by Alejandro Turdó
Even though 2016 didn’t provide many future classics to the big screen –mostly due to the everlasting superhero fad- there’re still a few flicks worth mentioning.
1. The Nice Guys
In a successful and nostalgic effort to bring the buddy cop genre back to the big screen, Shane Black’s The Nice Guys takes us on a trip through 1970s Los Angeles in a crime comedy with a noir flair to it. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe prove to be quite a match, with considerable slapstick abilities and some interesting comedic timing. A convoluted plot involving a mysterious disappearance, a dead porn star, some wild-mass conspiracies and a closer look at the dark side of the movie industry, The Nice Guys was the most unexpected entertainment of 2016.
2. Sing Street
Hands down the feel good movie of the year! Being a teenager in 1980s economically-bashed Ireland should be quite enough, but let’s add starting over in a rough Catholic school and falling head over heels for the most beautiful girl in the neighborhood to the equation, how about that? Director John Carney sets up what initially seems to be a formulaic boy meets girl trope, but embellishes it with a musical universe in charge of a bunch of heartfelt characters that take us on a trip down memory lane – 80s memory lane to be more accurate – filled with glam, hairspray and some catchy tunes.
3. The VVitch: A New-England Folk Tale
Knee-deep in an era where cookie-cutter horror movies don’t seem to bother being anything other than quick cash grabbing exercises filled with unnecessary jump scares and overused plots, Robert Egger’s debut film The VVitch is certainly a breath of fresh air. Going back to the basics that made the genre a powerhouse back in the late 70s and early 80s, the story puts us in the middle of a family crisis set in the 1630s and the threat of an evil presence lurking around them.
Probably one of the most down-to-earth movies from the previous Oscar season, Lenny Abrahmson’s Room accomplishes a great storytelling structure resting on the shoulders of another fresh face in Hollywood: 10 year-old Jacob Tremblay. Please don’t get us wrong, Brie Larson’s performance is absolutely Academy Award-worthy, but the heart of the story rests in Tremblay’s portrait of an infant raised in a bubble-like environment, unaware of the circumstances that made this possible.
5. Midnight Special
Director Jeff Nichols always finds a way to add sci-fi elements to most of his stories. In Midnight Special, his fourth feature film, he delivers an intriguing mix between Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and A Perfect World (1993). Nichols’s fetish actor Michael Shannon and newcomer Jaeden Lieberher (from 2014’s Saint Vincent) are at the top of their game in this peculiar supernatural thriller.
Alejandro Turdó / Writer (CABA, Argentina – 1982) Ale got his degree in Image & Sound Design at Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) and is also a Technician in Audiovisual Post-Production. For year’s he’s been a critic for EscribiendoCine and A Sala Llena, a certified Rotten Tomatoes critic and a Redactor of Digital Content. He talks film at http://www.radioborder.tv.