Friday, January 13, 2017

Top Movies of the Year 2016

Inspired by a friend, in 2016 I kept track of my movie viewing habits. I subsequently decided to make a post about my favorites.

In total I watched 142 full-length movies.* 50 of those were movies I’d seen at least once before. I also watched 20+ short films. The “plus” is because I was lazy & didn’t keep track of how many films I saw during the two days of the Oceanside International Film Festival that I attended.

Top 5 Full Length Films:

5.Hello, My Name Is Doris” (2015), directed by Michael Showalter

After the death of her mother, 60-something Doris (Sally Field) slowly begins to blossom. This doesn’t have the best reviews online but I thought it was both sweet and charming.

4.Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (2015), directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Teenager Greg (Thomas Mann) befriends Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a peer with cancer, and learns valuable lessons about life and friendship.

3. Spotlight” (2015), directed by Tom McCarthy

A dramatized look at the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church’s pedophile priest scandal. 2015’s Best Picture winner, it’s very, very good.

2.The American Astronaut” (2001), directed by Cory McAbee

It’s a space western musical in which trader Samuel Curtis (Cory McAbee) sets out on a mission that will earn him a big payday. This movie is rather quirky, but I found it endlessly entertaining.

1.The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young” (2014), directed by Annika Iltis & Timothy James Kane

This documentary showcases the Barkley Marathons, an “ultramarathon trail race” held in Tennessee each year. This marathon is insane and the documentary about it is absolutely delightful. I found it on a Reddit thread about “great films you’re missing on Netflix instant watch” and added it to my list. I was not disappointed.

Honorable Mentions: The Damned, Populaire, Chinatown

Top 3 Short Films:

3.Alles Wird Gut (Everything Will Be Okay)” (2015), directed by Patrick Vollrath

A divorced man, feeling threatened by his ex-wife’s new relationship, does something desperate in order to retain custody of his daughter. You will hate this father and empathize with him all at the same time. It’s masterfully done.

2.Shok” (2015), directed by Jamie Donoughue

Two young boys find their friendship tested in war-torn Kosovo. The ending is absolutely gut-wrenching. I felt devastated for days after.

1.World of Tomorrow” (2015), directed by Don Hertzfeldt

In this animated short, a young girl is visited by her future self (sort of). It’s weird and inventive and funny and poignant.

Honorable Mentions: A Girl in the River (Best Documentary Short Winner), In Memory

*My criteria is that I had to watch the film in full. Frequently, I will turn on a film in the background while I'm working (usually something I’ve seen before) and not complete it. In my opinion, those don’t count.


Patricia said...

I agree with your opinion about watching a film all the way through.

Very impressive number of films watched. I topped out at either 110 or 112. And so many short films! Where do you watch them, aside from film festivals?

I sort of wanted to see Hello My Name is Doris, but haven't yet. If it had been directed by a woman, it would have been a for-sure thing. Thanks to you, I've just put it on my For-Later Shelf on the library's website, which I've recently discovered. The library will tell you when items on your For-Later shelf are available. It works great with movies, as then they don't have to clutter up my hold list.

I've not seen the movie of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl because I loved the book so much and I didn't trust that what I loved about the book could be brought to the big screen. But I'm glad you liked it. It was partially because of the book that I watched Aguirre, the Wrath of God.

Matt and I just watched Spotlight last week, due to snow. It was my second time and I had to lean on him to get him to watch it. I feel like that it's a really excellent film that I couldn't get anyone to watch because they were uncomfortable with the subject matter. "It doesn't show the molesting!" I said more than once. Watching it a second time reminded me that I cried all the way through it the first time. The crying was less obvious in a dark theater, when I had the row to myself. Anyway, Matt really liked it.

What a good year for your movies!

balyien said...

I was fortunate enough to see the Oscar nominated animated and live fiction shorts at a theater when I still lived in LA. I also saw the Short Documentary winner in a theater in LA (a special showing put on by HBO). Now that I no longer live in LA, I doubt I'll be seeing as many shorts, although it would be nice if I could find a way to watch the Oscar nominees this year. I really enjoyed that.

I never would have watched Spotlight if it hadn't won Best Picture. Who WANTS to watch a movie about child molestation? But it's not about child molestation, at least not in the way that people think. I'm really glad I got pushed into watching it. Some movies are just a shame to miss. I'm glad you talked Matt into it!