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The movie seasons seems to now have settled into three periods of time. The first third is made up of the leftovers from the award season as the Oscars fast approach.
The second third is generally made up of tentpole/big studio type films with more and more counterprogramming for those more interested in independent and foreign films, and even more so as the distributors realize that there are still a lot of older filmgoers out there yet going to the theater (as well as growing niche markets for the diversity crowd).
This reverses in the final third, the months leading up to awards season, in which the distributors pull out their prestige pictures and Oscar bait films. This time the counterprogramming is for the more youthful market who tend to go to tentpole/big studio type films.
I don’t know how long this will last or what further changes will come about due to the rise of television and live streaming, but que sera sera.
And so to the point, my best of the year.

how1I only do seven main best of categories (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Screenplay).

I do top ten when it comes to Best Picture.  For the other categories, I allow myself between five and ten.

When I first began my lists, I always did a top five when it came to acting, etc.  But I always felt that when it came down to making my final selections, it felt arbitrary to leave out those I really felt deserved to be included.

And anyway, it’s my list and I can do what I want.

I also usually do a list of Best Ensemble (why, I don’t know; sometimes I think it just gives me a way to award some extra performers when I just don’t have other room for them) as well as a list of miscellany awards for any film that I felt had some technical aspect to it that should be recognized.

I follow each individual list with an additional list of films I liked for the various categories, but couldn’t quite put in the top list.

I then finish the list off with the worst of the year.

However, let’s begin with some fun stuff:

how2The Blazing Saddles Award for Best Use of Farting in a Movie: Swiss Army Man

The Tony Curtis “Yondah is da castle of my faddah” The Black Shield of Falworth Award for worst accent: Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge and Silence

The Diana Christensen/Network Award for the Most Offensively Written Role for a Woman: Miss Sloane in Miss Sloane

The Lack of Irony Award for the Movie That Should Have Listened to Its Own Title: Silence

The NAMBLA Award for Best Triple Feature of the Year: The Nice Guys Loving Little Men

Now on to the real awards, but with one caveat. The Lobster was on my list for 2015.

how3Best Picture: The Handmaiden

Remaining nine (listed in alphabetical order):

20th Century Women

Hell or High Water


Manchester by the Sea


The Nice Guys

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Sing Street

Things to Come

Also rans, in alphabetical order: Deadpool, Deepwater Horizon, Don’t Think Twice, In the Shadow of Women, The Innocents, King Cobra, Midnight Special, Paterson, The People v. Fritz Bauer, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Sully, Swiss Army Man

how4Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

And in alphabetical order:

Joel Edgerton – Loving

Tom Hanks – Sully

Dave Johns – I, Daniel Blake

Vincent Lindon – The Measure of a Man

Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool

Special duo award to Ryan Gosling and Russell Crow – The Nice Guys

Also rans: Pilou Asbaek – A War; Colin Firth – Genius; Burghart Klausner – The People v. Fritz Bower; Clive Owen – The Confirmation

how5Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert – Elle, Things to Come, Valley of Love

And in alphabetical order:

Annette Bening – 20th Century Women

Catherine Frot – Marguerite

Rebecca Hall – Christine

Ruth Negga – Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie

Special duo award: Min-hee Kim, Tae-ri Kim – The Handmaiden

Also rans: Sonia Braga – Aquarius; Margherita Buy – Mia Madre; Sally Fields – Hello, My Name is Doris

how6Best Supporting Actor: Timothy Spall – Denial

And in alphabetical order:

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Tom Bennett – Love & Friendship

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea

Jin-Wong Jo – The Handmaiden

Shia LeBouef – American Honey

Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals, Midnight Special

Also rans: Alden Ehrenreich – Hail, Caesar!; Simon Helburg – Florence Foster Jenkins; Aaron Taylor Johnson – Nocturnal Animals; Ben Johnson – Hell or High Water; John Malkovich – Deepwater Horizon; Patrick Stuart – Greenroom; Vince Vaughn – Hacksaw Ridge

how7Best Supporting Actress: Greta Gerwig – Jackie, 20th Century Women

And in alphabetical order:

Ellen Burstyn – Weiner-Dog

Viola Davis – Fences

Naomi Harris – Moonlight

Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Miss Sloane

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Also rans: Paula Garcia – Little Men; Laura Linney – Nocturnal Animals; Hayley Squires – I, Daniel Blake

how8Best Director: Chan-wook Park – The Handmaiden

And in alphabetical order:

Andrea Arnold – American Honey

Peter Berg – Deepwater Horizon

Damion Chazzelle – La La Land

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Kenneth Lonnergan – Manchester by the Sea

Hong-Jin Na – The Wailing

Jeff Nichols – Loving

Also rans: John Carney – Sing Street; Gareth Edwards – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Tim Miller – Deadpool; Roar Uthaug – The Wave; Paul Verhoeven – Elle;

how9Best Screenplay: Kenneth Lonnergan – Manchester by the Sea

And in alphabetical order:

20th Century Women – Mike Mills

Deadpool – Tim Miller

The Handmaiden – Sarah Waters, Seo-kyeong Jeong

Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan

Loving – Jeff Nichols

Moonlight – Barry Jenkins, Tyrell Alvin McCartney

The Nice Guys – Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzil

Sing Street – John Carney

Things to Come – Mia Hansen-Love

Also rans: Mike Birbiglia – Don’t Think Twice

how10Best Ensembles: Don’t Think Twice; Eye in the Sky; Hunt for the Wilderpeople; Manchester by the Sea; Moonlight; Sing Street

how11Special Awards:

Christine – Sets, costumes

Deepwater Horizon – Second unit direction, special effects

Doctor Strange – Sets, special effects

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Sets, costumes, music, special effects

Hacksaw Ridge – Second unit direction, special effects

The Handmaiden – Sets, costumes, music

Jackie – Sets, costumes, makeup

La La Land – Music

how12Manchester by the Sea – Music

Silence – Cinematography

Sing Street – Music

Sully – Second unit direction, special effects

The Wave – Second unit direction, special effects

how13And last, but not least, well, actually, definitely least, the worst films of the year:

Absolutely Fabulous: the Movie



It’s Only the End of the World

The Light Between Oceans

The Magnificent 7

Miss Sloane



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