Best Movie Scenes of 2016

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The Oscars were not that long ago, so I guess I better run down the best scenes of 2016.

A lot of great food scenes: dinners in Elle and 20th Century Women, plus the frobscottle feast in The BFG. Also, The Neon Demon stopped by a bar, but I don’t think they ate much.


The 2016 Jeff Malone Academy Awards

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If I were in charge of unilaterally selecting the Oscars, here is who would be recognized. Nominees are listed alphabetically, winners in bold.

Best Picture
Midnight Special
The Neon Demon
The Witch

Best Director
Robert Eggers, The Witch
Pablo Larraín, Jackie
Jeff Nichols, Midnight Special
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Nicolas Winding Refn, The Neon Demon

Lead Actor
Paul Dano, Swiss Army Man
John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals
Sam Neill, Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Daniel Radcliffe, Swiss Army Man

Lead Actress
Mackenzie Davis, Always Shine
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch

Supporting Actor
Lucas Dawson, The Witch
Oscar Isaac, X-Men: Apocalypse
Keanu Reeves, The Neon Demon
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
Alex Wolff, Patriots Day

Supporting Actress
Khandi Alexander, Patriots Day
Ellie Grainger, The Witch
Greta Gerwig, Jackie
Alison Sudol, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Lulu Wilson, Ouija: Origin of Evil

Original Screenplay
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, The Lobster
Jeff Nichols, Midnight Special
Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, and Damien Chazelle, 10 Cloverfield Lane
Robert Eggers, The Witch
Jared Bush and Phil Johnston, Zootopia

Adapted Screenplay
Eric Heiserrer, Arrival
Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, and C. Robert Cargill, Doctor Strange
Luke Davies, Lion
Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Animated Feature

Bradford Young, Arrival
Stéphane Fontaine, Jackie
Seamus McGarvey, Nocturnal Animals
Flavio Martínez Labiano, The Shallows
Newton Thomas Sigel, X-Men: Apocalypse

Costume Design
Courtney Hoffman, Captain Fantastic
Sang-gyeong Jo, The Handmaiden
Erin Benach, The Neon Demon
Kym Barrett, The Nice Guys
Arianne Phillips, Nocturnal Animals

Film Editing
Joe Walker, Arrival
Michael Aller and Kirk M. Morri, Lights Out
Jennifer Lame, Manchester by the Sea
Joan Sobel, Nocturnal Animals
Louise Ford, The Witch

Makeup and Hairstyling
Doctor Strange
The Neon Demon
Nocturnal Animals
Star Trek: Beyond
X-Men: Apocalypse

Original Score
Jóhann Jóhannsson, Arrival
Michael Giacchino, Doctor Strange
Mica Levi, Jackie
Cliff Martinez, The Neon Demon
Abel Korzeniowski, Nocturnal Animals

Original Song
“Another Day of Sun,” written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, La La Land
“City of Stars,” written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, La La Land
“Drive It Like You Stole It,” written by Gary Clark, Sing Street
“Start a Fire,” written by Justin Hurwitz and John Legend, La La Land
“Waving Goodbye,” written by Sia Furler, The Neon Demon

Production Design
Don’t Breathe
The Handmaiden
La La Land
X-Men: Apocalypse

Sound Editing
Sylvain Bellemare, Arrival
Christopher Bonis, Don’t Breathe
Robert MacKenzie and Andy Wright, Hacksaw Ridge
Matthew Wood, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Alan Robert Murray and Bob Asman, Sully

Sound Mixing
Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye, Arrival
Csaba Major, Don’t Breathe
Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, and Steve A. Morrow, La La Land
Scott Harber, Nocturnal Animals
Michael B. Koff, Patriots Day

Visual Effects
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Swiss Army Man
X-Men: Apocalypse

Amanda Knox
I Am Not Your Negro
OJ: Made in America

Animated Short/Documentary Short/Live Action Short
I wish that shorts were more readily viewable theatrically or that these categories be seriously reconsidered.

Foreign Language Film
The Handmaiden
Toni Erdmann

Best Movies of 2016

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

This ranking was originally posted on News Cult in December 2016.

Yes, it’s another best movies of the year list, which you are reading perhaps because you know me personally. Or maybe you don’t know me in the flesh, but you follow my writing and want to keep up with my opinions regardless of how much you agree or disagree with them. Or it could be that you have stumbled upon this article by sheer happenstance. In that case, I shall do best to steer you straight.

Is this list more “right” than any other critic’s? It is certainly correct in the sense that it has come from a place of honesty. I feel enthusiastic about these films, and so I have decided to say to the world, “This is my interpretation. Perhaps you will feel the same.”


10. 10 Cloverfield Lane
An anthology-style cinematic universe grows into itself in its second chapter. Mary Elizabeth Winstead finds herself in a bunker under the iron fist of John Goodman, giving the performance of his career. A drum of acid is even scarier than the monsters supposedly outside. Our pulses adapt to the rhythm of the thrills.