My Top Ten Films of 2016

Posted on December 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm

In my opinion, the best film of 2016 is “Fences,” with a screenplay by August Wilson, based on his Tony and Pulitzer-winning play, directed by and starring Denzel Washington, with Viola Davis.

Copyright 2016 Paramount

As usual, the rest of my list is all tied for second place:

“Everybody Wants Some!!”
“Hell or High Water”
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Sing Street”

Runners up: “Eye in the Sky,” “Don’t Think Twice,” “Southside With You,” “Finding Dory,” “Moana,” “Love & Friendship,” “Arrival,” “Loving,” “Eight Days a Week,” “Keanu,” “Edge of Seventeen,” “The Meddler,” “Hello My Name is Doris,” “Weiner,” “Zero Days,” “Command and Control,” “I, Daniel Blake,” “Little Men,” “A Monster Calls”

My friends at have compiled a great list of other critics’ top ten lists. Thanks for including mine!

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Emmys 2016

Posted on September 18, 2016 at 11:39 pm

“If your show doesn’t have a white Bronco or a dragon in it, go home now.” Jimmy Kimmel was joking in his opening monologue at this year’s Emmy Awards, but it was funny because it was true. Once again, the Emmys were awarded to past recipients, including two record-breakers. “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus with her sixth for lead actress in a comedy, and her eighth Emmy overall broke the record for most lead actress wins, breaking the three-way tie she held with Candice Bergen and Mary Tyler Moore. And “Game of Thrones” is now the most awarded scripted series in Emmy history with 38 wins. So, Kimmel was right about the dragons, and he was also right about the Bronco. The O.J. Simpson miniseries collected a several awards, including two actors who gave two of the evening’s best acceptance speeches, Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown (whose sweet shout-out to the wife who “rocks chain” was picked up by some of the other winners. Paulson also prompted some of the evening’s most passionate applause.

The nicest surprises at the Emmys were the awards to first-time winners “Orphan Black’s” Tatiana Maslany, “Bloodline’s” Ben Mendelsohn, and “Mr. Robot’s” Rami Malek. Kate McKinnon was awarded the first Emmy for a “Saturday Night Live” performer since Gilda Radner in the original cast (and was congratulated via tweet by Hillary Clinton, who she portrays in satirical sketches on the show). And, as last year, with the nominees, presenters, and award winners, the Emmys provided a sharp and explicit counter to the #oscarssowhite failure of diversity at the Academy Awards. Slate explains one of the reasons — a change to the voting system. Jeffrey Tambor, who won for “Transparent” and presenter Laverne Cox both called for more casting of trans performers.

And it was great to see the enthusiasm for the kids from “Stranger Things.”

The in memoriam segment began with a touching tribute from Henry Winkler to Garry Marshall, and paid graceful tribute to those who died in the past year. Kimmel’s weakest moment of the night was in the joke he made about working hard to make next year’s even better. His mother is adorable, but I think the passing-food-around-at-award-shows bit is played out and then some. Kimmel was just okay as a host, but I loved his getting-to-the-Emmys opening, with rides from “Modern Family’s” Dunphys, the “Veep” Presidential motorcade (driven by Jeb Bush!!), James Corden, the Bronco, and, yes, a dragon.

Major awards listed below:


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Awards Television

Oscars 2016: Winners

Posted on February 29, 2016 at 12:10 am

Best Picture: “Spotlight”

Direction: “The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”

Actress: Brie Larson, “Room”

Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”

Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”

Adapted Screenplay: “The Big Short,” Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

Original Screenplay: “Spotlight,” Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy

Cinematography: “The Revenant,” Emmanuel Lubezki

Production Design: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson (set decoration)

Film Editing: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Margaret Sixel

Visual Effects: “Ex Machina,” Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

Costume Design: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Jenny Beavan

Makeup: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin

Sound Editing: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Mark Mangini and David White

Sound Mixing: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo

Score: “The Hateful Eight,” Ennio Morricone

Song: “Writing’s on the Wall,” from “Spectre,” Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Foreign Language Film: “Son of Saul” (Hungary)

Animated Feature: “Inside Out”

Documentary Feature: “Amy”

Animated Short: “Bear Story”

Documentary Short: “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”

Live Action Short: “Stutterer”

Copyright Open Road Films 2015
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