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Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Top 10 Films of 2016


While I know this is a tad bit late as we're about two weeks into 2017 now, it's apparent that I've fallen off the blogging horse. So, in order to be myself back into blogging, I've decided to do something short and sweet and by compiling a list of my top 10 favorite films from 2016.


10. Audrie & Daisy - Images via IMDB
Similar to 2015's The Haunting Ground, Audrie & Daisy is also a documentary about rape and sexual assault with an emphasis on cyber bullying. However, what this film does better than The Haunting Ground is that it makes these young women's' stories feel personal enough to the point where you feel as if you actually know them. It's this aspect that makes the film different from your run-of-the-mill documentary and one I highly recommend.


9. Hail, Caesar! - Images via IMDB
Hail, Caesar is a film that I enjoyed a lot although I didn't initially expect
much from it. It's the kind of movie "film studies people" like myself would 
enjoy simply because of the fact it's basically a homage to the ages of
 Classical Hollywood cinema. Though the story is a bit underwhelming and 
it lacks a bit in the substance department, the performances, dialogue
 and costume and set designs make up for it immensely.


8. Hush - Images via IMDB
Hush is a film I thought that I would turn on to play in the background as I
 did some work. While I initially shrugged it off as just some bad, horror movie,
 after the first couple of minutes, I was completely hooked. I was so 
involved in everything that was happening in the film that I completely
 ignored all of my work.This film is like a breath of fresh air 
for the horror genre and I applaud the director,
 Mike Flanagan, for proving to everyone watching that
 horror isn't dead yet.


7. 10 Cloverfield Lane - Images via IMDB
This is another film I didn't expect much from that unexpectedly surprised me. From start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat trying to piece together what exactly was going on. And it didn't hurt that the cinematography was gorgeous. I know little to nothing about the previous Cloverfield movie, but I followed along here with no confusion at all as this movie's focus seems completely different from whatever Cloverfield was about. It was also refreshing to see a thriller that wasn't either a crappy Lifetime movie or a rip off of Gone Girl, so I'm looking forward to seeing what else Dan Trachtenberg will be doing in the future.


6. The Neon Demon - via IMDB
A majority, if not all of my friends hated this movie. I, on the other hand, 
adored it. I didn't get to see it in theaters, but I wish I had. It's not only
 stunning visually, but there's a lot more to this film than most people think. 
A lot of people say that the film is more "style over substance" and that it's a 
bit hollow and this is true if you merely take the film for what you see on 
the screen because then it's an incomprehensible mess. If you dig deeper 
you'll see that it's not the characters telling the story, but everything else
 around them and I can appreciate any film that makes me think the way 
this one does. Plus, Jena Malone.


5. Nocturnal Animals - via IMDB
I knew this film was going to be good. I just knew it and as usual, I was right. What it did well was that it told three different stories interchangeably, cutting to another story at just the right time. And each one is distinctly interesting in it's own way, though some more so than others. However, like The Neon Demon, there's more to this tale than what you see on the screen. Its a tale of revenge, yes, as we physically see Amy Adams stand in front of a portrait that reads, "REVENGE", in big, bold text, but it is also about the integrity of artists and the artistic expression, which is something I can get behind. Also, Jenna Malone again, even though she was only in about 2 scenes.


4. Zootopia - Images via IMDB
Zootopia is a delightfully animated film that's not only fun, but it's smart 
in the aspect that it has an obvious message, but it doesn't detract from the
 story to say what it has to say. It's executed in a way that's cute and fun 
enough for children and provocative and enlightening enough for adults who
 want to see something more than just some talking animals. If this film
 doesn't win the award for Best Animated Feature, I'm going to 
jump off a cliff.


3. The Lobster - Images via IMDB
This film left me in awe. From it's absurdist plot to its unusually
 monotone characters to it's ultimately brutal ending, this film is different
 from anything I've ever seen before. However, it does connect well with the
 struggles of modern dating. It's a satire and it's not to be taken at face 
value by any means, but the critique behind the strange dialogue and
 even stranger character interactions is both engaging and elegant.


2. Moonlight - Images via IMDB
Here we have another film that left me completely in awe, but for many
 different reasons than the other films. This film is heartbreaking, but it
 holds such a large understanding of the human experience including themes
 such as loneliness, isolation, sexuality, identity and
 how we shape ourselves in a world where who we want to be may not be
 accepted by others. It's such a specific film and that's why the film shines.
 The hardships Chiron faces are specific to him and those like him as most
 of us have nor will we ever experience the things he's been through. 
However, though most people can't relate to Chiron's story in its 
entirety, the overall message of the film is quite universal.


1. La La Land - Images via IMDB
I'm a sucker for a good musical and this film did not let me down one bit. What this film did for me was what Singing in the Rain did for it's audiences in the 50's, however this film completely rejects many thematic aspects of the typical Classical Hollywood musical. But even though it rejects those certain methods to keep the film fresh and different, it also celebrates what made those kinds of movies great with wonderful tap-dance numbers and gigantic, over-the-top musical numbers with beautiful costume design at the same time. It's clever, beautiful and overall, just a very personal film which you can tell all from the way it was shot. This is the second masterpiece by Damien Chazelle and, ultimately, my favorite movie of the year.

This was a hard list to make. There were so many great films that came out this year and so many films that I didn't get to see that I wish I had because they probably would've made this list. But I am very excited for the new year and for the many films to come during the new year, so keep reading.

And thank you.


1 comment:

  1. Audrie & Daisy sounds super good!! I'd definitely like to check that out. I saw Zootopia at the theaters bc my 8 year old made me and I thought it was okay. I kind of don't like when the message is that strong.

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