The Best Films Of 2016, These Are Not Arguable

20 Dec

1. Edge of Seventeen

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve never, ever seen a more accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be a teenage girl than Hailee Steinfeld in this movie. Ever, ever, ever.

She is self involved and full of self-pity. Everything is the biggest deal in the world. She is fairly awful and just trying to figure it out but how can she when everything is falling apart all the time? She is me as a teenager. She is me now, if I’m being honest.

I’ve claimed that I am forever 17, but I think the truth is that, yes, I am forever 17, but as I get older I get better at holding in some of the harsher edges of 17. My first instinct is still to respond like a brat, to pout and to eat a Slurpee on the side of the road, but now I maybe just eat the Slurpee and call my Erwin. Now I’m 17 with a little more perspective.

It’s better over here.

2. Hello, My Name Is Doris

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I wrote about this movie before and it’s stuck with me ever since I saw it. And not just for the costumes, which are truly my dream aesthetic. I don’t want to dress like Sally Field when I’m 70, I want to dress like her now!! I’m trying every day!!

The film has stuck with me, though, for its portrayal of female friendships and how incredibly life-changing and life-forming and life-affirming they are. My female friendships are the thing in my life I am most proud of and rely on the most. They are my perspective and my balance and my plates of stuffing after I’ve humiliated myself yet again.

Sally, also, was something to celebrate. A complicated (read: human) woman full of the depths only a 70-year-old can bring to the screen.

It was beautiful. I loved every minute of it.

3. La La Land

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Everyone is into this one so I don’t know what I’m really adding to this conversation.

This film is all that I adore about going to the movies. A believable love story between two very believable people. Ryan Gosling. Dancing in the streets of LA, music, and a hint of magical realism because all movies are just a bit of magical realism in the end, aren’t they?

It also has depth and conversations to start. Questions about life and relationships and choices.

If you want to have these conversations please contact me because I have a lot more to give in these conversations conversationally.

4. Sing Street

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Speaking of musicals! While not technically a musical, this is one of my favorite music movies in a very long time. I love, love music movies. Perhaps the official term would be Movies Heavily Featuring Music And People Falling In Love To Said Music.

They fall right behind Two People Talk For 90 Minutes And Nothing Really Happens But They Are Forever Changed movies.

But Sing Street!

Ireland. The 80s. Teenage misfits.

I particularly love when teenagers are in a band. It almost feels like only teenagers should be allowed to be in bands because at that point everything is so incredibly sincere and full of emotion. No one can be in a band like a teenager can be in a band. There are costumes and music videos and intensity and the beginning of young love and!

Bono endorsed this movie, so get on it already.

5. Lemonade

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The best memoir that’s come out…oh gosh. I don’t even know.

Up there in the best memoirs of all time.

A universal story in the specific. A woman in command of her narrative and her body and her life.

I’ve not stoped talking about it since.

Sometimes when I am overwhelmed with the darkness of the world I remind myself that yes, I live in the time of some really horrifying people, but I also live in the time of Beyonce.

That’s a gift I was given.

So were you.

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