The Not-Oscars 2016

not-oscars-2016It’s just about Oscar time again — though for once, the Best Picture race isn’t exactly the most disappointing contest I’ll witness over the past year.

At times like these, the Academy Awards feel somewhat frivolous. It’s possible that some likely winners — The Salesman, Mahershala Ali, The White Helmets, OJ: Made In America, and even Zootopia — will have a political charge. We can certainly expect at least a few winners at the podium to speak out against the GOP’s onslaught of intolerance. Still, the main narrative of this Sunday’s Oscars telecast is shaping up to be about escaping these horrors rather than confronting them. I’m finding it difficult to celebrate that.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with escapism — the whole point of going to the movies is to have a good time, whatever that may mean to you — but, for all Tinseltown’s flaws, the powers and persuasions of Hollywood are one of few tools capable of getting messages of diversity and inclusion to the masses (who, we’ve learned increasingly in recent months, so obviously need them). Wouldn’t it be nice if, this year of all years, Hollywood did something besides masturbate to itself in the mirror?

I’m not picking on La La Land, a well-intentioned and intermittently charming film that would be a lot less egregious a Best Picture winner if it didn’t follow a whole slew of other Best Picture winners that might as well have also been titled La La Land. The sum total of recent self-congratulatory Best Picture winners — Argo, The Artist, Birdman — are not a good look when compared to the Best Picture winners that are about something besides the noble sacrifices of filmmakers. Spotlight, 12 Years A Slave, The Hurt Locker.

Most years, this is merely irritating. This year, it’s a true shame.

It doesn’t feel like a great time to stick our heads in the La La sand.

That said, the crop of nominees from 2016 is, overall, a respectable bunch. An encouraging number of people of color were nominated, compared to the “so whiteness” of the past couple years. Three films in the Best Picture race are solely centered on African-Americans, while another is about an Indian-Australian. Women play prominent roles in many of these movies. One of the most nominated films of the year is a stirring homosexual romance. That’s progress, when compared to the overwhelming straight white maleness of the past couple of years.

As usual, my personal picks have a fair amount of overlap with the Academy’s in certain places, and almost none elsewhere. Certain 2016 nominees feel fresh and exciting and progressive — Moonlight, Hell Or High Water, Arrival, and in some ways (and certainly not in others), Hidden Figures — while others feel like throwbacks to another era, a world we may have left behind. Some are clinging to the Hacksaw Ridges and La La Lands and Lions, films that remind us of movies we’ve seen before, movies have already won Oscars. A movie like Moonlight has never won a Best Picture Oscar, and it doesn’t look like it will this year, either. But the fact that it got close — while no real consolation — means we can hope to still get there next time, or the time after that.

While Hollywood tends to be a pretty progressive industry, at least in comparison to the country as a whole, the split we see between traditional picks and those that push boundaries is reminiscent of the national mood. I don’t want to hang too many politics on a bunch of filmmakers voting for their favorite movie of the year, but like the United States as a whole, the Academy doesn’t seem quite ready to move on from what used to be “great.” A lot of people want to proudly embrace the diversity represented in Moonlight, but not quite enough.

It reminds me of a certain other disappointing vote this year.

And on that cheerful note, I give to you my Not-Oscars for the film year 2016! (You can check out my Top Ten here.)

natalie-portman-jackie-peter-sarsgaard-bobby-kennedy BEST ACTRESS

Natalie Portman, Jackie
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Tilda Swinton, A Bigger Splash
Krisha Fairchild, Krisha
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Honorable Mention: Ruth Negga, Loving; Rebecca Hall, Christine

I have bestowed kudos upon seven actresses in total above, and still it was painful to not include three others amongst them. (Here’s lookin’ at you, Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain and Sally Field!) I was also a fan of Emma Stone’s likely-to-win work in La La Land, moreso than I was a fan of that film as a whole.

The year’s most dismaying snub was Annette Bening in 20th Century Women, who does some of the best work of her career as a mother struggling with her son’s fitful transition into a man. Mike Mills’ previous film won Christopher Plummer an Oscar for playing a prototype of his father; Bening should have at least scored a nomination for playing a version of his mom. (Did Meryl really need that nod for Florence Foster Jenkins?) Krisha introduced me to Krisha Fairchild, a dynamo who goes on quite the emotional journey one Thanksgiving; the part was written for her by her nephew, the film’s director, who surrounded her with fellow family members to act opposite of (and it worked!). Less of a revelation was Tilda Swinton, of course, because she’s always excellent, but A Bigger Splash brought out a new side, as Swinton’s rock star encounters laryngitis and therefore mimes or croaks most of her performances. It’s good stuff. Huppert scored a nomination for a role that easily could have proved too much of a turn-off for the Academy — a “victim” of rape in name only, who has a very unconventional response to the attack. She’s icy and intimidating, but also vulnerable enough that we worry she could still be in jeopardy. It’s a rare female part that doesn’t subscribe to any particular genre tropes.

Truly, each and every one of these is an award-worthy performance. But the one that looms over them all is Natalie Portman’s haunting transformation into Jackie Kennedy. There are those out there who find the performance overcooked; this may be because Jackie’s own role as First Lady — perhaps her whole identity — was a performance, and was also overcooked. Portman has her work cut out for her just nailing that strange, strange accent, but she doesn’t stop at mere imitation. There’s a well of anger and sadness under this grieving widow, as well there should be — not just because she lost her husband. The pain of her marriage is in there, too. Portman’s Jackie is both elusive and emotionally raw. It is easily the best of the year.

If Portman didn’t have an Oscar already, she’s probably win it this year. Having won recently, it will almost certainly go to Emma Stone.

Silence (2017) Andrew Garfield as Father Rodrigues and Yosuke Kubozuka as KichijiroBEST ACTOR

Andrew Garfield, Silence
Denzel Washington, Fences
Jesse Plemons, Other People
Logan Lerman, Indignation
Connor Jessup, Closet Monster

Honorable Mention: Ethan Hawke, Born To Be Blue; Joel Edgerton, Loving

To be honest, I could have filled the Best Actress category twice before I got to any lead male performers I felt as passionately about this year. Some years, you get Bruce Dern in Nebraska and Chiwetel Ejiofer in 12 Years A Slave and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street all at once (all deservedly nominated — and none of them even won). Other years, great lead performances slip past the Academy’s radar altogether, like last year’s Michael B. Jordan in Creed or the previous year’s Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler.

Any of those performances would have easily topped my list had they come in 2016, but instead this year easily belongs to the ladies — which isn’t to say the men didn’t do solid work. Joel Edgerton said little but held the screen a lot in Jeff Nichols’ understated Loving, infusing a simple man with quiet dignity. Ethan Hawke embodied the tortured jazz musician Chet Baker (blowing Ryan Gosling’s hipster wannabe in La La Land out of the water); in Born To Be Blue, his Baker struggles to stay clean and re-learn the craft that made him a sensation after a devastating injury makes it unlikely he’ll ever play the same way again. For a while, I figured I should put these acclaimed performers in the main list above younger newcomers, but then I remembered that this is my list and I can do what I want.

Connor Jessup plays a conflicted gay teen who may or may not be driven to commit an act of violence in Closet Monster, as well as in Season Two of ABC’s American Crime, which also aired in 2016. The characters are similar enough that it almost feels like one performance, though the stories go in starkly different directions. Is this my way of sneaking a TV endorsement into a post about the Oscars? Maybe kind of! Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing what Jessup does next.

Logan Lerman impressed playing the headstrong Jewish college student in Indignation, a difficult role to make endearing (to the audience) but off-putting enough to the film’s antagonist, a Christian dean who unfortunately bears a lot of resemblance to politicians we’ve seen take the national stage recently. It took two viewing of Other People to fully appreciate the stellar work Jesse Plemons does there — Molly Shannon, as his dying mother, has the showier role, but Plemons injects the gay comedy writer who sits by her side with humor and pathos that feel utterly true-to-life. His freak-out over where to find the laxatives in a drug store is awards-worthy all on its own. And Denzel Washington, a likely winner for the actual Best Actor statue, can’t be written off for his towering portrayal of a flawed father in Fences. Washington won a Tony for the same role, and you can tell — it would be impossible to deliver a performance this lived-in without months of practice.

Ultimately, though, my favorite lead male performance of the year is Andrew Garfield’s — but not in Hacksaw Ridge, the one he’s actually Oscar-nominated for. (He’s good there, but it’s a very simple character.) Martin Scorsese’s Silence is a long meditation on complex issues of faith, one I found only intermittently engaging. But to the extent that it worked, it did so because of Garfield. Garfield commits utterly to his characters’ unwavering faith, bringing across the necessary depths of passion his missionary must feel about his religion — then, the agony and torture of watching innocent people die for those same beliefs. Garfield’s luxurious, Jesus-like locks cast him as a perfect protagonist for a spiritual drama. I even believed he could be Portuguese.

The actual Best Actor race comes down to Washington versus Casey Affleck. I liked Affleck well enough, but Washington’s command of the screen in his most intense scenes was more impressive.

moonlight-ashton-sanders-chironBEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Ashton Sanders, Moonlight
Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Honorable Mention: Lucas Jade Zumann, 20th Century Women; André Holland, Moonlight

I was impressed by Lucas Jade Zumann’s anchoring performance as an angsty teen in 20th Century Women, holding his own opposite such formidable talents as Greta Gerwig and Annette Bening. I also delighted in Michael Shannon’s slightly scenery-chewing work in Nocturnal Animals, playing a gritty Texas detective. It’s very similar to the role Jeff Bridges was nominated for in Hell Or High Water, which I also enjoyed — but I gave the edge to Shannon because he also starred in one of my favorite films of the year, Complete Unknown, and went unfortunately unrecognized last year for 99 Homes also. I was certainly tempted to pick Ralph Fiennes’ truly magnificent work in A Bigger Splash, if only for all the kooky dancing. As we learned well in Schindler’s List, Fiennes’ plays a slimeball to perfection, and though his music producer character in A Bigger Splash is several shades less monstrous than a trigger-happy Nazi, we can tell he delights in driving a wedge between his ex-girlfriend and her sober beau, who seem otherwise quite happy. (That, and he seems to be perving on his own teen daughter, which again has an unfortunate echo in today’s White House.)

Yet despite plenty of solid performances elsewhere, I honestly could have filled this entire category with the male cast of Moonlight. Even with three Moonlight actors in my Top 5 supporting performances and one more in my honorable mentions, I still had to leave out solid work from such performers as Alex Hibbert (who plays Little in the film’s first section) and Jharrel Jerome (the second Kevin).

I’m incredibly hopeful that Mahershala Ali manages to win in this category at the Oscars — the Moonlight cast deserves at least one Academy Award amongst them. (Sorry, Hidden Figures, you were delightful — but that SAG Award really belongs to this ensemble.) Ali sets a wonderful tone for the story that follows in his brief but gripping turn in Moonlight. If this character didn’t work, for some reason, the whole movie wouldn’t. However, I was ever-so-slightly more impressed by the actors who played the protagonist in the film’s last two segments. Trevante Rhodes is a very good-looking man, and when we first glimpse him in the Moonlight‘s third chapter, I was like, “Wait — what?” It’s a jarring transition from the awkward, scrawny boy we’ve been following. I was devastated that Moonlight had taken such a sharp wrong turn.

But within moments, Rhodes had me back on board. Despite his good looks and charisma, he’s believably vulnerable as a gay man who is concealing his full identity for reasons we don’t entirely know. Is it because of his work? His mother? Or is he just waiting for “the one” to come back into his life? The answer is suggested by Rhodes’ performance in the final act, which feels very much like an extension of Sanders’ and Hibbert’s performances despite the physical differences between them.

For money, I found Sanders in the film’s second chapter to be the most compelling Chiron of all. He carries the film’s most outwardly emotional scenes — quietly mourning his departed father figure, figuring out how to manage his crack-addled mother, experiencing his first love and first betrayal in heartbreaking succession, and allowing his anger to make a decision with massive consequences for him. Sanders does all this with so little dialogue, carrying it all on his face, behind his eyes, in his body language. I don’t know that I’ve ever wanted to reach through a movie screen and give a character a hug more than I did with Ashton Sanders’ Chiron.

molly-shannon-other-people-jesse-plemonsBEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Molly Shannon, Other People
Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women
Riley Keough, American Honey
Viola Davis, Fences
Sarah Gadon, Indignation

Honorable Mention: Janelle Monáe, Hidden Figures; Rachel Weisz, The Lobster

The clearest frontrunner in the entire Oscar race is Viola Davis for Best Supporting Actress. Anyone betting against her is, quite simply, nuts. (This is largely due to the fact that she has approximately 400 times as much screen time as Michelle Williams in Manchester By The Sea, and legitimate doubt about whether she should have been run as a Best Actress.) I can imagine plenty of actresses making that role in Fences feel like a supporting part — but not Viola. She acts the shit out of every moment, because that’s what she does. When thinking about Fences, we sometimes have to remind ourselves that the movie isn’t all about her. Maybe it is a supporting part; maybe it’s just that they got a lead actress to play it.

No matter — credit where credit is due. Viola Davis is a phenomenal actress, and it’ll be nice to see her get the Oscar she should’ve nabbed from Meryl for The Help. (Not because The Help was such a great movie, but because The Iron Lady was such a bad one.) My other favorite supporting actresses went unrecognized by the Academy. That includes Sarah Gadon as Olivia in Indignation, who at first seems like the kind of banal love interest we expect in a period romance, but gradually reveals deeply layered complexities and an admirable level of pride. (She has an anachronistic but appropriate response to being slut shamed.) It’s hard to ignore a woman in a Confederate flag bikini, and that’s exactly the kind of performance Riley Keogh gives in American Honey — she’s a scene stealer, a total delight in every moment, a businesswoman we both respect and mistrust. Greta Gerwig makes my Not-Oscars list for the third year running, following Frances Ha and Mistress America with a multifacted role as a 1979 feminist punk-loving cancer survivor and photographer. She plays the character so well, you sometimes wish the whole movie were about her. (But that’s true of everyone in that film.)

Only one of these performance felt like a true revelation, however. Last year, an actress known primarily for comedic TV roles was overlooked for a bravura performance as a mother fighting a losing battle with cancer, a performance that showed a level of range from her we’d never seen. That was James White‘s Cynthia Nixon, and this year it’s Other People‘s Molly Shannon. (Both women were honored with an Independent Spirit Award nomination, at least.) It’s not a shock that Shannon can be very sad, in addition to being very funny — I’ve seen her do that in Year Of The Dog and HBO’s Enlightened. But, like Swinton in A Bigger Splash, Shannon does a lot of her acting here without much of a voice. Between these women and Moonlight, it was clearly a very good year for the soft-spoken.
caspar-phillipson-natalie-portman-jfk-jackieBEST DIRECTOR

Pablo Larrain, Jackie
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Denis Villenueve, Arrival
Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

Honorable Mention: Luca Guadagnino, A Bigger Splash; Andrea Arnold, American Honey

Again, it was a tough call between Moonlight and Jackie for me. And since I crowned Moonlight my #1 of the year, I decided that Pablo Larrain gets the edge as Best Director. This is partially because he delivered three films that opened in the United States last year — one of which, Neruda, was quite beautiful and stirring in its own right, even if it doesn’t come together as masterfully as Jackie. (I haven’t seen The Club.) His Darren Aronofsky-like stalking of a bloodstained Natalie Portman through the White House is chilling, portraying this American tragedy in fragmented snatches of memory that come across almost like a horror movie. He’s the filmmaker I discovered in 2016 for whom I most looking forward to seeing what comes next.

That shouldn’t discount the marvelous Barry Jenkins and his achievement in Moonlight. Something about Moonlight is so intimate that it almost feels more like live theater than a movie, even though Jenkins’ cinematography is strikingly beautiful and cinematic. There’s no question that a masterful storyteller had to be behind Moonlight in order to get everything so right. I have been a major fan of Denis Villeneuve for the past several years — his films have made my Top 10 list three years in a row — and, in contrast to 2014’s unsettling Enemy and 2015’s sinister Sicario, Arrival is a beautiful and hopeful story that I saw in a moment I needed it most. It shows that Villeneuve can do optimism as well as despair and moral murkiness, which means he’s the closest thing we’ve got to the Next David Fincher.

Big ups to Trey Edward Shults, who I’ve praised a lot for his curiously good achievement in Krisha, directing a cast of his family members in their own house for a mere 9 days and coming out with something as original and compelling as Krisha. I loved the quiet yet epic balance of tone Mike Mills managed to convey in 20th Century Women, which gave us both the little details of some ordinary lives as well as a big picture macro view of where these characters might end up. Luca Guadagnino’s style was on full display in the splashy A Bigger Splash, which veers between genres haphazardly but remains utterly watchable throughout. Andrea Arnold’s American Honey is long and messy and somewhat rambling, and yet I haven’t been able to shake the film’s characters and spirit from my mind. It all feels so true and lived-in, it might as well be a documentary.

moonlight-mahershala-ali-alex-hibbert-miami-baptism-waterBEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Moonlight, Barry Jenkins and Tarrell McCraney
Arrival, Eric Heisserer
Indignation, James Schamus
Elle, David Birke
Hello, My Name is Doris, Laura Terruso and Michael Showalter

Honorable Mention: Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford; The Handmaiden, Park Chan-Wook

Nocturnal Animals is a curious story-within-a-story that doesn’t totally pay off, but I loved the daring ending and Tom Ford’s overall writing. Park Chan-Wook’s tricky The Handmaiden certainly took some careful crafting. The Academy’s rules once again get in my way, because Hello, My Name Is Doris is considered an adapted screenplay even though it is based on a short film by Laura Terruso, which is an original story. Oh well. This light comedy is a pure delight from start to finish, one of my favorite escapist entertainments of the year. Elle grapples with some dreary, dark subject matter and keeps us constantly guessing, managing a nimble, almost comedic tone in spite of the material. Adapting Philip Roth novels hasn’t been easy for Hollywood, which is why James Schamus’ fascinating take on Indignation is all the more impressive. It’s both perfectly cinematic and novelistic, with one 12-minute scene between hero and antagonist that is largely lifted directly from the book. I nearly chose Eric Heisserer’s Arrival as my favorite because of the degree of difficulty of writing it — it hinges on a mystery and plays with time in interesting ways, and the fact that it packs such an emotional whallop despite that is a sign of a great storyteller.

But no surprise here: Moonlight pops up again, despite some confusion about how “adapted” it really is (based on McCraney’s unproduced play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue). In many scenes, the script’s dialogue is spare — which is what makes the gems, like Mahershala Ali’s monologuet that invokes the film’s title, all the more shimmering. Every word counts — the lead character through all three segments is not what you’d call a chatty Kathy, but when he does speak, it’s so heartfelt and honest and meticulously crafted. Arrival is a more ambitious story and a showier achievement in screenwriting, but the biggest challenge for a screenwriter is to allow your characters to say everything while actually saying very little. Jenkins and McCraney chose their words carefully, and they chose all the rights ones. I can’t think of a single moment in Moonlight‘s screenplay I’d want to polish. (And that’s saying a lot, coming from me.)

other-people-molly-shannon-jesse-plemonsBEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Other People, Chris Kelly
20th Century Women, Mike Mills
Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade
Everybody Wants Some, Richard Linklater
Hell Or High Water, Taylor Sheridan

Honorable Mention: Jackie, Noah Oppenheim; Born To Be Blue, Robert Burdreau

I always have a bit of a bias when it comes to Original Screenplays. Well-known stories, even if not specifically adapted from a book or another work, have a certain amount of their characters and story structure in place before the writer even begins, which has more in common with an adaptation than a truly original screenplay. That’s largely why Noah Oppenheim’s Jackie, one of my favorite films of the year, doesn’t rank a bit higher. (Ditto Born To Be Blue, though that took a few more liberties with its fiction.)

That’s why, for my own awards, I decided to celebrate full-on originality. Hell Or High Water was a perfectly calibrated Western thriller with compelling characters on both sides of the law. As a big Linklater fan, I appreciated the easy camaraderie he managed to build into all the bro bonding of Everybody Wants Some. Toni Erdmann is one of the most original films of the year. Its script is shaggy and overlong, but comes up with such wonderfully hilarious ideas that it can’t be discounted. 20th Century Women is at once a deeply personal story and a universal one, with subtle moments beautifully crafted by Mills.

My favorite this year, however, has a bit of a bias — I read the script long before seeing the film and connected to it immediately. As directed by the writer, Kelly’s Other People easily lives up to that strong screenplay, with a perfect blend of light-hearted comedy and crushing sadness. This mix alone isn’t necessarily novel, but it gets the balance just right, with a hilarious supporting character in the flamboyant gay pre-teen as well as one of the year’s most touching bits of dialogue, as David’s friend Gabe explains his attachments to birch trees. (It’s also Gabe who makes the astute point that gives this film its perfect title.)

Other People is currently streaming on Netflix, awaiting your discovery. Get to it.

moonlight-three-stories-sanders-hibbert-rhodesBEST ENSEMBLE

Moonlight
Everybody Wants Some!!
Krisha
A Bigger Splash
20th Century Women

The comedic ensemble of Everybody Wants Some is pitch perfect (save one overcooked character who comes across as a tad too broad to be believable). Krisha uses a cast comprised largely of non-actors to surprisingly great effect — including one with Alzheimer’s who may not have even known she was giving a performance. The central quartet of A Bigger Splash is a delight — Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenarts, Tilda Swinton, and Ralph Fiennes imbue the project with steamy, sexy intrigue. And the 20th Century Women are joined by a couple very capable men for a quintet that is just sublime.

But there was no contest about which cast rises far above the rest. Moonlight isn’t just the best acting ensemble of 2016 — it is, quite frankly, one of the best acting ensembles I’ve ever seen in a movie, which is all the more impressive given that I was familiar with almost none of these actors before seeing the film. I’d seen Mahershala Ali and André Holland before, but I wouldn’t have been able to name them. I knew Janelle Monae as a musician, but had never seen her act. The only cast member I was really familiar with was Naomie Harris. Yet in all three sections of the film, I was constantly blown away by how much I connected to the characters on screen. I’ve praised this cast enough above — no need to go into another Moonlight love fest. But what a cast.

money-monster-julia-robertsBEST SCORE

Money Monster, Dominic Lewis
Arrival, Johann Johannsson
Jackie, Mica Levi
Moonlight, Nicholas Brittel
Knight Of Cups, Hanan Townshend

The score and cinematography of Knight Of Cups are so incredibly beautiful that I have an urge to strip out the dialogue and leave it playing in my home 24/7 as a piece of video art, just forgetting entirely that it’s supposed to be a movie. Moonlight‘s distinct and haunting score sets a gorgeous tone for that gorgeous story — it’s almost impossible to imagine the movie without it. I love Mica Levi’s offbeat compositions for Jackie, which immediately clue us in that this is no biopic even before we’ve seen the first image of the film. For a split second, the strings are upbeat and optimistic — and then it all goes horribly downhill. Arrival was unfortunately shut out of the Academy’s nominations due to the fact that some of its “score” was an existing piece of music (also used in Shutter Island, incidentally); that’s too bad, because the part of the score that actually is original is as original as a film score can be. As mentioned before, it’s the perfect “WTF is happening?” soundtrack for 2016.

But if we’re being honest, the film score I’ve listened to the most, over and over, is Dominic Lewis’ score to Jodie Foster’s hostage thriller Money Monster. A great movie? Money Monster is not. (A guilty pleasure, at best.) But its energetic score is riveting — it’s become one of my go-to “get it done” soundtracks.

M452 (Left to right.) Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessica Chastain star in EuropaCorp's

BEST POLITICAL FANTASY

Miss Sloane
Arrival
The Witch
Neruda
Zootopia

BEST POLITICAL REALITY

Jackie
Weiner
13th
Southside With You
Barry

WORST POLITICAL REALITY

All of 2016

BEST DOUBLE FEATURE

Barry & Southside With You

arrival-amy-adams-jeremy-renner-forest-whitakerBEST MOTHER

Amy Adams, Arrival
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Molly Shannon, Other People
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Rachel Weisz, The Light Between Oceans

WORST MOTHER

Kate Dickie, The Witch
Krisha Fairchild, Krisha
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Linda Emond, Indignation
Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals

MIDNIGHT SPECIALBEST FATHER (OR FATHER FIGURE)

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Peter Simonischek, Toni Erdmann
Ron Suskind, Life, Animated
Michael Shannon, Midnight Special
Gabriel Byrne, Louder Than Bombs

WORST FATHER (OR FATHER FIGURE)

OJ Simpson, OJ: Made In America
Ralph Ineson, The Witch
Aaron Abrams, Closet Monster
Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash
Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea

BEST PET

Buffy the hamster, Closet Monster

WORST PET

Black Phillip the goat, The Witch

the-witch-black-phillipBEST KISS

Moonlight
Hello, My Name Is Doris
Closet Monster
La La Land
Southside With You

BEST FUCK

American Honey
A Bigger Splash
Julieta
The Handmaiden
Hell Or High Waterking-cobra-garrett-clayton-spencer-lofranco

WORST FUCK

King Cobra
The Neon Demon
Elle
Sunset Song
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

MOST AWKWARD OR UNFORTUNATE HOOKUP (OR ATTEMPTED HOOKUP)

Weiner
Indignation
Maggie’s Plan
The Edge Of Seventeen
Manchester By The Sea

toni-erdmann-sandra-huller-sing-greatest-love-of-allBEST MUSICAL MOMENT

“The Greatest Love Of All,” Toni Erdmann
“City Of Stars,” La La Land
“Equal Rights,” Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
“Drive It Like You Stole It,” Sing Street
“Rapper’s Delight,” Everybody Wants Some

BEST FAKE POP/ROCK STAR(S)

The Style Boyz, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Baby Goya & the Nuclear Winters, Hello My Name Is Doris
Sing Street, Sing Street
Marianne Lane, A Bigger Splash
Chet Baker, Born To Be Blue

WORST FAKE POP/ROCK STAR(S)

The Messengers, La La Land
Florence Foster Jenkins, Florence Foster Jenkins
Destiny’s Child, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
The Ain’t Rights, Green Room
The Joker (?), Suicide Squad

a-bigger-splash-ralph-fiennes-dance-dancingTHE 2016 ROSTER

Here’s every movie I saw from 2016, ranked by how much I liked them.

1. Moonlight
2. Jackie
3. OJ: Made In America
4. Krisha
5. Arrival
6. Indignation
7. Elle
8. Closet Monster
9. Complete Unknown
10. Everybody Wants Some!!
11. 20th Century Women
12. A Bigger Splash
13. Other People
14. Born To Be Blue
15. American Honey
16. Toni Erdmann
17. Christine
18. Miss Sloane
19. 13th
20. Manchester By The Sea
21. Hell Or High Water
22. Hello, My Name Is Doris
23. Silence
24. Loving
25. Nocturnal Animals
26. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
27. The Witch
28. The Handmaiden
29. The Lobster
30. Weiner
31. Southside With You
32. Maggie’s Plan
33. Louder Than Bombs
34. The Neon Demon
35. Lion
36. Hidden Figures
37. Sing Street
38. La La Land
39. Fences
40. A Man Called Ove
41. Sully
42. The Edge Of Seventeen
43. Captain America: Civil War
44. Sunset Song
45. Neruda
46. The Light Between Oceans
47. Love & Friendship
48. Zootopia
49. Barry
50. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
51. Julieta
52. Things To Come
53. 10 Cloverfield Lane
54. The Meddler
55. Life, Animated
56. The Nice Guys
57. Deadpool
58. The Birth Of A Nation
59. Hacksaw Ridge
60. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
61. Eye In The Sky
62. The Hunt For The Wilderpeople
63. Snowden
64. Aquarius
65. The Fits
66. Midnight Special
67. Captain Fantastic
68. Green Room
69. Money Monster
70. Florence Foster Jenkins
71. Knight Of Cups
72. Demolition
73. High-Rise
74. Triple 9
75. Hail, Caesar!
76. Bad Moms
77. Equity
78. King Cobra
79. Swiss Army Man
80. Suicide Squad
81. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
*

The Not-Oscars 2015

The Not-Oscars 2014

The Not-Oscars 2013

Thoughts?

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