2016: Movies

Everyone likes to talk about how the movie industry is unoriginal and dying. And yes, there were a lot of sequels and adaptations this year, but that’s not always a bad thing. There was still plenty of good stuff out there this year, and here are some of my favorites.

Most Beautiful: Moonlight

I’m still not over how beautiful this movie was. The visuals were stunning, even when the setting wasn’t a place that would normally be considered pretty. And the performances! The entire last third of the movie was all about facial expressions and body language and everything that was going unsaid underneath the dialogue. I just really, really loved this movie.

Runner-up: La La Land

Most Laughs: Ghostbusters

 

I had so much fun watching this movie. I know there were lots of people whining about how unnecessary the adaptation was, but I’ve never seen the original and never had any desire to see the original. But with this cast? Sign me up. And it definitely didn’t disappoint. I saw it twice in theaters and definitely wouldn’t mind watching it a bunch more.

Runner-up: Love and Friendship

Best Acting: Fences

I saw a tweet or something where someone said that the acting in Fences was so good, they forgot they weren’t watching real people. That’s a rare thing, especially with actors as recognizable as Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, but it’s absolutely true in this movie. Major kudos to August Wilson for creating a character in Troy Maxon that I simultaneously hated and sympathized with, and to Denzel Washington for bringing him to life.

Runner-up: Loving

Best Kid’s Movie: Kubo and the Two Strings

Okay, so I never saw Finding Dory or Moana, but I’m pretty sure this would still stand. This movie was gorgeous and had so much heart. The ending made me weep and filled me with so much joy and hope, feelings that we all desperately need these days. My only quibble is that I wish the main characters had been played by Japanese voice actors rather than just the supporting characters, but it’s still such a beautiful story.

Runner-up: Zootopia (although I’m pretty sure it’s the only other one I saw)

Best “Based on a True Story”: Hidden Figures

I just saw this one yesterday and I am sooooo glad the limited release included Memphis so I didn’t have to wait until next week. The women in this movie, and all the others like them, deserve all the awards and accolades, and they went years without receiving any credit or acknowledgement of their contributions. I hope the movie kills at the box office and inspires a whole slew of movies highlighting the contributions of those who have been left out of the history books.

Runner-up: Queen of Katwe

Best Mainstream Movie that Probably Won’t Win Awards: Star Trek Beyond

I’ve liked the previous Star Trek reboot movies, but this one felt the most like what people who love Star Trek talk about when they talk about why they love it. Rather than just being about explosions and Captain Kirk’s angst/womanizing/whatever, it was about teamwork and friendship and unity and working together to create a better, more peaceful future. Yes, please – more of this.

Runner-up: The Magnificent Seven

Most Frustrating: Captain America: Civil War

I’m mostly focusing on the positive in these posts, but I can’t write about movies in 2016 without talking about this at all. I love Marvel. I’ve loved Marvel since Iron Man, although it was really after Captain America: The First Avenger that I really became a superhero fan. I’ve watched Winter Soldier more times than I can count. And I really wish I had gotten a third Cap movie that actually brought the story arc from the first two movies to a close and continued the character arc that was being set up there. Civil War was a fun Avengers movie, and a far better one than Age of Ultron, but I just really want to pop over to the alternate universe where the Russos got to make the Captain America: Fallen Son movie they mentioned before the whole RDJ deal happened and Civil War became a thing. I think it would have been really good.

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  • A collection of ramblings and musings on Jesus, life, education, family, and anything else that pops into my head.

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