Like with my Favorite Books post (2016 is here), I’ve made a Favorite Movies post both in 2014 and 2015, and this year is no different. Once I had put together this list, I did notice that 2016 wasn’t a year when movies I watched became favorites immediately (with the exception of one), which has happened in the past. The movies that do pop up below were stories that stuck with me long after I watched them and may have been different from what I normally watch. Just like with the Favorite Books posts, these are movies I saw for the first time this year and not necessarily films that came out this year.
1) The Last Five Years (2014) – Seen February 5, 2016
I talked about this in my mid-year post about films I had recently seen and loved. Jason Robert Brown’s music never gets old for me, and while the vocals in the original cast recording tell such a powerful story on their own, it was amazing to finally see this story told visually. It ends on a pretty conflicting note, but is just such an enjoyable film.
2) His Girl Friday (1940) – Seen April 16, 2016
This was the other movie mentioned in my mid-year post and, after watching An Affair to Remember at the end of the year, I’m in the mood for a binge of Cary Grant movies. The writing is just so quick and witty, and I wanted to be Hildy Johnson so badly after watching this movie. I’d recommend it if you’re a fan of Old Hollywood and want to build up your knowledge of that classic film era. Discovering where some of film’s iconic moments or now stereotypical tropes originated from is definitely one of my favorite aspects about watching things from the 1930s and ’40s.
3) Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) – Seen July 27, 2016
Confession: I absolutely loathe the female main character in this movie, but love every other part of the story. I could go on a huge rant about everything wrong with Andie MacDowell’s character, but I think that this movie still being one of the year’s favorites says a lot about the strength of the other characters. I loved the friend group portrayed in it and honestly totally could’ve done without the two leads’ romantic storyline. Kristin Scott Thomas as Fiona has so much potential, and the funeral scene and the following exchange between Charles and Tom are probably the cinematic moments that struck me the most this year. I love Richard Curtis’ writing so much, and I think the simple yet powerful essence of his work is seen at its best in these moments.
4) Frances Ha (2012) – Seen July 29, 2016
This was the only film I watched this year that I knew I instantly loved when it finished. It’s so different from anything else I’ve seen, telling a contemporary story but filmed beautifully in black and white. Frances is in her early twenties and feeling lost about her path, and I found a lot of truth in some of the character’s revelations. Apart from Adam Driver (and maybe Meryl Streep’s daughter), the cast is generally made of little-known actors, so you really believe them as these young people trying to figure out their lives.
5) Interstellar (2014) – Seen December 6, 2016
I took a film class about Christopher Nolan’s movies this past semester, and Interstellar was my favorite. It still has classic Nolan trademarks, but, compared to some of his other work, it’s tamer in trying to confuse the viewer. It allows a more comprehensible storyline with just enough twists and emotion to keep you intrigued. If you want an introduction to Nolan’s canon but have heard that the films can be confusing, I’d recommend watching Interstellar to ease yourself in. I’m normally not a Matthew McConaughey fan, but he’s great here, especially opposite Anne Hathaway and working in parallel scenes with Jessica Chastain.
What about you? What were your favorite films you watched this year?