Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Year in Film (2016)

Same personal system as the previous years: My longlist included films from this and last year that I saw this year (oh hello there, "Apocalypse Child"). So here's me once more playing favorites.

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1. Spotlight (dir. Tom McCarthy)
This is why journalism--the truth and its telling--matters.

2. The Salesman (dir. Asghar Farhadi)
Seals the case, once and for all, for Farhadi as one of our modern masters.

3. Apocalypse Child (dir. Mario Cornejo)
Drama with a capital D. Drama that actually makes sense and moves with a believably human brain and knows which wounds to poke and sores to reopen on your puny mortal soul.

4. Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (dir. Lav Diaz)
In a year partly defined by the devil's conscious effort to revise our nation's history, this eight-hour Lav Diaz could not have been timelier.

5. Pamilya Ordinaryo (dir. Eduardo Roy Jr.)
Richard Bolisay for CNN Philippines: "Poverty always needs to be told, especially if it's as effectively worrying as this."

6. Brooklyn (dir. John Crowley)
Just plain saksak-puso beautiful.

7. Hail, Caesar! (dir. Joel and Ethan Coen)
"Would that it were so simple."

8. Your Name (dir. Makoto Shinkai)
Once, you were young, and love could bend time and space and the laws of nature.

9. Oro (dir. Alvin Yapan)
If everybody outraged by that scene with the dog were as outraged by the murder of those four miners, I suspect we'd be a much better country.

10. Graduation (dir. Cristian Mungiu)
Small-town dynamics compellingly brought to life.

And ten more titles that genuinely made my year at the movies, in alphabetical order: Ang Babaeng Humayo (dir. Lav Diaz); Elle (dir. Paul Verhoeven); Everybody Wants Some!! (dir. Richard Linklater); Ma' Rosa (dir. Brillante Mendoza); Midnight Special (dir. Jeff Nichols); Mistress America (dir. Noah Baumbach); A Monster Calls (dir. Juan Antonio Bayona); The Nice Guys (dir. Shane Black); Sing Street (dir. John Carney); Sunday Beauty Queen (dir. Baby Ruth Villarama). 

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No shit: My favorite piece of acting in 2016 is MOIRA LANG as Ertha a.k.a. Baby Arjan's abductor in "Pamilya Ordinaryo." Here are 19 more noteworthy performances:
  • Irma Adlawan (Oro)
  • Paolo Ballesteros (Die Beautiful)
  • Kate Beckinsale (Love & Friendship)
  • Paula Beer (Frantz)
  • Emory Cohen (Brooklyn)
  • Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!)
  • Barbie Forteza (Tuos)
  • Joshua Garcia (Vince & Kath & James)
  • Tom Hanks (Sully)
  • Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
  • Jaclyn Jose (Ma' Rosa)
  • Hasmine Kilip (Pamilya Ordinaryo)
  • Rooney Mara (Carol)
  • Khalil Ramos (2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
  • Charo Santos-Concio (Ang Babaeng Humayo)
  • Kristen Stewart (Café Society)
  • Laila Ulao (Women of the Weeping River)
And the pitch-perfect ensemble of "Apocalypse Child."

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