Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys and La La Land
(that was easy)
In 2016 we were blessed with not one but two Ryan Gosling movies: The Nice Guys, which opened with some critical buzz and then fizzled earlier this year, and La La Land, which continues to be the frontrunner for Best Picture. Shane Black’s latest movie was fun, but it will be the throwback musical that will bless us with Gosling red carpet appearances well into the new year. So to recap the crazy last 12 months (which wasn’t that bad, c’mon internet), below are some of my favorite things from 2016.
I saw a total of 54 movies released in 2016 (it will be 55 after I see Hidden Figures tonight). I loved:
La La Land – I’ve seen this wonderful movie twice in theaters, which features some of the most memorable sequences of the year, including the moving Audition scene. And yes Gosling actually plays the piano.
Zootopia – How could you not enjoy this (surprisingly deep) movie?
The Edge of Seventeen – I hate the phrase, but it’s honestly an instant classic.
Midnight Special – I saw this movie forever ago, but I felt like I had a religious experience watching it at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin last March.
O.J.: Made in America – This 7-hour documentary is required viewing, and strangely the most interesting parts are the moments outside the trial.
Lion – I dare you to not get emotional at the end of this movie.
Kubo and the Two Strings – Laika does it again! The studio might now have a stronger track record than Pixar.
10 Cloverfield Lane – Sci-fi at its best, and though it’s technically a “sidequel” to Cloverfield, it really works on its own.
I know, I know, I still need to see: 20th Century Women, Silence, American Honey, Hell or High Water, Sully, Hacksaw Ridge, Everybody Wants Some!!, Loving, Captain Fantastic, Nocturnal Animals, Fences, Toni Erdmann and A Monster Calls (yikes).
I watched a total of 42 TV shows on the air and web this year, which awful if you consider that there were a record of 455 scripted shows in 2016. My favorites were (in no particular order):
Atlanta – One of the most original and refreshing shows on TV (if not the most).
The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – The writing and performances are fantastic. It’s unlikely they’ll be able to top this in the next installment of the anthology.
Black Mirror – Aside from the Shut Up and Dance episode, I would rewatch every episode from season (series?) 3 right now.
Saturday Night Live – The show is having a banner year, let’s see if they can continue it post-election.
Search Party – The Since U Been Gone candlelight vigil is one of the best scenes of the year.
BoJack Horseman – Yeah Fish Out of Water is a standout, but season 3 was great as a whole this year. And also even more depressing.
Grease: Live – Some of the most fun I’ve had watching TV this year. Hairspray Live! tried to replicate its tricks, but didn’t come close in the seamless execution.
Game of Thrones – The show has caught up to the books, but it’s honestly better than ever. The stakes are extermely high for season 7.
“But what about…”
In 2017 I promise to watch Black-ish, Difficult People, Fargo, The Carmichael Show and Insecure.
And here are a few of my favorite performances from 2016 (in no particular order):
Alden Ehrenreich in Hail, Caesar!
Molly Shannon in Other People
Emma Stone in La La Land
Andre Holland in Moonlight
Hailee Steinfeld in The Edge of Seventeen
Bryce Dallas Howard in Black Mirror
John Early in Search Party
Sarah Paulson in The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Zazie Beetz in Atlanta
Andrea Navedo in Jane the Virgin
Amy Adams in Arrival
Sunny Pawar in Lion
Lena Headey in Game of Thrones
Keri Russell in The Americans
Shakira in Zootopia
Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys (obviously)
In case you made it this far, I also made a 2016 playlist featuring my favorite songs from the past year (shamless self-promo!)
Thanks for reading and cheers to more great movies, television and music in 2017!