Best Movies of 2016

Now I’m going to talk about my favorite movies I saw this year. To qualify, the movie must have been seen in a movie theater. So I have also included movies here that are not new but reshown (usually at the Music Box or Gene Siskel)

  1. Peggy Guggenheim Art Addict
    1. This documentary talks about the incredible and amazing Peggy Guggenheim. I’ve been going to her museum for most of my life when I visit Venice. She played a fundamental role in the lives of early 20th century painters. She supported Pollock, made Rothko famous, married Ernst, helped save countless others from the Nazis…A well lived life.
  2. Sanjay’s Super Team (short)
    1. This Pixar short film was nominated for Animated Short Oscar. It’s a sweet film about cultural/generational differences between a young boy and his father.
  3. Bear Story (short)
    1. This animated short won best Oscar. It’s a heartbreaking tale of family and loss but told a bit like a story in a story.
  4. World of Tomorrow (short)
    1. It’s Don Hertzfeldt at his finest. It’s a strange short about time travel and meaninglessness/meaningfulness of human experience.
  5. The First Monday in May
    1. This documentary is about the Fashion Institute’s big show and annual gala at the Metropolitan Museum. It focused on their recent exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass. I’m still sad I did not go and see it so this was an attempt to make up for it. It’s a fascinating behind the scenes look at the Museum, the gala, and the figures behind including the famous Anna Wintour.  
  6. Deadpool
    1. I went in knowing little about Deadpool. I loved it. It’s snarky and funny in ways that I wasn’t expecting.
  7. Ghostbusters
    1. This was a fun film that gave me what I wanted. The four Ghostbusters were funny and sweet. The ghosts were silly (LIKE THEY WERE IN THE ORIGINALS!). My 8 year old self would have fallen in love with them just as I do now.
  8. Miller’s Crossing
    1. We saw this as part of the Film Noir festival at the Music Box. Directed by the Coen Brothers, it really lives up to their reputations and the genre. The main character is an amoral man who you aren’t sure where his motivations are.
  9. Pete’s Dragon
    1. This sweet film about the relationship between a dragon and the boy he cared for was a wonderful exploration about our relationship between animals and our environment. Plus Robert Redford is awesome.
  10. Kubo and the Two Strings
    1. This is a fun imaginative film about a little boy coming to terms with himself and his family. Beautiful animation with origami creatures.
  11. The Secrets in their Eyes
    1. This Argentine film had to be one of the best films I’ve seen all year. It won Best Oscar for Foreign film in 2009. It’s about a detective attempting to solve a case that eluded him and finding that it dregs up a harsh and difficult past during the Argentine dictatorship.
  12. Neruda
    1. Neruda is a strange film that defies categorization. It’s not a biopic nor quite a film noir. One critic said that it’s like a Neruda tale.
  13. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    1. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I was really pleased with the film. It captures some of the wonder of the world. Plus many beasties. And I liked how it showed that good and evil aren’t stark contrasts. Darkness can lie in “good.” A movie for our times. I wish there was more diversity in casting however.
  14. Arrival
    1. Favorite new movie of the year. This is about a linguist who is brought in by the government to figure out how to talk to an alien species who has come to earth. It talks about language and love. And the importance of patience and compassion. It had me weeping at the end of it.
  15. Moana
    1. This Disney film is wonderful. It’s a princess movie but where she actually saves herself. Bonus: Fun music by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
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