To start, and to simply put…this list is mine. Lots of thought and commentary went into naming the very best films and performances of 2016. Some were no-brainers, others were much more difficult. Even more commentary will be shared on Friday when the winners are announced, along with the order of the Top 10 Films of 2016.
Best Motion Picture
“13th” (Netflix) – Spencer Averik, Howard Barish, Ava DuVernay
“20th Century Women” (A24) – Anne Carey, Megan Ellison, Youree Henley
“Arrival” (Paramount Pictures) – Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde, Karen Linder, Aaron Ryder
“Fences” (Paramount Pictures) – Todd Black, Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington
“I, Daniel Blake” (Sundance Selects) – Rebecca O’Brien
“Kubo and the Two Strings” (Laika/Focus Features) – Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner
“The Lobster” (A24) – Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lee Magiday
“Miss Sloane” (EuropaCorp) – Ben Browning, Kris Thykier, Ariel Zeitoun
“Moonlight” (A24) – Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski
“Silence” (Paramount Pictures) – Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Barbara De Fina, Randall Emmett, David Lee, Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Irwin Winkler
RUNNERS UP: Appropriate to name the five films that just missed the cut. Four of the five at one point had a spot in the Top 10 before late surgers or rewatches took over. The originality and heart of “Captain Fantastic” by Matt Ross is a true delight and something that invests so much in its characters. The heart and soul of “Lion” is evident from the first moment but it’s epic finale sinks its teeth deep and doesn’t hold anything back. Family and comedy blend beautifully together in Chris Kelly’s touching “Other People.”
The air of style and substance walks through each frame in Tom Ford’s superior sophomore effort “Nocturnal Animals.” And you can’t make any of this up but we are living in the era of the greatest franchise that is hitting its stride with its flow and respect for its fans with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” from Gareth Edwards.