As we approach the very end of 2016, all of the films in serious contention for the Best Picture Oscar have been released, limited or otherwise. While I haven’t seen a few entries in this month’s top ten — owing to disinterest or a lack of access — the narratives for all of their nominations is really starting to take shape. Here we go for the final top 10 of 2016.
In an extremely roundabout way, this is where I’ve come to with director Damien Chazelle and his new film La La Land. It too is filled to burst with passion, expressing as it does a love for things from a bygone era. It’s clear Chazelle cares a great deal about the subject matter and wants very much to tell you about it. Despite his earnest belief in the film, I’m not sure that’s enough of a reason to care.
There’s a brief scene somewhere in Cameraperson where a wild-eyed, bespectacled astrophysicist explains quantum entanglements. The basics of it are fairly simple: consider two linked particles; now move one far away. Experiments performed on the nearby particle can and will eventually be felt by the distant other — it’ll just take light years for the effects to reach it. We know the particles are entangled, in space and time, but the mystery — to astrophysicists and us — is understanding why and how this happens the way it does.
As directed by relative newcomer Gareth Edwards, we are left with a question: Is Rogue One a political film or not? As it turns out, it is and it’s a welcome thematic element to add to the Star Wars universe, something which — much like the film itself — we didn’t know we needed until we got it.
Yes, there are holes in the roster right now, but they’re quite fixable. And even though the 2017 version might look quite a bit different than last years team, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There have been some growing pains, but your 2017 Toronto Blue Jays aren’t headed for the dumpster.
We all shared restless feelings in 2016 — watching the news, waiting for the next disaster. The small moments, the ones where we could press play and forget everything else, felt a little more romantic. In general, the music we heard this year matched our restlessness. Faced with the world around them, artists turned inward and created masterpieces.
Owing to this solidification (calcification?) of this year’s Oscar story, we’ve become increasingly locked into our top ten. There are no drop outs this week (though the idea of Sully still puts me to sleep) but there was some jostling on the list. As we enter December, and the final 30 days of the Oscar contention season, this is not nothing. Here are this month’s Picture Perfect Power Rankings. Time to get serious with the status quo.