This is the official list of the best of film in 2016. Don’t bother with those other lists, they’re for chumps!
11. Green Room – We thought we’d give you one extra film, free of charge! This one got a world of praise at the time, and then most people forgot about it. It’s an interesting tale and will serve as a fine reminder of how good Anton Yelchin was as an actor. Another one taken too young!
“As production manager Gabe, Macon Blair gives one of the most memorable performances of the film, and the central cast (particularly Anton Yelchin as bassist Pat) deliver far more than the naïve victims usually associated with the genre. Overall, Green Room is far more than a slasher film; and Saulnier’s intelligent script ensures that the brutality is merely part of the story, not the reason for it.”
10. The Daughter – Based on the Henrik Ibsen’s play “The Wild Duck” this is an Australian tale of a young woman finding her place in the world.
“While the story is set in New South Wales, it could take place anywhere, where economic pressures are altering the social certainties built up over time. The cast is well balanced and they seamlessly interact together to create the pressure cooker of emotions which gradually intensify. In particular Odessa Young has a difficult and very large part to play as Hedvig which she executes with a remarkable polish for one so young, apparently a mere 17 years of age at the time of shooting. It is beautifully shot with a musical score which assists. In short this is a well-crafted film which is a pleasure to watch.”
9. Our Little Sister – Plunge yourself into this wonderful Japanese sisterhood! It’s a domestic tale of the simple things that still seems very exotic.
“It is a film that blows the Bechdel test out of the water, with a mainly female cast. It is a rare sight on screen and it should be celebrated for this alone. The slow pace of the plot may leave some uneasy in their seat, and it is certainly not aimed at the more bitter amongst us. It could easily be described as ‘heart warming’ which will send some running for the hills but it is never overly sentimental. As a depiction of life in Japan, it give a flavour of an unknown land and shows that their problems are similar to our own.”
8. Nocturnal Animals – The return of Tom Ford and it wasn’t half bad. Still trying to work out the ending…
“Despite its violent scenes, it is all beautifully rendered. The story makes for many uneasy moments and Ford weaves a formidable, slow burning story of revenge. The ending is restrained but inspired. Ford is both a very talented director and a writer. He is blessed with an exquisite eye both for the world of fashion and cinema. He adds to these accomplishments a true skill at the art of suspense.”
7. Love & Friendship – It’s great that Whit Stillman is back in action. For a while it looked like he’d disappeared completely! What’s not to like about this Jane Austen cover version. Here’s Frank L talking about it in May.
“Jane Austen’s genius has many sides but the importance of money in relation to love and friendship was a dynamic which she understood. Stillman in this adaptation of her novella pays tribute to her talent and has with Kate Beckinsale brought to prominence one of Austen’s lesser known heroines. Lady Susan is a young widow of considerable charm but highly dangerous to those who come within her orbit. It was a delight to observe Lady Susan at work and a comfort to know that she operated at a different time. Stillman has created a gem and is entitled to take an elegant eighteenth century bow.”
6. Marguerite – The film for those that dream of the stage. Here’s the reason not to put yourself up there! This is the much better version of the Florence Foster Jenkins story. Here’s Pat V. in March.
“The sub-plot of Hazel’s rise to fame and her complicated love life is unnecessary and as the film is over two hours long, could certainly have been omitted. It is only when Marguerite is on screen that our attention is fully engaged. Like those around her, at first we laugh at her, then we cringe for her and finally she wins us over completely and we wish that the world had been kinder to her. This is a charming and moving film and one to avoid only if you are hyper-sensitive to discordant singing!”