Awards season is a long way off, but some truly great films have come out so far this year. Some may have been around for a while, but they all came out in the UK in 2016. Here are my 10 favourites:
10) Next to her
A beautifully sensitive drama set in Israel about a woman’s struggles looking after her sister with severe leaning difficulties. Always heartfelt and honest, and occasionally funny, Next to Her is an intelligent exploration of sacrifices, tough decisions and complicated relationships. An interesting twist to look out for is the way in which Rachel has seemingly become reliant on Gaby’s dependency on her to make her feel wanted and loved.
At the heart of the film are the extremes that people are willing to go for their loved ones, but also the eventual limits in what they can do for them. It’s heart-breaking but above all feels truly authentic.
Going into seeing Deadpool, I didn’t expect to like it much, but I was very quickly proved wrong as I burst out laughing again and again.
This superhero comedy is incredibly silly, provocative but above all well written.
And even subversive, as Ryan Reynolds’ character constantly breaks the fourth wall, which makes it a refreshing affair. I don’t normally rate comedies up there with more serious, hard-hitting cinema, but this was well worth its place on the list.
‘Icelandic sheep-farmers forced to slaughter all their livestock in a bleak, slow moving affair’ is unlikely to get bums on seats, but it is the unlikely nature of Rams that makes it work. Oddly comedic and genuinely heart-warming, this is an understated triumph.
The black comedy is set against the backdrop of stunningly beautiful and wintery landscapes, which is incredibly cinematic.
Rams is about a tiny rural community mainly populated by moody middle-aged men sporting wild, unkempt beards and tremendous knit-wear, and how this community has to react after being shocked to its very core.
Three-time BAFTA winning director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust and Bone) adopts the perspective of Sri Lankan refugees fleeing from civil war to settle in France suburbia with his masterpiece Dheepan.
The film, which won the 2015 Palme d’Or at Cannes, explores sensitive cultural and political themes but is also powerful, shocking cinema. The refugee crisis has finally been given a voice, and Audiard does it all in a gritty, yet masterfully stylish manner.
First of all, Victoria is an incredible feat in cinematography as the film consists of just one long take. This two-hour long shot takes you on an adventure around Berlin following Victoria, a young Spanish woman, on her night out in the party capital that descends into chaos.
It’s astonishing how well the film, and the dialogue in particular holds together over the one take. The illusion is very rarely broken, meaning the highs and lows for Victoria and co are all the more powerful.
The film captures the spontaneity and freedom that is so typical of Berlin and its nightlife, but also reveals its dark underbelly. Exhausting and truly affecting, this whirlwind journey is the definition of daring filmmaking.
By Matty Edwards