The Oscars this week released their highly anticipated nominations to much discussion, but with only a few surprises. To the shock of absolutely nobody, La La Land swept up with Manchester By The Sea shortly behind it. The likes of Fences & Hacksaw Ridge also saw themselves set up nicely.
The Oscars normally select films which have early year release so many of the nominated films did not release in the UK in 2016. With that being said, I’d like to take the time to pick some Alternative Oscar Categories from the 75 films I saw in 2016.
Low Buzz Film That Should Have Been Nominated For Best Picture
Winner: Midnight Special
Nominated: Free State Of Jones, The Infiltrator, Bleed For This, The Fundamentals Of Caring
With enchantment and wonder reminiscent of the equally underappreciated Super 8, Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special is a clear winner in this category. Its a chase film to get a boy to safety after he exerts mysterious powers. Michael Shannon is terrific.
Comedy Of The Year Which Was Actually Funny
Winner: The Nice Guys
Nominated: Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Hail, Caesar!, Deadpool, War On Everyone
Before he won over the hearts of zillions in La La Land, Ryan Gosling turned out a hilarious turn in The Nice Guys from Shane Black. Gosling and Crowe team up to make an incompetent but oddly endearing cop duo. The 70s have never looked this fun.
Great Film You’ve Never Heard Of
Winner: The Invitation
Nominated: Imperium, Keanu, Morgan, Victoria
The Invitation just wins out ahead of Victoria for me here. There’s so much tension in the air from the first second of The Invitation, which is handy as knives are on hand to cut the tension at the reunion dinner from hell. The trailer promised mayhem and the film rewards those who can withstand hairs on the backs of their palms for 90 minutes before exploding into a truly shocking finale. Go seek it out!
Blockbuster That Got Thumbs Up Critically Too
Winner: Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them
Nominated: The Jungle Book, Doctor Strange, Star Trek Beyond, The Magnificent Seven
Shouts out to every film here, they all did a good job of providing excellent popcorn munching moments but also did a good job of the whole making a decent film thing too.
Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them had so much pressure to follow-up one of the biggest franchise’s ever as a sort of soft-reboot prequel. What it did was magically create New York in the 1920s with so much panache. Redmayne & Fogler were marvellous together.
Live Action Family Film Of The Year
Winner: The BFG
Nominated: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Goosebumps, Ghostbusters
Spielberg’s 2016 was spent crafting a live action re-make of one of Roald Dahl’s best books and the film was a lovely success. In particular its British etiquette through-out was fun and Mark Rylance’s broken English was masterful as The BFG.
British Film Of The Year
Nominated: The Girl With All The Gifts, A Monster Calls, Sing Street
Probably the strongest category of them all, British film had a fantastic year. High-Rise for me was special. This was a novel that took decades in the making to correctly transfer to film. Some said it could never be done with its maddening plot and metaphorical nightmarish scenarios, but Britain’s best Ben Wheatley was clearly up to the challenge.
Film I’m Most Likely To Buy On DVD And Replay Loads
Winner: Sing Street
Nominated: The Hateful Eight, Deadpool, The Edge Of Seventeen, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them
If you know me, you’ll know I’m a sucker for musical films and Sing Street combined everything cool about being in a band, 80s music and chasing girls into a really honest and funny film. It’s a tremendous watch with lots of life lessons on every watch through.
Winner: Suicide Squad
Nominated: The Secret Life Of Pets, X-Men:Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One
All of these films were built to be really exciting parts of the year and all flopped about like a lousy, lonely Magikarp. Suicide Squad led the disappointments with probably the biggest mis-sell of a film ever on trailer. I have fond memories of the Bohemian Rhapsody trailer being the best thing ever. What a damn shame.
I WILL NOT POST THE TRAILER TO DECEIVE YOU LIKE I WAS DECEIVED 😦
Surprisingly NOT Garbage
Winner: 10 Cloverfield Lane
Nominated: Star Trek Beyond, Deepwater Horizon, The Magnificent Seven, Jason Bourne, War Dogs
All of the nominated films deserve credit for taking the plunge into risky territory and coming up Milhouse. 10 Cloverfield Lane was an interesting one. I hated Cloverfield and throwing the name over this new film was always dangerous. What we got though was a superbly tense, scary and mindboggling experience of the end of the world seen through John Goodman’s bunker. I was thrilled by the end of the madness.
The Skidmark Of Cinema 2016 Award
Winner: Sausage Party
Nominated: Ride Along 2, The 5th Wave, Grimsby, The Legend Of Tarzan, Mechanic: Resurrection, Independence Day: Resurgence
None of these films should have been seen by human eyes. All absolute garbage. Nothing nice to say. What a shame about Independence Day. Sausage Party wins out because unlike the rest I felt something. I felt offended. Never have I been so uncomfortable at the cinema without actual laughs to follow. It was just a disgusting awkward watch.
I WILL NOT SUBJECT YOU TO A SECOND OF THIS FILM.
ACTUAL Film Of The Year
Nominated: High-Rise, Sing Street, Train To Busan, The Invitation, Kubo & The Two Strings, The Accountant, The Jungle Book
Whilst Train To Busan, High-Rise and Sing Street were all higher on my overall list, I think Arrival had many film of the year qualities about it. It had perfect direction, storytelling and acting but also left me feeling stunned, sorrowful and eager to talk to people about it. Its a spectacle and absolutely not the film you think you’re going to get.
And For Good Measure He’s My Rankings For 2016
1. The Revenant
2. Train To Busan
3. Sing Street
7. The Invitation
8. Kubo & The Two Strings
9. 10 Cloverfield Lane
11. The Jungle Book
12. Doctor Strange
13. The Accountant
14. Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them
15. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
16. The BFG
17. Sully: Miracle On The Hudson
18. War Dogs
19. Star Trek Beyond
21. The Big Short
22. Midnight Special
23. The Nice Guys
25. The Hateful Eight
26. The Girl With All The Gifts
27. A Monster Calls
28. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
29. The Fundamentals Of Caring
31. Deepwater Horizon
32. Hail, Caesar!
34. Bad Moms
35. The Magnificent Seven
36. Hell Or High Water
37. Under The Shadow
38. Green Room
39. Rogue One
41. Free State Of Jones
42. War On Everyone
43. The Edge Of Seventeen
44. Jason Bourne
45. The Infiltrator
46. Bleed For This
47. Central Intelligence
49. Captain America: Civil War
51. The Purge: Election Year
52. Triple 9
54. X-Men: Apocalypse
56. Why Him
57. Kung Fu Panda 3
59. Office Christmas Party
60. Independence Day: Resurgence
62. Suicide Squad
63. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
64. The Secret Life Of Pets
65. The Angry Birds Movie
66. Dirty Grandpa
67. Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates
68. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
69. The 5th Wave
71. The Legend Of Tarzan
72. Batman v Superman
73. Sausage Party
74. Mechanic: Resurrection
75. Ride Along 2