The Movie Awards Of 2016 –
Ah, 2016. A year definitely associated with movies and nothing else. The Oscars of early 2017 felt weird, for reasons. The reason being Trump is a monstrous jackhole and the scumbags in the Republican Party twisted the world to their amoral whims to get him elected. I’m not trying to play party lines here. Now, though, I have the benefit of hindsight when reflecting upon the movies of 2016. Until when I had a second date with a lady scheduled for the day after the 2016 election. That didn’t end up happening, shockingly. Here are my awards for the 2016 year of film.
Best Supporting Actress: Kate McKinnon, Ghostbusters
The movie is good. It’s good! It’s perfectly fine, perfectly funny, and not worth a lot of ardor. Sometimes it’s delightful, sometimes it’s sweaty, it’s basically your classic B-level blockbuster comedy. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig are both kind of poorly written, but once you move down the ladder the characters get honed in. Leslie Jones plays a Leslie Jones character. Chris Hemsworth gets to just be funny. And McKinnon gets to lean into playing an oddball, which she has always been able to do with gusto. She just gets to cook and do her thing, and that makes her the movie’s clear highlight.
Best Supporting Actor: George Clooney, Hail, Caesar!
Alden Ehrenreich got the attention, because he was a new name. Also, because he became Han Solo. He’s great in the film, and so is Channing Tatum. However, nobody knows what to do with Clooney better than the Coens. That includes Clooney himself. Joel and Ethan tapped into Clooney’s goofy comedic abilities like nobody’s business. I feel like his top three or four performances are in Coen brothers films, and this may be his best. Clooney shines brightest in this ensemble.
Best Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Speaking of the Coens, Steinfeld popped when I saw her in True Grit. She is so good in that film. By The Edge of Seventeen, though, she was no longer doing “Good for a child actor” work. She is stellar in this movie, an underrated gem of a coming-of-age film. Steinfeld is funny and heartbreaking. She’s a cannonball in the movie in the best way possible. If you haven’t seen this movie, you absolutely should.
Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, The Nice Guys
Russell Crowe and Gosling are basically co-leads as the titular guys. They are both great. Gosling, though, is just a little better. His character has more nuance. Plus, he admittedly gets the better comedic bits to do. Gosling gives a somewhat gonzo performance, but he largely lands all the tics and bold choices. It’s a tightrope-walking performance, but Gosling makes it happen.
Best Picture: The Nice Guys
This came down to The Edge of Seventeenand The Nice Guys. They are both such good movies. I’ve seen them both three times, and I am not a major movie rewatcher. For me to watch a movie more than twice, it has to stand out to me. What’s wild is I would not call myself a Shane Black fan. I literally walked out of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and literally flipped the middle finger to the screen. That movie aggravated me. I was so into the concept of The Nice Guys, but Black’s presence made me wary. I bit the bullet, though, and I am so glad I did. This is a vulgar, bratty, funny, substantive, kinetic film. It belongs in the private eye, neo-noir pantheon. If you like private eye movies at all, you have to see The Nice Guys. Plus, weirdly, it almost works as a rejoinder to Trump, even if the movie came out before he was elected.