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Entries in Year in Review (234)

Wednesday
Dec212016

On Loss and Letting Go in 2016

Year in Review. Every afternoon, a new wrap-up. Today Steven Fenton on grief at the movies... 

The loss of a parent is one of life’s great tragedies. As long as humans have been telling stories, they have reflected on the trauma of this loss. It’s one of few facets of life that almost every person will experience. So it’s no surprise that we, as a society, have explored this grief across generations and media, from ancient epics to pop songs. We’ve turned the subject over in our hearts and minds, examining it from every angle. The threat of losing a parent is a concept and anxiety we’re actually raised with --children are introduced to countless stories featuring orphaned heroes who find strength in their loss, and transform their pain into triumph.

2016 was a tumultuous year for many of us, and our on screen avatars suffered as well. My mother passed away in January, and shortly after that, I watched as House of Cards’ Claire Underwood and Veep’s Selena Meyer lost their mothers in remarkably similar ways (played to very different effect)...

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Monday
Dec192016

Subtitles Fading But These Soldiers March On...

Year in Review. Every afternoon, a new wrap-up. Today an exhaustive list of how foreign films performed at the US box office...  

Perhaps no film is a more perfect encapsulation of the 2016 reality for foreign films in the US marketplace than Netflix's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel. The first was an international theatrical phenomenon and a true blockbuster delivering over $100 million in the United States alone. The sequel sixteen years later was in English and went straight to streaming. 

Despite the inhospitable 21st century climate nowadays, specialty distributors fight on to deliver some variety to the US marketplace. Here's how they fared this year. These numbers were pulled from Box Office Mojo and we tried to be as thorough as possible (though we did skip documentaries and animated features which are sometimes screened in both dubbed and subtitled versions in the same marketplace)

TOP 100 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS FOR 2016
By US Box Office Gross. Title links go to reviews. 🔺 = still in theaters
Note: Figures as of March 30th, 2017

01 Dangal $12.3 (India)

02 No Manches Frida $11.5 (USA) available to stream on IMDb

03 Sultan $6.2 (India)
Bollywood films account for a big portion of each year's foreign film grosses in the US. Up until the release of Dangal at Christmas, none were mightier for most of 2016 than the sports drama starring Salman Khan (pictured above).

Oscar Finalists, Isabelle Huppert, and buzzy Korean hits after the jump...

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Saturday
Dec102016

AFI & AARP - which films are showing up on every top ten list?

Another couple of days, another couple of lists. After the jump the AFI and the AARP lists and a couple notes about which films are coasting through precursor season without a care in the world. Consensus: a powerful tool if you can grab it...

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Wednesday
Dec072016

Good Links Revolt

Autostraddle "How to Dress like Cate Blanchett's Oceans 8 Character Who is Definitely Queer, Right?"
Comics Alliance Pixar's Coco gets concept art and a voice cast - Gael García Bernal! 
Sydney Morning Herald Australia's own version of the Oscars goes big for Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge with 9 wins from its 13 nominations.
The New Yorker "the fate of cinephilia in the age of streaming"

 

Awards Daily interviews the production design team on Loving 
EW Ryan Reynolds as Entertainer of the Year
Boy Culture Hunky Van Williams, discovered by Liz Taylor of people, who came to fame on TV's The Green Hornet has died at 82. His last movie role was as homage to his friend and co-star Bruce Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)
The Wrap Madonna raises $7 million for Malawi with a little help from Sean Penn who she offers to marry again
THR Harsh words for Amazon with the cancellation of Good Girls Revolt 

The World Has Lost Its Mind
Twitter protesters of the lack of gender equality in the Australian film industry dressed as sausages at the AACTAS. "End the Sausage Party!"... they were not talking about the animated movie.
Daily Beast Sofia Vergara sued by her own embryos 
Time has released their Person of the Year stuff. I shan't type his name anymore ever (vomiting ∞). Beyoncé was apparently runner up. So that makes the second strong woman he who shall not be named has grossly defeated in this awful no good terrible when will it end year (except for at the movies. So many good movies) 

List-Making. Tis the Season
Vulture David Edelstein's top 16 includes 20th Century Women and The Fits
Vanity Fair Richard Lawsom's top 10 includes Jackie, The Lobster, and Fire at Sea
Time Stephanie Zacharek's top 10 includes The Shallows, Loving, and Paterson 

And we'll end with David Ehrlich's annual Top 25 Video Countdown. It's always a pleasure to watch this even if you don't agree on the films or their ranking though this year is a far more worthy selection than last year's!

 

Friday
Dec022016

Sight & Sound's Top 20

So many lists and awards announcements this week you'd think it was... oh, yes, it is December. Sight and Sound enter the fray now with their top 20 which is a mix of expected auteur worship titles, festival films that may or may not ever actually open. It's also very now. The oldest title here is the great German continuous shot film Victoria (which premiered at festivals last year -- we nominated it for cinematography in 2015) but almost everything else just opened or hasn't opened yet! It's to be expected but also deeply frustrating that distributors never really catch up to film buzz...

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Thursday
Dec012016

John Waters's Top 10 of 2016

Chris here. One of the most interesting curiosities every year in Best Of kudos is the list from trashcamp grandmaster John Waters. The provcateur always delivers a list that is surprising in its inclusions both for the purely unexpected (like last year's Cinderella) and for title or two you probably haven't heard of. Rest assured no matter how many films you have seen in a given year, Waters has seen more and his taste is more expansive. Eat your heart out, critics groups.

This year his top choice goes to a film getting lots of breakthrough love this week - Trey Edward Shults's Krisha. The film is quite a fitting choice for the filmmaker - with nonactors on a microbudget, Krisha is all taught social mores, fraught observations of family structures, and psychosis. Sounds somewhat like his own fascinations, albeit with much more inhibitions. Here's what he says of the film, with the rest of his list after the jump:

This hilariously harrowing portrait of a family reunion ruined by an alcoholic relative and too many dogs is told with verve and lunacy and features a top-notch performance by Krisha Fairchild, the director’s own aunt. Other people’s hell can sometimes be so much fun.

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