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Curtains Up on Man Cubs, Dragons and Brian De Palma

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Finally.

I have seen the greater majority of year end films and all I can say is this year, the good stuff wasn’t always loaded in the last 3 weeks of 2016. We had a very good year that produced quality films. Narrowing what I perceive to be best into a list of 10 is almost impossible. How there be 10 best? What I think is best is irrelevant. What is my favourite is a different story.  Here is a list of films that touched me, moved me to tears or simply left me breathless. Does it follow the rotten tomato-meter or a critics consensus? No. These are just my favourite. Seek them out.

De Palma: An intriguing look into the mind and work of Brian De Palma, one of the most underappreciated filmmakers of the last 40 years. A must for cinema lovers.

Pete’s Dragon: A remake of a horrid 1970’s Disney musical, this thoughtful story about a boy and his dragon has no business being this good. A tear jerker that earns it’s tears honestly.

Loving: Jeff Nichols’ historical drama about an interracial couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, and their attempt to remain legally married in the state of Virginia. Is there a more relevant film for today? Nope.

Snowden: Oliver Stone’s biographical film about the American whistleblower Edward Snowden. It didn’t set the screens on fire but give it a chance, it’s more revealing and entertaining then one might expect.

Hacksaw Ridge: Say what you want about Mel Gibson, this guy is a born filmmaker. He has made one of the most brutal war films I have ever seen anchored by Andrew Garfield’s sublime and heroic portrayal of conscientious objector Desmond Doss.

La La Land: As a musical lover, this hits all the right notes. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are magic in this love letter to Los Angeles.

Manchester by the Sea: You wont see a better drama then Kenneth Lonergan’s gem about brotherly love and family duty. It walks a fine line between bleak tragedy and black comedy. A masterpiece of acting and screenwriting.

 

Fences: Denzel Washington and Viola Davis eat the screen in this adaptation of August Wilson’s famous play.  Those who want to see what real screen acting is, look here and be amazed.  Washington and Davis give their all and present us their career best.

Arrival: Quebec’s own Denis Villneave has made his best film with this emotional sci-fi powerhouse that is more about character then about aliens and UFO’s. Amy Adams has never been better.

The Jungle Book: A visual feast for the eyes. Another great Disney remake based on a 1960 s film. This one pulls out all the stops in delivering the goods and it succeeds. Never did I once think this was shot in a studio in Burbank. A top notch voice cast and a kick ass pulse, this movie is alive with enough creativity for three films.

 

 

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