Let’s get this out of the way first: 2016 was a tsunami of horrific news.
Fontaine’s intimate epic of faith, science, resilience and sacrifice, inspired by a true story, is a monumental achievement, this post-WWII saga of a French doctor (portrayed brilliantly by Lou de Laâge) coming across an abbey filled with pregnant Polish nuns an unforgettable stunner that held me spellbound first frame to last. Masterful.
Set immediately before the events of 1977’s Star Wars, this side story taking place inside the intergalactic confines of George Lucas’ massive science fiction universe is a down-and-dirty, WWII-style slugfest that’s got far more on its mind than its simple story of espionage and heroism would initially lead one to believe.
I’m not going to go into detail on these this year; I just don’t have the energy or heart to tear anything apart, let alone films I felt particularly let down by. Let’s just say these are the ten motion pictures I hope to never have to deal with again. I’m pretty sure nothing more needs to be said.
Our list of the Top 100 Films of 2016. Enjoy sifting through them all.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, actor John Krasinski and directors Ang Lee and Guillermo del Toro let the world know the nominees for the 88th annual Academy Awards, survival epic The Revenant, dystopian action effort Mad Max: Fury Road, journalism procedural Spotlight and housing crisis comedic satire The Big Short instantly emerging as Best Picture frontrunners.
By my count, there were roughly 35 motion pictures I’d consider top tier or better, with another 20 or so I’d rate just behind them. All of which leads me to say, yes, I do believe 2015 was a great year for cinema, and I can’t help but think history will bare me out on that proclamation as the years mercilessly go by.
Writer/director Olivier Assayas’ latest drama is perfect, the movie a stunning portrait of a middle-aged actress (a dazzling Juliette Binoche) who comes face-to-face with her own career mortality when she’s asked to play the older role in the play that made her a star two decades prior. Funny, thought-provoking, intimate and authentic, the film is a nimble surprise that builds to an emotional firecracker of a climax.
Tangerine – “Baker’s film is so confident, so honest, so gosh darn friendly, of all things, that the tatty seediness of the underlying facets of the subject matter are never as off-putting or as uncomfortable as they potentially could have been. He never belittles his two heroines, never pokes fun at their respective situations. Instead, he celebrates their fearlessness while recognizing with gut-wrenching honesty the lengths they feel as if they must go to in order to be true to themselves and what it is they want out of life.”