11 days time, it will be 2017 a new year so it’s time we have a look back at what was great, what disappointed what was plain right awful. Our Writer Andrew McArthur shares his top 10 best movies for 2016, some you may agree with, some you may not have seen and some you have agree!
10. The End
This esoteric thriller from Guillaume Nicloux sees Gérard Depardieu’s hunter lost in a French woodland filled with surreal turns. Unsettling throughout but the final act delivers blows of utterly chilling proportions. [review]
9. The Greasy Strangler
Jim Hosking positions himself as the next John Waters with The Greasy Strangler, a tour de force of depravity, high-camp gore and buckets of grease. Committed performances from Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo and Michael St. Michaels, paired with Andrew Hungs’ quaint synth soundtrack helps assert The Greasy Strangler as a cult masterpiece.
This American indie explores the horrors of frat hazing with an unrelenting, visceral style. Andrew Neel’s direction is unrelentingly tense and unflinching, with further impact brought to Goat through Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer’s convincingly unrestrained performances.
This symphonic piece, masterfully-crafted piece is evocative of European arthouse cinema as it explores seasoned professionals, Michael Caine’s composer and Harvey Keitel’s filmmaker vacationing in the Swiss Alps.
6. Nocturnal Animals
Tom Ford blends the worlds of high glamour arthouse with seventies exploitation in the dual narratives of Nocturnal Animals. The elegance is hollow, the grime of the narrative’s Texploitation subplot is unnerving and grimy.
5. King Cobra
Justin Kelly’s follow-up to the still-unreleased I Am Michael sees him tackle the gay porn world under the lens of a true crime tale – the murder of producer Bryan Kocis. This exploration of privileged gay men being driven by the greed of the American dream and sexual appetite simply presents queer as they are, without a hint of ideological victimisation in sight.
Finally released in cinemas in 2016, this little-seen cult phenomenon follows Tippi Hedren and then-husband Noel Marshall, alongside daughter Melanie Griffith starring in this fictional tale of a family living on a reserve with lions in Africa. The narrative may be fictional, but the mauling is entirely real. [review]
Thanks to the precision of Alice Winocour’s direction and her unrelentingly tense cinematic grip, Disorder is a thrilling, yet unsettling watch. Matthias Schoenaerts sublimely delivers a performance rich in depth that explores the damaging effects of combat and fractured machismo.
2. Valley of Love
Valley of Love is an enigmatic tour de force that continues a thrilling winning streak for Guillaume Nicloux – asserting him as one of France’s most exciting filmmakers. Unsettling cinematography paired with staggering performances from Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu ensures that Valley of Love is one of the year’s strongest narrative features soaked in eerie supernatural undertones.
1. A Bigger Splash
Tilda Swinton re-teamed with I Am Love’s Luca Guadagnino for A Bigger Splash- a loose remake of the 1969 Jacques Deray picture La Piscine. The result is a simmering glimpse into hedonistic desire and privilege that veers into thrilling tempestuous tragedy.
Honourable Mentions: Hail Caesar, The Love Witch, Wiener-Dog, Closet Monster, The Invitation, Allied, Florence Foster Jenkins, Hunt for the Wilder people, The Childhood of a Leader, Remember, Things To Come, The Neon Demon, Trash Fire, Kalinka, Tale of Tales, Everybody Wants Some, The Man Who Was Thursday, The People Garden.
Worth Noting: Elle, Jackie and Rules Don’t Apply should feature here – but due to UK release dates, won’t feature until the 2017 list.