Real Reel Life: The Top 10 Films of 2016

Here are my top ten films of 2016, the ones I responded to the most strongly, the ones I’d most want to watch again, and as is so often the case: the ones I really want to tell everyone about. I hope you’ll watch them too and feel something good.

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Picture Perfect Power Rankings: Is There Still Time for a Shake-up?

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.

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Picture Perfect Power Rankings: The Oscar Status Quo

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.

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As The Whole World Watches: An “Arrival” Review

The first third of Arthur C. Clarke’s seminal science fiction novel “Childhood’s End” deals with the arrival of extraterrestrial beings in massive ships to our planet. The actual form of these aliens is not revealed until later, after the book has jumped ahead to a period when the presence of aliens on Earth has been normalized. Humanity needed time before being able to accept them. It’s an understandable response, given people’s typical emotional reaction to the new and unknown. And it’s a concept, one of a few, thrumming through the new film on a similar subject from director Denis Villeneuve, Arrival.

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