Movies of 2016

Well, Concussion arrived at the movie theatres last year, but it was my first movie to watch this year.

My initial reactions were posted on my Livejournal
, but moving on to yours...?


  • I'm excited about Ip Man 3! Comes out January 22 in the states.
  • Captain America 3, and I'm going to see the Hateful Eight roadshow tomorrow (technically a 2015 movie, but a 70mm screening wasn't immediately available in Columbus).
  • Thinking of going back for a second viewing of Spotlight from last year. The first thing for this year that I'm interested in won't be in the theatres for another month, after all, and the local second-run house in my neighbourhood has a C$5 admission charge for all their movies and shows no ads at all before the movies, with one exception: a 20-second spot asking people to turn off their phones and make sure they've got their snacks at hand. Then it's On With The Show.
  • I saw Deadpool on Friday. It was everything that a Deadpool movie should be. I completely enjoyed it, even more than I thought I would!
  • What Beth said, the 105mins flew by I couldn't believe it was ending so soon.
  • edited February 2016
    Last night I saw Youth at the local indie-film cinema. The writer-director is Paolo Sorrentino, whom I know nothing about except that he's Italian. It stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel as lifelong friends, a composer and film director at the end of their careers, staying at a remote Swiss resort hotel. Rachel Weisz is the composer's daughter. Paul Dano plays a young actor hanging out between roles, and Jane Fonda shows up briefly. The performances are top-notch: Caine is a man who has given up, living out his remaining days in retreat, while Keitel wants to keep active and creative for as long as he can. Subplots involving the other guests at the hotel give it a bit of quirky-ensemble flavor, but not Wes-Anderson-level quirky.


    One thing I found very effective was a bit of misdirection Sorrentino uses. Caine's wife evidently died about 10 years ago, a loss which first gets mentioned in passing (he used to come to this hotel with her, his daughter chides him for not even taking flowers to her) then becomes an important bit of characterization, explaining why Caine refuses to come out of retirement for a concert requested by the Queen: the piece she wants to hear was written specifically for his wife to sing. Near the end, he does as his daughter asked... and visits his wife, who is alive but suffering advanced degenerative dementia, a vacant shell. All the usual euphemistic metaphors that evaded saying that she's dead... weren't. It isn't an everything-you-know-is-wrong twist, but it's a surprise which gives an added layer of tragedy to the story. I don't know if it would be as effective for someone who hasn't experienced something like that with someone they loved, but it hit home for me.

    The Keitel storyline also has a surprise ending, but it's less a matter of foreshadowing with a twist, and more just an unexpected reversal: he's enthusiastically writing what he plans to be the great last film of his career, but the actress upon whom it depends – a matron of cinema whom he originally "discovered" – shows up to tell him she won't be doing it, killing the whole project. He and his team of young protegés have been struggling to write the deathbed scene which ends the film, and he finally gives up. And kills himself.

    (The conclusion of the film isn't quite that grim: Caine relents and does the concert for the Queen, moving on in a way that Keitel couldn't.)
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