeline and the arena of the 21st-century multiplex. The reality of what’s actually available out there, on big screens, theater and home, as well as all those tiny little tablets and phones Scorsese disdains, reveals that many of the actual movies of 2016 were pretty damn good, and that includes some of the eye-popping spectaculars which Scott rather disingenuously knocked. (I still agree more than disagree with Scorsese about those devices, though—I just haven’t gotten myself comfortable with watching a movie on a tablet yet, which is unfortunate, because that’s my only option for drinking in Filmstruck at this point.)

Eight of the 13 movies in my top echelon of 2016 I saw in a darkened theater. The other five I caught up with through the magic of streaming. And as I become ever more the homebody and continue to rankle at the ridiculously high admission prices of some of the quality cinemas in Los Angeles, that ratio is likely to continue to destabilize and shift. Already, of the 80 features released in 2016 that I’ve seen to date, 44 of those were seen at home or on my computer monitor, and curiously most of the weight anchoring the bottom of my list is provided by those 44. (I saw all but one of my bottom 10 on a home computer screen.) You can draw your own conclusions.

And while you’re doing that, I’ll be taking this last opportunity to celebrate the best of what I saw in 2016, which is bountiful enough that I have once again allowed myself some flexibility in regard to the arbitrary top 10 format. There was just too much good stuff this year to limit myself to just 10. I went for a top 13, but I’ve got a “Next 10” that, in any other year, might easily be top 10 (or 13) material. I’ll follow that with a pretty long list of other movies that I also liked, with varying degrees of reservations. And just in case you think that I think I’ve seen it all, a long list of what I have yet to see follows, consisting of a boatload of movies that, once I see them, could change the complexion of the list you’re about to read profoundly. It all adds up to a year at the movies that was, at least in terms of artistic reward, in stark contrast with the bleak prospects on display almost everywhere else we seemed to look over the past 12 months. They say that movies, always necessarily a less immediate response to life than other art forms, reflect their times. A little distance will certainly tell if that’s true. But many of the films comprising my best of the year ended up feeling very much of the moment just the same, and maybe even for the better as those times themselves became worse.

*******************************************

MOVIE OF THE YEAR



The early sections of O.J.: Made in America, my pick for the movie of 2016, make it clear just how separate Simpson intended to be from the black community which took such pride in his acceptance and achievements, and that separation went beyond securing a life of fame and riches with Hollywood always foremost in mind. While he professed to understand the importance of Muhammad Ali’s refusal to accept conscription into the Vietnam War and the need to provide support for everyone in the black community, Simpson continued to make it clear that their fight was not necessarily his fight: “What I’m doing is not for principles or for black people. I’m dealing first for O.J. Simpson, his wife and his baby.”
That, having heard such a philosophy expressed openly, blacks could have remained as supportive of O.J. Simpson as his life took an infamously surreal turn into ugly violence in Brentwood, California in June 1994, is one aspect of the mystery of O.J. Simpson upon which Ezra Edelman’s film, with its grounding in the racial inequity and violence at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department, sheds plenty of welcome light. However obvious the evidence may have been against him, however bungled by prosecution the apparently slam-dunk case ended up being, the Simpson verdict was perceived by many blacks across the nation, according to the evidence and testimony accrued in Edelman’s film, as a huge emotional release, payback to a system that repeatedly failed to provide justice for the likes of Eula Love and Rodney King.

And it’s to Edelman’s credit that a conclusion like that one has its place in the context of the larger conversation O.J.: Made in America engenders, neither summarily dismissed nor thoughtlessly endorsed but instead woven into the expressive, reverberating fabric of this unusually evocative, angering and enlightening work. O.J.: Made in America unfolds with masterful certainty and illuminating power, delineating the mind-boggling path toward a third act in the life of a man who many, even some of his staunchest supporters and friends, now believe must have committed those heinous murders, a third act which surreally nose-dives into Vegas decadence, petty crime and, yes, even perhaps one more dose of payback for crimes left unpunished.


To take up the thrust of Scorsese’s sword one last time, it seems to me that in the inescapable age of iTunes and iPads and iPhones it’s becoming increasingly pointless to debate whether or not something like O.J.: Made in America or 13th qualify as “movies” when it comes time for annual list-making. The chin-rubbing becomes especially silly and academic if the main criterion is whether or not the work was made initially for distribution by means of theaters or broadcasting, and especially when one of the most “cinematic” works I’ve seen all year, in terms of formal and technically effective storytelling bravado, was the “Battle of the Bastards” episode of Game of Thrones, which put to shame many a similar-scaled big-budget effects bonanza by its sheer creative energy alone. (“Battle of the Bastards” was directed by Miguel Sapochnik, a TV director by trade—some of his credits include House, True Detective and Fringe, and his sole feature film credit, 2010’s forgettable Repo Men, would hardly suggest he had the sort of chops he displayed in this Game of Thrones episode.)

But O.J.: Made in America, which was originally commissioned by ESPN and intended for a multi-night broadcast on that channel (the first episode was also shown on ABC), was not only the best movie I saw all year, it was also the best theatrical movie-going experience I had all year. Earlier this year ESPN put together a week-long Academy Award-qualifying theatrical run, so I packed lunch—and dinner-- I made my way over to Santa Monica via the new train line to catch the last scheduled screening of the week at 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon. The movie showed in a tiny auditorium—27 seats in all (I counted)—and that was only about half full.

My fellow audience members ran the gamut from young, white, college-aged kids who knew of the O.J. Simpson story from newspapers and urban legend, to an ethnically mixed collection of older viewers ranging anywhere from 30 to, best guess, mid 70s. The movie was shown with two 15-minute intermissions, each coming after about two and a half hours, during which, after a desperate run to the restroom, this collection of Los Angeles residents turned our screening room into a serious but good-natured sort of town hall meeting, leaning back and forward over seats to engage our neighbors in observations about the social context painted by the film, the experience of living in Los Angeles over the past 40 or 50 years from our varying perspectives, and whatever other issue the movie might have unveiled through its fascinating, fascinated methodology. O.J.: Made in America is not only a great movie documentary, it was also, for the eight and a half hours we spent together, a unique bonding experience for a few citizens of a city who might have once thought that their capability to reach out across racial and experiential boundaries of understanding might have been fatally compromised by having lived through the social upheaval propagated by “the trial of the century.”

MOONLIGHT 


A brilliant, intuitive, harrowing vision of three acts in a young man’s life, a bullied African-American kid growing up in the projects who slowly discovers his homosexuality and, as an adult, must continually shift his own self-measurement against an (almost) unforgiving culture of masculine intolerance. The marvel of Moonlight is that is never even flirts with preaching to the choir. Instead, the story of Chiron (aka Little, aka Black), played in three distinct stages by three very distinct actors, thrums with unexpected visual and rhythmic poetry which is discovered and explored with thrilling poetic acuity by director Barry Jenkins. (I was shocked to realize this gorgeous film is based on a play.) It’s also a showcase for a series of fine performances, from Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes as the three stages of Chiron, to Mahershala Ali, Naomi Harris, Janelle Monae and most especially Andre Holland, as Chiron’s childhood friend all grown up, whose welcoming face betrays its own troubles and contextualizes the director’s commitment to the mysterious landscape of the soul.  You hear it said so often by writers and others looking to fill reviews with facile commentary, but in this case it's true: I don't think I've ever seen a movie that's quite like this one.

THE WITNESS


In 1964, arriving home in the early morning to Kew Gardens, Queens from her job as a bar manager, Kitty Genovese was raped and murdered, repeatedly stabbed on the sidewalk by a man who, when interrupted by voices from nearby apartments, scurried away, waited nearly a half hour while Genovese made her way to the vestibule of her own apartment building, then returned to finish, as he put it, “what I set out to do.” A fundamentally inaccurate New York Times article about the crime would claim that “For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens,” and those horrifying accounts, true or not, became the focal point of sociological debate and inquiry about bystander apathy that still resonates today, 52 years after Kitty Genovese’s death. John Solomon’s riveting, emotionally lucid and angering documentary follows Kitty’s youngest brother Bill as he, initially in the name of closure, struggles to piece together the inconsistencies in the record and challenge the reported “facts” stemming from the Times article, whose veracity has long since ceded to the shadowy pull of urban legend. But the most spellbinding aspect of the work Solomon and Genovese undertake in their film is in the reclaiming of Kitty Genovese herself. Bill’s obsessive investigation into the circumstances of the murder begins to subtly shift to one dedicated to discovering who Kitty was before her memory had been subsumed by hastily sketched accounts of the victim referred to in newspapers and court documents. It’s in this investigation that The Witness takes on an emotional gravity to match its fascination as a dissembling of the mythology in which the crime has always been encased. (The Witness is available now through Netflix Streaming.)

ELLE 


Paul Verhoeven’s fearless thriller, the Dutch director’s first true feature since 2006’s Black Book, begins with a horrifying sexual assault (heard, but not seen), followed by the inexplicably matter-of-fact response of the victim, Michele (Isabelle Huppert in perhaps a career-best performance), an exceedingly composed owner of a company which specializes in graphically and sexually violent video games. Why does she silently sweep up the broken glass from the floor where the assault took place, and then take a bath, rather than report the crime? It’s behavior like this that has driven some viewers to distraction, but even the most inexplicable responses in Elle begin to resonate with psychological acuity as the details of Michele’s world, and more specifically her relationships with the men in her life, begin to accumulate. The movie is the last thing from a position paper—it’s an incredibly tense character thriller, and I felt as though I’d had electrodes sparking me with little bursts of voltage for the entirety of its running time. But with almost providential timing Elle serves notice on the squirmy misogynistic contempt currently moving from a subterranean position to overt expression in our culture, and how one female response to it might be more complicated than could easily fit as a slogan on a bumper sticker. (See also critic Justin Chang’s assessment of how Elle and other current films fit into the prickly task of analyzing the state of powerful women in the retrogressive Trumpian landscape, published in the January 8, 2017 edition of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section.) Elle certainly means to provoke, but that provocation isn’t perverse, it’s subtly, artfully pointed, and as such it’s definitely of a piece within the work of the man who made Starship Troopers and Showgirls.

ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING 



For whatever reason, movies have traditionally had a hard time paying much more than superficial tribute to the experience of grief. In Andrew Dominik’s deceptively beautiful account of the rehearsals for Nick Cave’s newest album, The Skeleton Tree, grief gets its due as insistent, almost imperceptible subtext and then, with full force, inescapable text. Movies, whether fiction or nonfiction, are rarely patient enough to see the process through much further than documenting inevitable bursts of emotion and tearful testimony. But here Cave is allowed, through his music and his own tentative, not humorless relationship with Dominik and his cameras, to feel his way toward some sort of reckoning that never feels pushed or otherwise, because of the context, inauthentic. The result is one of the most soaringly beautiful films of the year, one whose weight feels expansive, not oppressive, even as it acknowledges devastation with the respect it deserves.

13th 


Any year that could produce documentaries as emotionally varied and intellectually kinetic as O.J.: Made in America, The Witness, One More Time with Feeling, Lo and Behold, Zero Days and Ava DuVernay’s shocking political treatise ought to be considered some sort of watershed. But however history treats them, an attitude of gratitude for the existence of movies like these and that they are so relatively accessible ought to be the order of the day. 13th makes an air-tight case for the status of the current American penal system as a horrifyingly inevitable, economically justified and socially acceptable extension of slavery, a condition initially made possible by the very amendment—the 13th—whose ostensible intent was the abolishing of slavery after the Civil War. DuVernay makes connections through testimony and careful (but not cold-blooded) historical analysis and the result, much like O.J.: Made in America’s contextualizing of the Simpson phenomenon within the reality of African-American life in Los Angeles in the ‘50s and ‘60s, is a document that could be to date the definite statement of a culture of injustice that shows no sign of balance or meaningful restitution. (13th is available now through Netflix Streaming.)

HELL OR HIGH WATER 


Director David Mackenzie’s humanist, humanizing modern “western,” from a script by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario), finds the roots of its particular despair in the economic derailment of the Texas underclass, just the sort of gun-toting, matter-of-fact, working-class citizenry who might have claimed hope in Donald Trump’s bloviating gestures toward their desperate concerns. But Hell or High Water is a laconic, surprisingly observant act of empathy, not a populist screed, one in which the ordering of a T-bone steak reveals as much about the character of a desolate landscape as do the protagonists’ repeated acts of economic vengeance against a corrupt banking system, stealing money to be used to pay off the bank’s own suffocating mortgage and property liens which put the men in the hole in the first place. The drama would be too muted if all went well, and the inspired cast, from Chris Pine and Ben Foster as the would-be Robin Hoods, to Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham as sparring lawmen in pursuit, right down to Katy Mixon as a waitress seduced by Pine’s guarded demeanor just before an unexpected hell breaks loose, ensures that the richness of said empathy extends all the way through to the movie’s last pregnant, exquisitely modulated frames. (Hell or High Water is now available on VOD, Blu-ray and DVD.)
  
KRISHA


A cursory description of Krisha might conjure up visions of multiple DIY indie psychodramas already endured and flushed away—empty-headed hand-held camerawork facilitating shapeless, semi-improvised actorly canoodling meant to somehow coalesce in the editing room into a “meaningful experience.” The difference between those movies and Krisha is one of vision—the movie is directed by first-timer Trey Edward Shults (who also appears in it) with electricity and a mature understanding to how to make camera and sound not just duplicate states of emotional distress but express them naturally, intuitively, with purposeful clarity. The movie closes in on Krisha (enacted by an astonishing Krisha Fairchild), an unstable recovering alcoholic who reunites with her estranged family during a typically bustling and chaotic Thanksgiving celebration in the hope of some sort of tentative reconciliation. But this is no story of holiday redemption ending with familial unity and a sense of restored faith. Shults is wise enough to understand how the devastation of alcoholism and drug abuse undermines the foundation of family as well as the individual, and how sincere attempts at reform can also be undermined or undone entirely by cruelly refracted motherly instincts visited upon mothers, daughters and sons. Krisha Fairchild is so good, so artfully vulnerable and exposed, yet completely absent of self-consciousness as an actress that, were it not for a certain French icon having a career year, hers would be the female performance of 2016.



Robert Eggers’ debut feature is subtitled “A New England Folk Tale,” and that subtitle should be taken seriously, especially in light of the acclaim surrounding it as one of the best and scariest horror movies to come along in a couple of decades. Because The Witch actually lives up to both that level of hyperbole and its own modest descriptor, and on its own precisely committed and near-obsessive terms, which says a lot not only about what Eggers has achieved but also about what audiences have come to expect from a modern horror movie, and why those expectations are most often greeted by one disappointment after another. The Witch operates on such a level of visual and tonal confidence that I often wondered if maybe it wasn’t Eggers who was possessed, and it’s full of unostentatious, lyrically unsettling imagery—a woman cackling hysterically as a raven pecks at her breast, all the while dreaming of blissfully breastfeeding a baby; and later, in the sudden freedom of a calm epilogue after horrific violence, a young woman, her head looming in the frame and out of focus, stares out at a grave, behind which looms the wood where her apparent destiny will be fulfilled. Eggers’ vision can at times be overwhelming, but moments like these sneak up on you and take you down hard, justifying The Witch’s burgeoning reputation as a great new horror movie.

LA LA LAND


It’s hard to believe that this soaring, good-natured, defiantly sincere, formally daring and disarming movie, a musical for a land of unbelievers of which Jacques Demy himself would undoubtedly approve, would find itself positioned as a love-it-or-hate-it focus of cinephile debate, but it is apparently so. I walked into La La Land with a chip on my shoulder-- after all the advance praise, and after listening to several critics who swung to the extreme in the opposite direction I almost felt like the movie needed to prove itself to me. Turned out I didn't need Stone and Gosling to be Ginger and Fred, nor did I need lyricist and composer Justin Hurtwitz to be the second coming of Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed-- the score certainly revisits and recycles themes, like "City of Stars," with insistence and regularity, but that's hardly unusual in the history of the movie musical, and what he conjured was certainly pleasing enough for these coarse ears. As for charges of the cinematography being so inept as to make Emma Stone unappealing, well, those who believe this to be true clearly didn't see the same shots in the way I did. But La La Land’s spirit and its conviction are only two reasons it sang to me-- director Damien Chazelle's understanding of the way the camera can be used to tease out that spirit and conviction is seductively funny, and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have rarely been as luminous, funny or as vulnerable on screen, in the act of dance and song or in just being together, feeling out the course of a tentative relationship they’d like to believe is charted in the firmament. Movies don't often cause me to burst out in spontaneous tears of happiness, but this one did on several occasions. Though I know tears are no indicator of actual quality, the cloud on which I floated out of the theater certainly felt as if it had been inspired by the real thing. On top of everything else, La La Land is a lovely catharsis, two hours of blissful respite from the lingering effects of a grim year.

LO AND BEHOLD: REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD and ZERO DAYS



These two films, the work of two of the premier documentary artists now working in movies, throw a wide and encompassing net around the implications of social media and the power of the Internet, each of them purely reflective of their creators’ inquisitive and, in the case of Herzog, poetic sensibilities. Alex Gibney’s soul-chilling account of Stuxnet, an insidious, self-governing malware, is frightening enough as it describes the efforts of a group of code-breakers to identify its source and intent, and the destructive effects the software inflicts once it’s set loose on an Iranian nuclear power facility. But Gibney’s powers as a natural storyteller are at full throttle here, and the implications of the Stuxnet assault will jangle your already paranoid nervous system as he tracks the malware’s US-Israeli origins and how it ended up being turned back on its creators and, of course, us. Herzog’s exploration of the origins of the Internet and the ways it can be employed to undermine and expand human experience leans more toward poetry and allusion than Gibney’s necessarily more prosaic approach, but it’s no less absorbing. Seen together, they paint an unnerving and suspicious, but also warily hopeful picture of a technologically reliant world which can no longer envision itself before it became inextricably connected and might possibly never understand everything that can happen from the application of indecipherable code or even the simple click of a mouse. 

LOVING


The eloquent understatement of Jeff Nichols’ drama of social history shouldn’t be undervalued. Nichols dares to tell the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple in Virginia who married in 1958 and spent the next nine years as the subject of persecution and exile before becoming the nexus of Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 federal ruling that abolished anti-miscegenation laws nationwide, with spellbinding, hushed confidence. So naturally the movie is being dinged in some quarters for not being dramatic enough. But there’s enough drama for two or three movies in the way Ruth Negga, as Mildred, draws a hesitant breath while reticently considering the family she’ll have to leave to maintain her new one, or the way Joel Edgerton’s Richard preserves his dignity while furrowing his brow and deflecting his gaze from figures of authority, stealing a microsecond’s glance before resuming a position of deference. Loving never sacrifices the integrity of character for the momentary juice of effect, and despite the seductive call of the typical Hollywood take on true-life drama it never becomes about big moments, or self-righteous expressions, or even the resolution of the courtroom decision as it is delivered. Important stories like these have been butchered and falsified so often, their focus and weight shifted from the real (usually non-white) protagonists to peripheral figures of (white) authority like savior cops, lawyers and government agents at the hands of directors like Alan Parker in Mississippi Burning, that the value of Nichols’ composed, clear-eyed approach ought to be exceedingly apparent. Nichols values the basic honor he recognizes in the characters and transfers it with urgency to his graceful, eloquent film.

THE NEXT TEN…
Nichols dares to tell the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple in Virginia who married in 1958 and spent the next nine years as the subject of persecution and exile before becoming the nexus of Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 federal ruling that abolished anti-miscegenation laws nationwide, with spellbinding, hushed confidence. And naturally the movie is being dinged by some for not being dramatic enough. But there’s enough drama for two or three movies in the way Ruth Negga, as Mildred, draws a hesitant breath while reticently considering the family she’ll have to leave to maintain her new one, or the way Joel Edgerton’s Richard preserves his dignity while furrowing his brow and deflecting his gaze from figures of authority, stealing a microsecond’s glance before resuming a position of deference.
LOVING never sacrifices the integrity of character for the momentary juice of effect, and despite the seductive call of the typical Hollywood take on true-life drama, it never becomes about big moments, or self-righteous expressions, or even the resolution of the courtroom decision as it is been delivered. I kept thinking how often important stories like these have been butchered and falsified, their focus and weight shifted from the real (usually non-white) protagonists to peripheral figures of (white) authority like savior cops, lawyers and government agents at the hands of directors like Alan Parker (MISSISSIPPI BURNING), and I was made even more grateful for Jeff Nichols’ approach, which exudes gentleness and a basic honor he recognizes in the characters and transfers to his film.

INDIGNATION 
DON’T BREATHE 
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS 
DE PALMA 
EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! 
BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT 
ALLIED
PETE’S DRAGON 
DOG EAT DOG 

TH-TH-THAT’S NOT ALL FOLKS! (More Movies I Liked)


ZOOTOPIA 
ONLY YESTERDAY (OMOHIDE PORO PORO)
EYE IN THE SKY 
MOANA (2016)
INTO THE INFERNO
SHIN GODZILLA
ARRIVAL 
STAR TREK: BEYOND 
MY GOLDEN DAYS
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
DEADPOOL


FINDING DORY
FASTBALL
THE FITS
THE SHALLOWS
TRIPLE 9
HAIL, CAESAR!
GREEN ROOM
THE BFG
THE LEGEND OF TARZAN
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS
DEMON
CAFÉ SOCIETY
THE FINEST HOURS
THE NICE GUYS

FEMALE LEAD PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR


Isabelle Huppert ELLE
Krisha Fairchild KRISHA
Ruth Negga LOVING
Emma Stone LA LA LAND
Anya Taylor-Joy THE WITCH
Royal Hightower THE FITS
Marion Cottiard ALLIED

MALE LEAD PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR


Logan Lerman INDIGNATION
Chris Pine HELL OR HIGH WATER
Joel Edgerton LOVING
Michael Shannon MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
Ryan Gosling LA LA LAND
Ryan Reynolds DEADPOOL
Casey Affleck MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

FEMALE SUPPORTING PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR


Michelle Williams MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Naomi Harris MOONLIGHT
Sarah Gadon INDIGNATION
Kate Winslet TRIPLE 9
Lupita Nyong’o THE JUNGLE BOOK
Anne Consigny ELLE
Eve BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT
Penelope Milford THE BFG
Katy Mixon HELL OR HIGH WATER
Jeanne Berlin CAFÉ SOCIETY
Lou Roy-Lecollinet MY GOLDEN DAYS
Sofia Boutella STAR TREK: BEYOND
Margot Robbie SUICIDE SQUAD
Margaret Bowman HELL OR HIGH WATER

MALE SUPPORTING PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR


Mahershala Ali MOONLIGHT
Tracy Letts INDIGNATION
Jeff Bridges HELL OR HIGH WATER
Ben Foster HELL OR HIGH WATER
Andre Holland MOONLIGHT
Glen Powell EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!
Willem Dafoe DOG EAT DOG
Ralph Ineson THE WITCH
Laurent Lafitte ELLE
Alden Ehrenreich HAIL, CAESAR!
Patrick Stewart GREEN ROOM
John Goodman 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
Bill Wise KRISHA
Cedric the Entertainer BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT
Gil Birmingham HELL OR HIGH WATER
Jared Harris ALLIED
Paul Schrader DOG EAT DOG
Tom Holland CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Samuel L. Jackson THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

SO MUCH LEFT TO SEE


AQUARIUS
A BIGGER SPLASH
CAMERAPERSON
CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR
CHRISTINE
CREEPY
DON’T THINK TWICE
THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN


FENCES
FIRE AT SEA
GLEASON
HACKSAW RIDGE
THE HANDMAIDEN
HIDDEN FIGURES
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO
JACKIE
JULIETA


LITTLE MEN
THE LOBSTER
LOUDER THAN BOMBS
LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP
THE LOVE WITCH
MISS SHARON JONES
NO HOME MOVIE
PATERSON
QUEEN OF KATWE
RULES DON’T APPLY
SILENCE
TONI ERDMANN
TOWER
THINGS TO COME
20th CENTURY WOMEN
WEINER
WEINER-DOG

MOVIES I SAW FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2016


THE BESPOKE OVERCOAT (1955)
BROADWAY (1929)
BULLDOG DRUMMOND STRIKES BACK (1934)
BUONA SERA, MRS. CAMPBELL (1969)
CIRCUS OF HORRORS (1960)
THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1961)
A CRY IN THE NIGHT (1956)
THE DARK CORNER (1946)
DEATH FORCE (aka FIGHTING MAD aka VENGEANCE IS MINE) (1978)
DETROIT 9000 (1973)
DECISION AT SUNDOWN (1957)
DELUGE (1933)
DOUBLE HARNESS (1933)
THE ENDLESS SUMMER (1966)
A FINE PAIR (1968)
THE FRONT PAGE (1931)


GAMBLING LADY (1931)
A HOUSE DIVIDED (1931)
KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS (1948)
LADY SNOWBLOOD (1973)
LADY SNOWBLOOD: LOVE SONG OF VENGEANCE (1974)
LAUGHING SINNERS (1931)
LAW AND ORDER (1932)
A LAWLESS STREET (1955)
LOS TALLOS AMARGOS (aka THE BITTER STEMS) (1956)
MAID IN SALEM (1937)
MULTIPLE MANIACS (1970)
MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932)
MY SISTER EILEEN (1955)
NEVER FEAR (aka THE YOUNG LOVERS) (1949)
ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO (1964)
PICKPOCKET (1959)


POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE (1990)
PRINCESS MONONOKE (1999)
PRIVATE PROPERTY (1960)
ROAR (1981)
ROBIN AND MARIAN (1976)
SCREAM OF FEAR (1964)
SIX HOURS TO LIVE (1932)
STAGECOACH KID (1949)
STOP ME BEFORE I KILL (1960)
A TASTE OF HONEY (1961)
TRUCK TURNER (1974)
THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL (1960)
VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (1970)
WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950)

MOVIES I LIKED BETTER THAN MOST DID


THE BFG
THE LEGEND OF TARZAN
PEE-WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY
SUICIDE SQUAD (don’t get me wrong—it’s still pretty bad, Margot Robbie notwithstanding, but I preferred it to the suffocatingly morose and stupid Batman v. Superman—Dawn of Justice)
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

MOVIES I LIKED LESS THAN MOST DID


THE CONJURING 2
DOCTOR STRANGE
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS
HAIL, CAESAR!
HARDCORE HENRY
THE JUNGLE BOOK
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

BOTTOM OF THE BARREL (in descending order)


THE BOY
GOD’S NOT DEAD 2
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
MAX STEEL
ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
THE COMEDIAN
PAPA HEMINGWAY IN CUBA
MOTHER’S DAY

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