February is going to be a great month for catching up on older movies and writing. The theaters are not going to have too much to offer, and the Oscars are sure to be charged with politics (in case you’re not aware – they already are, and for good reason). But, all is not lost. There’s going to be some cool things going on here on the blog, and I am sure that at least one movie will end up being a pleasant surprise (my money is on Get Out).
You know the feeling when someone claims to have a super-cool list of the best-of-the-best-of-the-best, sir! (with honors!), and all you can think about is what your list would look like? When it is me, I immediately start composing my very own list before even reading the original. It’s partly for comparison, and partly just to get a feel for exactly how challenging putting together these kinds of lists can be. Imagine my delight when I heard that the BBC had crafted a list of the Greatest 100 Movies of the 21st Century! By compiling the rankings of 117 critics from around the world, the BBC came to a “consensus” of what kinds of films would be seen as “modern classics” in a few decades from now. It was with that spirit that I set down with a few sheets of paper and my own personal Google machine and attempted my own version of the list, truncated to a mere 21 films (because that’s the century it is currently).
A semi / biannual tradition begins here at Plot and Theme as I decide it is time to rank movies again according to my very own standards. My opposition to lazy list-style articles notwithstanding, every now and then taking a glimpse of the best trees in the forest offers potentially interesting observations. That is certainly true in this case, as I will not only briefly summarize and recount my favorite ten movies that I’ve seen released in 2016, but also discuss the relatively poor output of the big blockbuster landscape for this year. I’ll also predict whether there are any saviors on the horizon, or if 2016 is doomed to be remembered as a year of flops, both critically and commercially.
Earlier today, the nominees for the 88th annual Oscars were announced, and this is the first time Plot and Theme has existed during an Oscar season, so I am going spout my nonsense preferences and commentary for all who wish to read. Before we get started, it is important to understand that these are not the films that I think will win the award, but the films that I think deserve to win. It is a slight difference, and if anyone cares about predicting the actual winners, I may do that on the eve of the ceremony (or, I could even live Tweet as the Oscars are happening).