Monday, April 10, 2017

The Best (and Worst) of 2016

By s. Monday, April 10, 2017
Best movie: The Handmaiden
(2. Hell or High Water 3. The Nice Guys 4. The Conjuring 2 5. The Witch 6. The Neon Demon 7. Manchester by the Sea 8. Hidden Figures 9. Eddie the Eagle 10. Jackie)

There was only one movie that got 10/10 from me last year and that was the magical Handmaiden. Filled with twists and turns, it's a movie that has everything - great, gripping story, wonderful performances, beautiful visual side, terrific score and characters you care about. If you haven't seen it yet, do. It will enchant you. 

Best Actor: Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler in Manchester by the Sea
(2. Ryan Gosling, The Nice Guys 3. Dev Patel, Lion 4. Chris Pine, Hell or High Water 5. Taron Egerton, Eddie the Eagle)

Yeah I know, I know. That guy is shady. But the thing is that we don't know for sure what happened in his private life and while I could very easily hand it over to Gosling for the performance he should have been getting nominated left and right during Oscar season that would not be fair, as Affleck is much better than him. It's a performance that is not easy as he is playing a guy who just gave up on trying to be sociable and is floating through life but astonishingly there is some humor and levity there that show up even through his character is a shell of a man. Those brief moments, much like the scenes of such nature that happen every once in a while in the movie, make this performance and the film itself a curiously hopeful one.

Best Actress: Rebecca Hall as Christine Chubbuck in Christine
(2. Min-hee Kim, The Handmaiden 3. Anya-Taylor Joy, The Witch 4. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures 5. Natalie Portman, Jackie)

I cannot remember the last time when there was a performance which would show the injustice of the Oscar season as well as the case of Rebecca Hall's phenomenal turn in Christine. Had this movie have a wider distribution and a campaign was run for Hall there is no question in my mind that she would at least have been nominated. It's laughable that there is a performance like that out there and the Oscar for best actress went to Emma Stone. Hall has been one of the most gifted and sadly underrated actresses for years now and it's such a damn shame more attention was not given to her work here. Her performance as Christine, lonely, desperate woman who is at the end of her wits is absolutely shattering and remains the most emotional performance, from any actor, of 2016. Watching her struggle with things that come so easily to others, crack and break and trying to conceal it from others was simply excruciating.

Best supporting actor:  Michael Shannon as Bobby Andes in Nocturnal Animals
(2. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea 3. Ben Foster, Hell or High Water
4. Hugh Jackman, Eddie the Eagle 5. Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures)

Michael Shannon's performance in Nocturnal Animals is my favorite movie performance of 2016. The film is so flawed but it's Shannon and his energetic, hilarious and wonderful work that made me keep watching. The screen just lights up whenever he shows up as the small town sheriff who doesn't lose his wit in spite of dying of cancer. Shannon is one of the most talented actors working today and it really shows here as he takes the material and does wonders with it.

Best supporting actress: Abbey Lee as Sarah in The Neon Demon
(2. Kathryn Hahn, Bad Moms, 3. Margot Robbie, Suicide Squad 4. Angourie Rice, The Nice Guys 5. Nicole Kidman, Lion 

I have been a fan of Lee ever since her amazing turn in last year's Mad Max: Fury Road. Lee has an effortless charisma, mystery and this aura to her that makes her very compelling to watch. The Neon Demon is filled with wonderful performances, especially when it comes to supporting roles but it's Lee who steals the show as a model pushed to her limits and forced to become unscrupulous and deadly in order to survive in the field where the only thing that matters is looks.

Best Ensemble: The Witch (2. Manchester by the Sea 3.The Neon Demon 4. Hell or High Water 5.The Handmaiden))
Best director: Robert Eggers, The Witch (2. Chan Park-Wok, The Handmaiden 3. David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water 4. Nicolas Winding Refn, The Neon Demon 5. James Wan, The Conjuring 2)
 Best adapted screenplay: The Handmaiden (2.Love and Friendship 3.Deadpool)
Best original screenplay: Hell or High Water (2. Manchester by the Sea 3. The Witch, 4.The Nice Guys 5. Eddie the Eagle)
Best music: The Handmaiden (2. Jackie 3.Hacksaw Ridge 4. Hell or High Water 5. The Neon Demon)) 
Best use of song: Eddie the Eagle - Van Halen, Jump
Best Original song: Twenty One Pilots, Heathens (Suicide Squad) (2. Hozier, Better Love (Legend of Tarzan) 3. X Ambassadors, Unsteady (Me Before You))
Best track: The Demon Dance, The Neon Demon
Best sound: The Neon Demon (2. The Conjuring 2 3. Arrival)
Best costumes: The Handmaiden (2. The Neon Demon 3. The Love Witch 4. Nocturnal Animals 5.The Nice Guys)
Best production design: The Handmaiden (2.The Love Witch 3.The Nice Guys 4. The Neon Demon 5. The Witch) 
Best cinematography:  The Handmaiden (2.The Neon Demon 3. Hell or High Water 4.The Witch 5. The Love Witch)
Best editing: The Handmaiden (2. The Neon Demon 3. Hell or High Water 4.The Witch, 5.Hacksaw Ridge)
Best visual effects: The Conjuring 2 (2.Deadpool 3.Doctor Strange)
Biggest Disappointment:  Arrival (2.Suicide Squad 3. Nocturnal Animals)
Worst Performance by an Actress: Amy Adams in both Arrival and Nocturnal Animals
Worst Performance by an Actor:  Jesse Eisenberg, BvS
Most Overhyped: Arrival 
Worst Movie of the Year: Grimsby 
Underrated:  The Handmaiden 
Best Scene of the year: Destroying the books, The Handmaiden (2. The ending, The Neon Demon 3.Final shootout, Hell or High Water 4. The discovery of the corpse, The Nice Guys 5. "I can't let you freak out with the doors closed", Manchester by the Sea 6. Katherine explains why she was gone from the office, Hidden Figures 7. Christine yells at her boss, Christine 8. ending, The Witch 
Funniest scene: Discovery of the corpse, The Nice Guys (2..Bobby telling the criminals to fuck off, Nocturnal Animals 3. Bronson reacts to Eddie's announcement that he will jump 90 meters, Eddie the Eagle 4, Carrying Bridget to the hospital, Bridget Jones's Baby)
"You Never Can Tell" award for the best dance scene: La La Land opening
The most I cried during the movie:  Lion 
The most shocking scene: The first twist in The Handmaiden (2. The eye, The Neon Demon 3. What happens to the the baby, The Witch 4. the partner's death, Hell or High Water)
Best Kiss: The Handmaiden
Best Fight: Captain America: Civil War
Best Chemistry: Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman, Eddie the Eagle (2. the protagonists of The Handmaiden 3. Crowe and Gosling, The Nice Guys 4. The women of Hidden Figures) 
Best Quote:   "It's OK. I tricked you too", The Handmaiden (2. "No I didn't, Janet. I found it very useful actually. Ok, Janet? ", The Nice Guys, 3. "There are so many fucking rules now. “Go to your kid’s baseball games. Tell your kids you love ’em. Don’t fuck the janitor at your kid’s school.” I mean, what the fuck is this? Russia?", Bad Moms 4. "Are you interested in hearing about these robberies or are you just gonna sit there and let the Alzheimer’s run its course?", Hell or High Water 5. "Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?", The Witch)
Best Line delivery:  "Fuck off. both of you", Nocturnal Animals (2. "Your sister's such a slut", The Nice Guys 3."Ah...FUCK!" , Manchester by the Sea 4. "I ate her", The Neon Demon) 
Best comedy performance of the year: Ryan Gosling, The Nice Guys (2. Kathryn Hahn, Bad Moms 3.Tom Bennet, Love and Friendship 4. Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool)
Best performance under 20 minutes of screentime: So-ri Moon, The Handmaiden 
Sweetest scene of the year: Kevin Costner ending racism with a crowbar, Hidden Figures
Best Opening: 
The Conjuring 2
Best Ending: The Handmaiden (2. The Witch, 3. The Neon Demon) 
The Lisbeth Salander favorite hero award goes to: The women of Hidden Figures
The Joker favorite villain award goes to: Sarah, The Neon Demon
The Fly award for the single most disgusting thing in a movie goes to: The Eyeball, The Neon Demon

Pussy Wagon travel in style award goes to: Bronson's car, Eddie the Eagle
Tub Scene award for the hottest sexy scene of the year goes to:  The first sex scene in The Handmaiden
"I blacked out for a moment there' reaction for the hottest character of the year goes to: Hugh Jackman as Bronson Peary wearying tight jeans and you know, existing on screen in Eddie the Eagle
JJ Abrams award for most shattering moment in film goes to: When we find out what happened to Lee, Manchester by the Sea
Amy Dunne award for the most influential haircut goes to: Sarah's braids in The Neon Demon
"Am I high or did it actually happen?" question for the most ridiculous movie moment goes to: 
Amy Adams talking to Aliens with English subtitles, Arrival (2. MARTHA scene, BvS 3. Every single Enchantress scene, Suicide Squad)
The Jar Jar binks facepalm gesture statute for the most annoying character of the year goes to: 
I think we need to give it to David Ayer. He is not a movie character but fuck, does he deserve it.
Matthias Schoenaerts' characters in 2015 (in the films people actually saw) RUN award goes to: Ben Affleck and the DCEU.
"I wish it was a dream" award for the single dumbest plot manuever goes to: Everything surrounding the development of Suicide Squad
Flaming dog poo and eternal shame goes to:
WB for what they done to Jared-boo, to me, to DC fans and to the humanity.
Tree of Life bucket of coffee award for the most boring movie of the year goes to: Arrival

Highest number of mentions:
The Handmaiden- 19
The Neon Demon - 18
The Witch - 13
The Nice Guys - 12
Hell or High Water - 12
Eddie the Eagle - 9

2016 films I've seen:
The Handmaiden - 96/100
  Hell or High Water - 94/100
The Nice Guys - 92/100
The Conjuring 2 - 92/100
The Witch - 91/100
Neon Demon - 88/100
Manchester by the Sea - 86/100
Hidden Figures - 85/100
 Eddie the Eagle - 84/100
 Jackie - 82/100
Lion- 82/100
Bridget Jones's Baby - 80/100
Deadpool - 79/100
Rogue One - 78/100
Captain America: Civil War - 77/100
Christine- 76/100
Hacksaw Ridge - 75/100
The Love Witch - 73/100
Moonlight - 71/100
La La Land- 66/100
Love and Friendship - 64/100
Bad Moms - 62/100
Florence Foster Jenkins - 61/100
The Boss - 60/100
Doctor Strange - 57/100
 Nocturnal Animals - 55/100
Suicide Squad - 46/100
Hail Caesar - 45/100
Ghostbusters - 40/100
Arrival - 39/100
BvS- 37/100
High Rise - 33/100
Grimsby- 30/100


  1. Nice stuff here, Sati. Haven't had the opportunity to see The Handmaiden yet, but I've heard nothing but great things, so I look forward to eventually being able to see it. Also really digging all the Neon Demon and Manchester love throughout this post. Those were both definitely among my favorites of the year as well. (Though I'd personally place Jena Malone's performance above Abbey Lee, great as she was.)

    And I legit LOL'ed at this: "The Jar Jar binks facepalm gesture statute for the most annoying character of the year goes to: I think we need to give it to David Ayer. He is not a movie character but fuck, does he deserve it." XD

    1. Ayer's antics throughout the promo tour for Suicide Squad, especially after the movie was released were some of the most embarrassing things I've seen in my entire life. I embarrass myself routinely on twitter and here so I know what I'm talking about, this guy is not only a terrible director but a real moron. He can be one of the two, not both at the same time. That's

      Hope you get to see The Handmaiden soon!

  2. YAY for The Neon Demon!!!!! Still my #1 film of 2016 so far.... until next month as I will watch some 2016 releases for my Cannes Marathon which I will announce on the first day of May.

    1. So cool that it's your #1! :) I bet Jena is your win :)

    2. For Best Supporting Actress so far....

  3. Really happy to see The Handmaiden get lots of love, here. It's an amazing movie. Unfortunately, I'm on the opposite side of the fence on The Neon Demon. That one didn't work for me like I wanted it to. On the other hand, too bad you didn't like Arrival. I thought it was brilliant and Adams was great. Besides, nothing is more ridiculous than "the Martha scene." Yes to The Witch and it's win in Ensemble. I would've been cool if you had Gosling share his comedy performance award with Russell Crowe. They really do work as a tandem in that film. Great job! I'm still probably a couple months away from mine. Hell, I'm just putting the finishing touches on 2015. Sigh.

    1. Yeah I just couldn't with Arrival...barely made it through it, was so looking forward to it and it really bored me. Crowe and Gosling were wonderful together but Gosling had more ridiculous part to Crowe's straight tough guy. Gosling is really incredible in comedies, in dramas he is a bit hit or miss for me

  4. Love the shout out for "Your sister's such a slut" I think that was the hardest I laughed in that movie. I love all the love for The Handmaiden and Christine. As disappointed as I was with Manchester, I did like the "You can't freak out with doors closed" scene.

    I love the names of some of these categories. I probably say that every year.

    MARTHA!!!! should totally be #1 though, that's still funny/wtf worthy even after seeing it a dozen times.

    1. Martha was at least funny that moment in Arrival threw me in deep despair as in what the hell am I watching here? :) The CGI there of Adams's hair and those clouds was just atrocious which only added to my facepalm

  5. Fan-f--king-tastic, Sati. Love this whole thing top to bottom.

    I'm stoked that you twisted my arm into seeing The Handmaiden, what with the promise of Taco Bells and such (uh...I should probably re-think that 'joke'). It really was a fantastic movie. Such an incredible script!

    The Nice Guys was f--king hysterical, and I loved Gosling in every single scene, but Hunt for the Wilderpeople would still my number one comedy. I loved that little f--ker.

    F--king Suicide Squad! What a turd sandwich that turned out to be. I still think Enchantress is one of the worst things ever to be put into a major her whole existence was like a Goosebumps villain or something. Shameful, really.

    I'm still laughing at the mere mention of Janet coming out of Gosling's mouth. Such f--king venom, I loved it.

    I think I gotta check out The Neon Demon. Very curious...and scared.

    1. I cannot watch Hunt for the Wilderpeople on account on dog scene there that I'm told is definitely not for me. Let this be a warning for filmmakers - something happens to a dog, I won't see it. Unless there is shirtless Hugh. They actually shot a dog in Australia but by then I was just too...unstable to properly notice

      The Neon Demon is...acquired taste. But it's actually a movie with a plot unlike Only God Forgives. And Keanu is in it

    2. You're missing out, but I support your principled stance. Dogs rule.

      Okay, I'm glad you mention OGF, because I can't wash that stink off me. Gosling? We're cool. But NWR? Not so much.

      And, uh, does this count as a comment?

    3. Haha yeah it counts :) It's RF where the silence is deafening lol

      Seriously I think anyone would tell you Neon Demon has more plot than OGF - did it have any plot? - so that's something.

  6. Love the love for HOHW and your best actor line up is perfect!

    1. Thank you! Needed to give some love to Taron, what a shame Eddie was overlooked in award season

  7. Love the Neon Demon / Abbey Lee love here - totally underrated in that flick and life in general

    1. Yes! I so wish she got a lead in a movie!

  8. Did...did you just give Suicide Squad an award? Oh I can't complain, that song was my favourite of the year!
    I seriously cannot wait for The Handmaiden to get a UK release! It's coming very soon now I think!

    1. I did and also nominated Margot :) 21 Pilots has extremely catchy songs!

      I hope you'll like The Handmaiden!

  9. I'd forgotten how utterly amazing your award categories are. :-)

  10. Enjoyed reading your post! I liked Arrival and was underwhelmed by The Witch, but happy to see Hell Or High Water and Neon Demon crack the top 10, and pleased borefest High-Rise gets the low rating it deserves :) Rebecca Hall’s performance in Christine was definitely overlooked during awards season. La La Land opening you mention I included in my top 10 songs of 2016.

    1. I liked the opening of LLL because it was quite impressive - it seemed like a very difficult scene to control and put together...the song itself I don't really remember much like most from the movie. Oh yeah High-Rise was seriously awful

  11. Hehe, finally!! :P Nice to read a list that is a little different than the norm. I still don't get the hate for Amy Adams though! She was bland... but not terrible! :(

    Nice to see The Neon Demon mentioned so often. You put me onto that one if I recall correctly, I hadn't even heard of Refn before that. How sucky am I?

    Aaaand I think I should watch The Handmaiden already. I planned to last year but didn't get to the damned theatres!

    1. Bland is terrible for me :)

      Dude you should see Drive! It's very good

  12. It's weird.. I loved Arrival and it was the best movie of the year for me. I went in without knowing anything, pretty early on before all the hype, and I ended up loving it. seeing all the worst awards going to it on this list makes me a little sad, because for me there were worst movies out there last year but I also didn't see most of them because I know to keep away from the shitty ones.

    I agree with Casey Affleck being really good, and despite what was being said about him, I'm glad he won. There wasn't anyone else from last year who could have deserved it more and I've not cried so much since then... oh wait, Logan.. but that's a whole new year and a whole new list.

    I will someday watch The Handmaiden and Hell or High Water but I'm not sure I'll watch The Neon Demon.. I was curious for a while but I'm not anymore so who knows.

    Have you watched The Fundamentals of Caring? I thought that was one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it movies from last year that was actually really really good but nobody has talked about it. Paul Rudd is excellent in that movie and I have a soft spot for Craig Roberts.

    1. It just bored me so much. i didn't connect with the character at all, and I don't think it was just because of Adams. I think that script was beyond rescue no matter who played the lead. I appreciate the technical side but the story was just completely hollow for me and it didn't engage me at all.

      Logan is probably gonna win like 50 awards for next year here :)

      I listed everything I saw at the end of the post there so unfortunetely I haven't seen The Fundamentals of Caring. I've been rubbish last year when it comes to movie watching and saw the least movies ever. I hope to do better this year

  13. One of these days I will watch The Handmaiden, everyone seems to have high praises for it. The opening sequence in La La Land was fantastic. I missed out on a lot of your top 10, have a lot of catching up to do!

    1. I really think you'll like The Handmaiden! It's such a great and surprising movie

  14. The Handmaiden! Sooo good. I need to see that thing okay. So cool that The Neon Demon cracked your top 10 as well.

    And Fuck. Yes. to Rebecca Hall. If only more people had seen that movie. What a towering performance.

    1. Hall really deserves to have her big break already. She is so much better than most actresses out there who are all super famous and get the parts in high profile movies

  15. I'm late to the party as you already know why, but I LOVE your categories and some of your picks I already guessed from reading your RFs :)

    Hmmm I haven't seen plenty of films/performances from your list though: Handmaiden, Manchester by the Sea, Neon Demon, Christine, etc. but I've been a longtime fan of Rebecca Hall, too bad she was snubbed of so many awards this past year.

    Oh man, I cried like a baby watching LION too!! I also thought dayum, Dev Patel's got such sexy hair :P

    I LOVE your awards for Hidden Figures!! Yes the women have such great chemistry and they are definitely inspiring heroes.

    1. If you like Rebecca you should definitely see Christine, it's her finest performance to date. The film is heavy but it's worth seeing for her work.

  16. I (sadly) have not seen The Handmaiden (yet). I do plan to watch it soon.

    I also really want to watch Christine, The Witch, & The Neon Demon soon.

    I loved Arrival. I can see why you didn't like it, but what you didn't like, I genuinely loved.

    Also, if there's one film you've missed out on from 2016, it's 20th Century Women. It's my #1 of 2016, & it's my #1 film of all time. It's absolutely perfect.

    1. I do have 20th Century Women to watch, I just figured I won't love it so skipped it before making this list. Anette Bening being all soulful in her dramas usually goes with me liking the movie not loving it, but maybe I'm wrong here. It's just seems like The Kids are All Right mixed with feminist message to me. I'll definitely see it but I'm not sure how soon it will be

  17. Even if you got disappointed by Arrival, there were way more worse performances. Just have a look at a debut feature by Ridley Scott's son.

    1. Ah yeah I heard of it. Lots of good actors in that one, shame it was apparently awful.