We are coming to the end of the Ford On Film Awards 2016. The major film awards have been dished out after Arrival took home the prize for Best Scene. Now, all we have time for are the odds and ends, including Best Television Series, Best Television Episode, and Worst Film, among a few others. It’s been a fantastic year for film and television. Here’s hoping 2017 is just as good.
Here are the results of the remaining Ford On Film awards for 2016:
Best Television Series:
A gripping, provocative drama that tackled the disturbing Operation Yewtree scandal with subtlety and complexity, Jack Thorne’s outstanding National Treasure saw Robbie Coltrane return to TV screens as Paul Finchley, a beloved stand-up comedian accused of rape. Was Paul innocent? That was the central mystery at the heart of National Treasure, but the outcome was unpredictable, partly down to Thorne’s superb writing, and partly due to the incredible performance from Coltrane, so easily flicking between likable and sincere to nasty and unnerving. Along with Coltrane, National Treasure saw excellent, awards-worthy work from Julie Walters as Finchley’s faithful wife and Andrea Riseborough as his drug addicted daughter. Look out for National Treasure at the BAFTAS, where it deserves a lot of success.
Best Television Episode:
Bojack Horseman – ‘That’s Too Much, Man’
At his lowest ebb, Bojack meets up with recovering junkie Sarah Lynn, and the two go on the bender to end all benders. An alarmingly frank depiction of depression and alcoholism, That’s Too Much, Man is difficult even for Bojack Horseman, a show whose main character has turned everyone in his life against him. “I wanna be an architect” was possibly the most moving line of the year.
After handing out the award for Best Director to Nicolas Winding Refn yesterday for his insane work on The Neon Demon, it’s time to hand the last official award in the Ford On Film Awards 2016 (tomorrow will be my odds and ends, including TV awards). The Best Scene award is perhaps the toughest to decide this year, as there have been some tremendous scenes. From powerful drama to awe-inspiring spectacle and comedy that made me cry laughing, it’s been stunning, and many great scenes had to be left out. Here are my choices for Best Scene of 2016:
Sloths – Zootopia
Driving the Mercedes – Divines
The runway – The Neon Demon
Pool Party – American Honey
Fond of going off on wild tangents and incidental anecdotes, American Honey’s most memorable scene involved magazine saleswoman Star (Sasha Lane) taking up three random strangers’ offer to join them at a barbecue. Featuring tequila, worms, and eventually a loaded pistol, the scene started bright and breezy before slowly descending into all-out madness.
After giving Oulaya Amamra and Adam Driver my awards for Best Actress and Best Actor yesterday, I’m today turning behind the camera, to look over the best directors of the last year. There have been some stunning filmmakers in action over the year, from those who do tremendous work with actors to those with a flair for visuals and beyond. As always, I’m looking at films released in the UK that weren’t nominated for any Academy Awards (sorry Alejandro G. Innaritu, this is one award you won’t be winning).
Without further ado, here are my picks for Best Director:
Jim Jarmusch – Paterson
Sebastien Schipper – Victoria
Taika Waiti – Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Jeremy Saulnier – Green Room
Lucile Hadzihalilovic – Evolution
One of 2016’s most underseen films, Evolution was a dark, disturbing mixture of hallucinatory atmosphere and Cronenberg body horror. Only Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s second feature (and her first in a decade), her subtle storytelling and ambiguous plotting turned Evolution’s hypnotic visuals into a waking nightmare.
After yesterday’s Best Supporting Actress and Actor wins for Hayley Squires and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, I’m rounding up the acting awards today by giving out my prizes for Best Actress and Best Actor. It’s been an incredible year for performances, so let’s get started with the award for Best Actress.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead “Michelle – 10 Cloverfield Lane”
Kate Siegel “Maddie – Hush“
Michelina Olszanska “Olga Hepnarová – I, Olga Hepnarová”
Krisha Fairchild “Krisha – Krisha”
Kate Beckinsale “Lady Susan – Love & Friendship“
So often relegated to being a rom-com love interest or generic action heroine, Kate Beckinsale proved she deserves so much more with her terrifically sharp, hilarious portrayal of Lady Susan in Love & Friendship. Relishing the chance to deliver Jane Austen’s spiky dialogue, Beckinsale swept through the film with the force of a hurricane.
Following on from yesterday’s Best Film picks, here are my choices for the best supporting performances of 2016. First up, the award for Best Supporting Actress:
Bebe Cave “Violet – Tale of Tales“
Jena Malone “Ruby – The Neon Demon”
Imogen Poots “Amber – Green Room”
Lucy Boynton “Raphina – Sing Street”
Though marketed as a musical comedy, Sing Street had a lot of sadness at its heart, courtesy of Lucy Boynton’s lonely wannabe-model. Sparky and sharp but always in danger of showing her vulnerable side, Boynton’s performance underlined the music with just the right amount of melancholy.
It’s that time of the year again! The grim slog that was 2016 is over, and now we can look forward to the grim slog that will be 2017. While the news of the world looked more and more bleak, we always have cinema to look forward to. Though some of the biggest films disappointed, there were more than enough terrific films to make my picks for the top ten of the year difficult. It’s been such a great year that favourites including Swiss Army Man, I, Daniel Blake, and Zootropolis are among those nowhere to be found. As usual, there’s only two criteria for making my list:
- The film has to have been released in the UK in 2016. Sorry Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea, I’ll get to you next year.
- It can’t have been nominated for an Oscar in 2016. As much as I love Spotlight and Son of Saul, they’ve been talked about more than enough.
Without further ado, here are my picks for the ten best films released in the UK in 2016:
Kubo and the Two Strings
Everybody Wants Some!!
The Neon Demon
When John Carney followed up his wonderful cult musical Once with the bland, uninspired Begin Again, many presumed he was a one-hit wonder. Thankfully, Carney proved his critics wrong this year with the wonderful, touching Sing Street. Set in 1985, Sing Street was a deeply personal affair about a teen boy escaping the confines of his Catholic school by forming a pop band. The music was terrific, the script both moving and hilarious, and the young, mostly unknown cast were great, helped by a superb supporting turn from Jack Reynor.
In very sad news, beloved actress and writer Carrie Fisher has died at the age of 60. The actress, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga, suffered a major heart attack just a few days ago.
Making her debut in the cult 1975 film Shampoo, Fisher shot to stardom with her performance in the first Star Wars film, a role she would reprise decades later in The Force Awakens. Away from the sci-fi series, Fisher starred in some of the most critically and commercially successful films of the eighties and nineties, including Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning Hannah and her Sisters, and the classic romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally.
Though her acting work slowed down towards the end of the nineties, she kept busy as a script doctor, contributing to the screenplays of films as diverse as The Wedding Singer, Scream 3, and the Star Wars prequels. Away from Hollywood, she wrote a best-selling memoir and performed a successful one-woman play based on her life. After appearing in the box-office crushing The Force Awakens, Fisher was due to appear in the next Star Wars film. Her untimely death will be sadly felt in a galaxy far, far away.
RIP Carrie Fisher
1956 – 2016
By Harry J. Ford
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Jim Jarmusch might be the most relaxed, contemplative filmmaker working in the Western world. From his early deadpan comedies (Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law) to his take on Westerns (Dead Man), gangsters (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai), and vampires (Only Lovers Left Alive), Jarmusch’s filmography has been typified by a slow pace, hypnotic imagery, and colourful, interesting characters. However, even for a director as thoughtful as Jarmusch, Paterson is a slow burner.
Coming out of nowhere to announce itself as one of 2016’s best films, Camera D’Or-winning French crime drama Divines is a riotous, aggressive shot of adrenaline. Directed by the debuting Houda Benyaina and starring her younger sister Oulaya Amamra, Divines is distributed by Netflix, so there’s no excuse not to watch your new favourite film.