SPECIAL CITATION – MOST OVERRATED FILM OF THE YEAR
Toss me sideways cause I don’t get it. Many found Paul Verhoeven’s film to be…I don’t even know. Enlightening, perhaps? I saw a fake and unconvincing thriller/character-study/provocation on past trauma, sexual perversion and feminism that is saved from total clumsiness by the indomitability of Huppert’s performance.
Runner Up: A Bigger Splash
SPECIAL CITATION – MOST UNDERRATED FILM OF THE YEAR
It’s sad to me that many wrote-off Andrew Stanton’s film as another cash-grab from Disney/Pixar (it did indeed go on to make a billion dollars). It’s a film I think about often, and I truly believe it to be a paean to anyone who is prone to anxiety or general existential loss.
Runner Up: Jason Bourne
SPECIAL CITATION – MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE OF THE YEAR
Star Trek Beyond
Pretty much the only big-budget franchise I am interested in anymore. All three of the Star Trek films of the current era have problems but they have a modesty that is absent almost everywhere else (especially Star Wars!). Justin Lin’s entry is the best so far.
Runner Up: 10 Cloverfield Lane
SPECIAL CITATION – BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR
You will actually see Arrival being cited in several Cinema Touch Awards this year. That’s because all my disappointment stems from the last act, where I really felt the film became not only absurd but borderline offensive. But Villeneuve is still a great craftsman and I hope his next film proves superior.
Runner Up: Sausage Party
SPECIAL CITATION – MOST MISUNDERSTOOD FILM OF THE YEAR
La La Land
I would love it very much if I never read another think piece about this film ever again. I have felt in recent years that people have become too stupid for movies, in the same way the culture seemed to resign itself to people being too stupid for literature near the end of the 20th century. There is nothing – NOTHING – about La La Land that is in any way deadly or prejudicial. I am up for anyone who feels the film is subpar on artistic grounds, but the kinds of arguments that surrounded this film on the internet will be seen as one of 2016’s biggest wastes of time.
Runner Up: Sully
SPECIAL CITATION – THE YEAR OF THE GREAT DOCUMENTARY
I have always felt non-fiction cinema to be a very tricky endeavour. Too often documentary filmmakers waste my time by creating cinematic works that needn’t be. “Why does this need to be a film?” is a question that too few ask themselves. The medium of cinema warrants more than mere info-tainment. Luckily, this year provided us with so many great works, all of which I urge you to check out!
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