Cinemaps' BEST OF 2016: The Personal, The Universal

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Wow this is way late, but whatever. It's been an extraordinary year. The films on this list all speak to the interconnectedness of events, people, and our time. We truly don't exist in a vacuum, and it'd be to the detriment of humanity to behave otherwise.

CINEMAPS' TOP 10
Fuocoammare (Fire at sea)

01. Fuocoammare (Fire At Sea; Rosi) ****1/2 Moving, educational, relevant, and just as importantly, incredibly cinematic.

02. Sieranevada (Puiu) ****1/2 A lively, masterfully woven tapestry of family that absorbs social impact and holds its members loosely and compassionately together as they bond, break, and repair over moments big and small.

03. Nocturama (Bonello) **** A daring, ridiculous adrenalin ride through the lives of young rebels without a cause.

04. Le Tortue Rouge (The Red Turtle; de Wit) **** For when you want to feel bad about existence.

05. Arrival (Villeneuve) **** Brilliant, original and unforgettable, from the title to the emotional end - Villeneuve's crown jewel of achievement to date.

06. Moonlight (Jenkins) **** At once intimate and epic, it's a beautiful film with a rare narrative, offering so much love and gentleness in unexpected places.

07. Toni Erdmann (Ade) **** Hilarious, morose, thoughtful satire that is just too entertainingly bonkers to ignore.

08. La La Land (Chazelle) ***1/2 The unmissable joie de vivre of our leads is deftly handled and bathed in soft but defiant light here. And for a movie musical, the music itself is the best since Chicago (not sure if that's saying much?).

09. Manchester by the sea (Lonergan) ***1/2 Heartbreaking, with the best Casey Affleck performance since The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford.

10. Hymyilevä mies (The happiest day in the life of Olli Mäki; Kuosmanen) ***1/2 An unusual story with lots of heart in pretty black and white frames.


La La Land
Grin and Pulse
The most fun I had watching a movie this past year
La La Land
Deadpool
Toni Erdmann
The Nice Guys
Train to Bhusan
Hymyilevä mies (The happiest day in the life of Olli Mäki)

Director
Confident storytelling, with a touch of "wow"
Gianfranco Rosi, Fuocoammare (Fire at sea)
Bertrand Bonello, Nocturama
Cristi Puiu, Sierranevada
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Pablo Larrain, Neruda

Sandra Hüller
Performance
I feel you
Sandra Hüller, Toni Erdmann
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Alex Hibbert / Ashton Sanders / Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
Oulaya Amamra, Divines

Amy Adams, Arrival
Ryan Gosling, The Nice Guys
John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane
Kirin Kiki, After the storm
The cast of Sieranevada, Sieranevada

Writing
Create interesting, layered, cohesive universe; would make for a great read on its own
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the sea 
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann
Hirokazu Koreeda, After the storm
Cristi Piui, Sieranevada

Sieranevada
Editing
Interesting, effective cuts and stitches that support and move the story visually
Fire at sea
Nocturama
Sieranevada
Toni Erdmann
La La Land

Cinematography
Takes my breath away
La La Land
Nocturnal Animals
Arrival
Moonlight
Into the Inferno

Hail, Caesar!
Art Direction / Production Design
Transportive, impactful set design
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Arrival
Kubo and the two strings
Dr. Strange

Effects
Movie Magic
Arrival
Dr. Strange
Kubo and the two strings
Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children




Sound
Amplify the visuals and enrich my sensory experience
Arrival
Into the Inferno
Fire at sea
Nocturama

Score
Was it memorable?
La La Land
Arrival
Moonlight


Uncharted  
Films I'm intending to see that could make a dent on the list above
Certain Women
Elle
Neon Demon
Loving
Fences
The Handmaiden
Birth of a Nation
My life as a Zucchini

Charted
Ranked out of *****
****1/2
Fuocoammare (Fire At Sea; Rosi)
Sieranevada (Puiu)

****
Nocturama (Bonello)
Le Tortue Rouge (The Red Turtle; de Wit)
Arrival (Villeneuve)
Moonlight (Jenkins)
Toni Erdmann (Ade)

***1/2
La La Land (Chazelle)
Manchester by the sea (Lonergan)
Hymyilevä mies (The happiest day in the life of Olli Mäki; Kuosmanen)
Hell or high water (McKenzie)
Umi yori mo Mada Fukaku (After the storm; Koreeda)
The Bad Batch (Amirpour)

***
Train to Bhusan (Yeon)
Silence (Scorcese)
Deadpool (Miller)
The Nice Guys (Black)
Divines (Benyamina)
Neruda (Larraín)
Forushande (The Salesman; Farhadi)
Nocturnal Animals (Ford)
Julieta (Almodovar)
Jackie (Larraín)
Frantz (Ozon)
Into the Inferno (Herzog)
Bacalaureat (Graduation; Mungiu)
10 cloverfield lane (Trachtenberg)
Hail, Caesar! (Coen)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Waititi)
Eddie the Eagle (Fletcher)
Captain Fantastic (Ross)
The Edge of Seventeen (Craig)
Free Fire
Hush (Flanagan)

**1/2
Kubo and the two strings (Knight)
The Jungle Book (Favreau)
The Magnificent Seven (Fuqua)
Zootopia (Howard & Moore)
Captain America: Civil War (Russo & Russo)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Edwards)
Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children (Burton)
Ghostbusters (Feig)
Moana (Clements & Musker)
Dr. Strange (Derrickson)
The Conjuring 2 (Wan)
Star Trek: Beyond (Lin)
Hidden Figures (Melfi)
The Founder (Hancock)
Colossal
Sully (Eastwood)
Jason Bourne (Greengrass)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Ficarra & Requa)

**
Smrt u Sarajevu (Death in Sarajevo; Tanovic)
Fuchi ni tatsu (Harmonium; Fukada)
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Snyder)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Yates)
Zoolander: No. 2 (Stiller)

* (Embarrassing)
X-men: Apocalypse (Singer)
Assassin's Creed (Kurzel)

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Oscars 2017 Nominations Prediction (updated with results): Dreamers are going to dream

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So, for once, I'm not scrambling to make this list. It'll be a shame if I ended up making the same percentage of correct prediction as I did in past scrambling attempts! Heh. There may be added predictions from my friend before the January 24th announcement. Edit: Added Griz's predictions in purple. The race is on! Edit 2: actual result in red.

PICTURE
La La Land
Moonlight
Manchester by the sea
Lion
Arrival
Hidden Figures
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Jackie x

There may just be 9 instead of 10. It'll be mighty surprising if any of these films misses.

Arrival
Captain Fantastic
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Garth Davis - Lion x Mel Gibson
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Alt. Pablo Larrain – Jackie

Garth Davis is the shakey one here, even though one could make the same case for Denis. Pablo had a stellar year - he may sneak in to replace Denis for that artsy spot.

Damien Chazelle - La La Land
Garth Davis - Lion
Barry Jenkins - Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve - Arrival

Alt: Mel Gibson - Hacksaw Ridge

ACTRESS
Amy Adams – Arrival x Ruth Negga!!!
Emma Stone – La La Land
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Isabelle Hupert – Elle
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Alt. Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train

A packed category, with strong three-ways between Amy, Emma, and Natalie. Isabelle will get it because people do love her. Between Meryl and Emily Blunt, it'll be the Streep that gets in, especially after that speech at the Globes.

Amy Adams - Arrival
Isabelle Huppert - Elle
Natalie Portman - Jackie
Emma Stone - La La Land
Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins

Alt: Emily Blunt - The Girl on the Train

ACTOR
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the sea
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Denzel Washington – Fences
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Alt. Jake Gyllenhaal – Nocturnal Animals

Irrelevant confession: I'm not a fan of Andrew Garfield's acting.
Jake may get the nod, though that's a really long shot. It'll depend on how well Nocturnal Animals is received by the Academy.

Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling - La La Land
Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington - Fences

Alt: Jake Gyllenhaal - Nocturnal Animals

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis – Fences
Michelle Williams – Manchester by the sea
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures

Alt. Janelle Monae – Hidden Figures

This is a really weak category. I don't have a horse in this race, Lion unseen.

Viola Davis - Fences
Naomi Harris - Moonlight
Nicole Kidman - Lion
Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea

Alt: Janelle Monae - Hidden Figures

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Dev Patel – Lion
Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the sea
Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins x Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals!!!!!

Alt. Aaron Taylor Johnson – Nocturnal Animals

I have a bone to pick here and the supporting actress category: it's a shame that the three strongest performances of Moonlight are left out in favour of the two more famed actors in Ali and Harris. This is probably due to how the categories are set up, which make it difficult to fit those three in for playing the same central character in three parts. Anyway, the other bone I have to pick is that Michael Shannon is going to get left out in favour of another sheriff played by Jeff Bridges. I know I've made that assertion before, but it bears repeating, because, what injustice! How is Aaron Taylor Johnson better than Michael Shannon in the film?! I've seen Animals, and that's just outrageous.

Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant - Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges - Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel - Lion

Alt: Aaron Taylor-Johnson - Nocturnal Animals

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
La La Land
Manchester by the sea
Hell or high water
Toni Erdmann x 20th Century Women
The Lobster

Alt. Jackie

I'm betting on Toni Erdmann making it here because Toni may win Foreign Film, and usually the Foreign Film winner picks up a nom in a main category like this one. The Lobster is probably wishful thinking.

Captain Fantastic
Hell or High Water
I, Daniel Blake
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

Alt: The Lobster

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Moonlight
Arrival
Lion
Hidden Figures
Fences

Alt. Nocturnal Animals

I have nuthin' to say here.

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Alt: Deadpool

FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Toni Erdmann
The Salesman
Land of Mine
A Man called Ove
Paradise x Tanna

Alt. The King’s Choice

I'm oddly confident of these choices. I base this baseless confidence on trailers, so nobody should listen to me. No, actually, I have seen Toni and the Salesman. I lied.

Land of Mine (Denmark)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland)
The Salesman (Iran)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Alt: Tanna (Australia)

ANIMATED
Kubo and the two strings
Moana
Zootopia
The Red Turtle
Finding Dory x

Alt. My Life as a Zucchini

I'm gonna see Kubo! Some time imminent! The Red Turtle getting in would be terrific.

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Alt: Finding Dory

DOCUMENTARY
OJ: Made in America
Weiner x Fire at sea!!!!
13th
Cameraperson
Life, Animated

Alt. I am not your Negro

A very strong category, with many U.S. focused films vying for a slot. I switched Cameraperson with Jim: the James Foley Story last minute. May regret this!

13th
Cameraperson
I Am Not Your Negro
O.J. Made in America
Weiner

Alt: Fire at Sea

EDITING
La La Land
Arrival
Moonlight
Hacksaw Ridge
Manchester by the sea x Hell or High Water

Alt. Deadpool

Wouldn't it be something if Deadpool shows up in this important technical category?

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Alt: Lion

CINEMATOGRAPHY
La La Land
Moonlight
Lion
Arrival
Nocturnal Animals x

Alt. Silence

If Nocturnal Animals is going to be rewarded, it should show up here. However, there's that Silence factor. I have heard nothing in terms of enthusiasm for the film, but Scorsese is respected so it may just knock Animals out. <-- did="" i="" it="">


Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Alt: Hell or High Water

PRODUCTION DESIGN
La La Land
Silence x Passengers
Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them
Hail, Caesar!
Arrival

Alt. Nocturnal Animals

It'd be grievous if Hail, Caesar gets the shaft here.

Fantastic Beasts
Hail, Caesar!
Hidden Figures
Jackie
La La Land

Alt: Arrival

VISUAL EFFECTS
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them x Deepwater horizon
Rogue One
Arrival x Kubo and the two strings
Dr. Strange
The Jungle Book

Alt. Captain America: Civil War

I've not seen The Jungle Book but apparently it's a film with a lot of effects so it's here. I'm not completely sold on it though, but talking animals ...

Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One

Alt: Arrival

SOUND MIXING
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One
Arrival
Deep Water Horizon x 13 Hours

Alt. Sully

Deep water horizon. If I remember anything about the trailer, it'd be "there's a lot of sound and Mark Wahlberg."

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One

Alt: Arrival

SOUND EDITING
Hacksaw Ridge
Arrival
Rogue One x
Deep Water Horizon
Sully

Alt. La La Land

Why make La La Land an alternate option here? I dunno, gotta fit Sully in somewhere. I don't remember La La Land being all that great with sound, actually. But it's a Musical, so it's going to show up somewhere sound related.

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Deepwater Horizon
Rogue One
Sully

Alt: La La Land

MAKE UP & HAIRSTYLING
Hail, Caesar! x A man called Ove!!
Florence Foster Jenkins x Star Trek Beyond
Deadpool x Suicide Squad

Alt. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I think this is a definite set. <--- LMPO This bombed category makes me cry. I forgot that Meryl Streep was not wearing old people make-up.

Deadpool
Florence Foster Jenkins
A Man Called Ove

Alt: Star Trek Beyond

COSTUME
La La Land
Jackie
Hail, Caesar! x Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Dressmaker x

Alt. Florence Foster Jenkins

The Dressmaker is literally about someone who makes dresses. How could it miss? With Kate Winslet? <-- It totally did.

The Dressmaker
Fantastic Beasts
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Alt: Hail, Caesar!

SCORE
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Jackie
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them x Passengers

Alt. Zootopia

It's a shame that Arrival is not eligible for this category, because it sounds great.

The BFG
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight

Alt: Kubo and the Two Strings

SONG
La La Land – City of Stars
Hidden Figures – Running x Jim: The James Foley Story
La La Land – Audition
Moana – How far I’ll go
Sing - Faith x

Alt. Trolls - Can't stop the feeling

May City of Stars race to an easy win!

Hidden Figures
La La Land
Moana
Sing
Trolls

Alt: Zootopia

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Golden Globes 2017 Winners Predictions

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This is a close shave to put this up before the ceremony, so I'll get right to it! Purple is my friend and long time guest, Griz.

BEST PICTURE (DRAMA)

Moonlight
Alt: Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea
Alt: Moonlight

I think Manchester may win, but a part of me thinks that the Globes may want to be cooler than the Oscars, and the cooler choice would be Moonlight.

BEST PICTURE (COMEDY/MUSICAL)

La La Land
Alt: 20th Century Women

La La Land
Alt: 20th Century Women

Could there be any other choice, really?

BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle - La La Land
Alt: Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the sea

Damien Chazelle - La La Land
Alt: Barry Jenkins - Moonlight

Damien should win here - his is the most showy of the contenders.

BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)

Natalie Portman - Jackie
Alt: Isabelle Huppert - Elle

Natalie Portman - Jackie
Alt: Amy Adams - Arrival

With the buzz for Natalie, it's going to be she who wins all the awards. Her rivals, Amy and Isabelle, are worthy opponents but I think with the political climate and the seriousness of her picture, she may rise to the top of the glitter ball for this.

BEST ACTOR (DRAMA)

Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea
Alt: Denzel Washington - Fences

Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea
Alt: Denzel Washington - Fences

Casey's to lose.

BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY/MUSICAL)

Emma Stone - La La Land
Alt: Annette Bening - 20th Century Women

Emma Stone - La La Land
Alt: Annette Bening - 20th Century Women

Would the Streep sneak in and win? Emma's to lose.

BEST ACTOR (COMEDY/MUSICAL)

Ryan Gosling - La La Land
Alt: Ryan Reynolds - Deadpool

Ryan Gosling - La La Land
Alt: Ryan Reynolds - Deadpool

It pains me to not put Colin Farrell in my alternate, but my reason is this: people are going to vote for Gosling, but maybe there are people out there who still mix up the two Ryans and split vote for the Reynolds?!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Viola Davis - Fences
Alt: Naomi Harris - Moonlight

Viola Davis - Fences
Alt: Naomi Harris - Moonlight

This must be a weak category, because Michelle and Naomi are both OK but not great in their respective films, and they're here as legitimate threats. So I'm going to go with the resurgent Viola. There would at least be an emotional speech.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water
Alt: Mahershala Ali - Moonlight

Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
Alt: Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water

The best actors from Moonlight are not nominated, which is the sad fact here. And the best sheriff last year is not Jeff Bridges. Oh well. Jeff is at least a token award for the fun Hell or High Water, one of the few non-sequel, non-blockbuster action films of the year.

BEST SCREENPLAY

Manchester by the Sea
Alt: Moonlight

Manchester by the Sea
Alt: Moonlight

Equally possible, I think. I'm giving the edge to Manchester just in case there's a spread between the two films for Picture and Screenplay. I like covering my bases.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

La La Land
Alt: Trolls

La La Land
Alt: Moana

I only pick Trolls because it's Justin Timberlake.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

La La Land
Alt: Arrival

La La Land
Alt: Hidden Figures

Most definitely La La Land, though Arrival has a gorgeous memorable score too.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Zootopia
Alt: Moana

Moana
Alt: Zootopia

I'm not feeling Moana, and I think Zootopia has been a surprising success. They may want to reward that. Globes is all about bandwagonning.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Alt: Elle (France)

Elle (France)
Alt: Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Well, having seen all but Elle on this list, I'm picking the funniest and most well played internationally (at festival circuits anyway) for the win.

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