40 – Weiner
A documentary about Anthony Weiner who, in a nutshell, is a brilliantly capable politician who just cannot keep it in his pants. Having been made a national laughing stock because he couldn’t keep it in his pants, Weiner tries to put everything behind him, save his marriage (to the brilliant, successful and incredibly stylish Huma Abedin) and run for mayor of New York. Can he keep it in his pants? For five minutes? No. No he cannot.
39 – Captain Fantastic
A total audience splitter. Peter Bradshaw ripped it to pieces in the Guardian (though he gets several details wrong and so spectacularly misses the point of the movie that I suspect he had really bad toothache, or was drunk, or both, when he saw it. Hashbutton just saying Peter!
Anyway, I really liked it. It had a Little Miss Sunshine sort of a vibe. That’s a good thing, no?
38 – I, Daniel Blake
Powerful. The scene in the food bank. Oh my.
37 – Vegalta: Soccer, Tsunami and the Hope of a Nation
It is well worth finding where the AMC channel on your telly is so you can watch this documentary (which I think they have the exclusive rights to). The documentary follows the football club most affected by the tsunami of 2011 and the fans whose lives were turned upside down. The club, and its improbable title challenge became a focus for survivors. A really beautiful story. If Forever Pure showed the worst aspects of football culture, this shows the best.
36 – Kubo and the Two Strings
Lovely stop-motion animationing.
35 – Youth
This is just a stunningly beautiful looking thing. So many wonderful images. And, dare I say it, unlike The Assassin, it isn’t like, so totes boring.
34 – The Revenant
Woah, that bear right? He’s like RoooAARR and bitey bitey punchy clawy roar! Blimes! And then he’s back for more, all claws and slobbery slobbery. Rather you than me. It’s an incredible performance from DiCaprio, who apparently allowed himself to be attacked by six bears in preparation for the role.
Actually, the bit of The Revenant that I really liked, apart from all of it, obvs, was the little spiritual moments, the flashbacks and dreamscapes, that lifted it to another level.
33 – Goosebumps
This could have been a disaster but the smart answer to the difficult question, “which book shall we film?” turned out to be, “All of them?” This is just a perfect teenagers-in-peril horror-lite. Great fun.
32 – When Marnie Was There
Marnie is actually proper creepy, making this adaptation of Joan G. Robinson’s novel all the more interesting. And it’s Studio Ghibli, so, you know, very good indeed.
31 – Sing Street
The under-the-radar film that everyone loved in 2016. Everyone was right. Feel-good nirvana. Drive it like you stole it.