Review of the Year 2016

 

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Best Family/Children’s Film

Contenders:

Moana, Zootropolis, The BFG

Winner:

Disney animations studios had a couple of really good films out this year and for me Zootropolis was just the better of the two. As it was Laika studios blew them both out of the water with their masterpiece, Kubo & the Two Strings. It just had a charm and magic that couldn’t be matched and the stop motion work was both a technical marvel and a thing of beauty.

 

Funniest Film

Contenders:

Ghostbusters , Love & Friendship, Captain America: Civil War

Winner:

Ghostbusters was gently amusing all the way through and Love & Friendship was smart, sophisticated and witty. Marvel proved they are still the masters of the blockbuster with an Avengers film that was both moving and amusing. The Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the winner here though. It was just brilliant, touching, exciting and easily the funniest film I saw all year.

 

Best Little Green Men Movie

Contenders:

Arrival, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Midnight Special

Winner:

The Force Awakens was my film of the year last year but even though Rogue One did not fill me with quite the same level of joy it was still a great Star Wars film and I am wired to celebrate that. Arrival was a better movie but that wasn’t really about aliens as much as it was about humanity. Rogue One was the best time I had with people from other planets all year.

 

Best Head Scratcher

Contenders:

Nocturnal Animals, Neon Demon, High Rise

Winner:

Daniel Radcliffe’s flatulent corpse film, Swiss Army Man, was fun all the way through and I loved how it played with cinematic conventions. Then right at the end you realised it wasn’t quite what you thought it was leaving you with a great deal to think about and much to discuss.

 

Best Foreign Language Film

Contenders:

Suburra, Son of Saul, Under the Shadow

Winner:

Mustang, the tale of five sisters pushing back against societal patriarchy in Turkey was by turns heart-breaking and inspiring. These girls were not fighting against fascism like in Son of Saul, organised crime and corruption like in Suburra or evil spirits as in Under the Shadow but their battle was the one that moved me the most.

 

Best Scene of the Year

Contenders:

Sir James Martin arrives at Churchill for the first time in Love & Friendship, the montage in Swiss Army Man, the fight against the giant skeleton in Kubo & the Two Strings

Winner:

There were lots of great cinema moments this year. Even aside of the ones mentioned above we had Dory finding the stones leading back to her childhood home, the airport fight in Captain America: Civil War, Sophie and the BFG journeying to the land of dreams and Judy Hopps journeying to Zootropolis. All wonderful moments of cinema. Best of the best though was the Back to the Future inspired dance scene in Sing Street. Nothing I saw on a screen this year put a bigger smile on my face.

 

Best Romance

Contenders:

Vonnie and Phil (not Bobby) in Café Society, Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus in Rogue One, Jacob and Queenie in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Winner:

Another win for Sing Street with Conor and Raphina’s developing relationship being the one I most cared about. Ain’t young love sweet? Despite the fairly strong fantasy element to the film the central romance was totally believable and captured that feeling of being a besotted teenager perfectly.

 

 

Best CGI Character

Contenders:

Grand Moff Tarkin, Doctor Strange’s cloak, The BFG

Winner:

The Niffler from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. You’ve got to love that little guy.

 

The Ripley Award for Outstanding Work in Feminist Cinema

Contenders:

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Arrival, 10 Cloverfield Land

Winner:

Again, lots to choose from here; Jack Reacher tried very very hard to get the gender balance right and succeeded. Arrival and 10 Cloverfield Lane had strong women at the heart of them, as did Moana and Rogue One, but the greatest advocate for women’s rights in cinema this year was Lale, the fourteen year old feminist firebrand in Mustang.

 

The Trump Award for Objectionable Work in Sexist Cinema

Contenders:

Everybody Wants Some!!, Sausage Party, Suicide Squad

Winner:

Fortunately not too much to choose from here. Everybody Wants Some!! was deliberately chauvinist but it was chauvinist nonetheless. Sausage Party was full of the most hideous stereotypes and Suicide was far too interested in Margot Robbie’s small pants. Worse than all of these though was The Big Short which cut women out of the story completely, unless you count the scene with Margot Robbie in which she was drinking champagne and sitting in a bubble bath, presumably not wearing any pants at all. For more on how this film fell short in a big way click here.

 

Most Exhausting Cinematic Experience

Contenders:

The Hateful Eight, Departure, Sausage Party

Winner:

Blimey these movies were hard work. Sausage Party was a relentless series of sex jokes, Departure was just so so depressing and Tarantino’s latest turned in to a never ending blood bath (of course it did). None of them were as much of a slog as The Revenant though. Brilliant yes, but exhausting.

 

Biggest Disappointment

Contenders:

X-Men: Apocalypse, Hail Caesar!, Jason Bourne

Winner:

None of these are the worst film I saw this year, that honour goes to Melissa McCarthy’s movie The Boss. These are just the ones I thought would be good though and really really weren’t. The biggest disappointment of all was most definitely Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was Batman and Superman for goodness sake, and Wonder Woman! Marvel doesn’t have a single character on their roster as iconic as any of these and DC and Warner Brothers put them together in this dog’s dinner.

 

Biggest Surprise

Contenders:

The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Swiss Army Man, Under the Shadow

Winner:

Again, these are not my favourite films of the year but they are the ones I either didn’t expect to like or didn’t really have any expectations going in. Eddie the Eagle takes the prize because I didn’t think that would be good at all but I loved it. It was cheesy and cliché ridden but it was so so endearing.

 

 

My top ten films of the year start counting down on Facebook on 22nd.

 

Follow the Not Left Handed Film Guide on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/Notlefthandedfilmguy/

 

 

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