My 2016 in films — a list

Includes films that have not yet been released in the UK — this is more of a round-up of the highlights of my cinema-going year:

Best Film: Embrace of the Serpent (dir. Ciro Guerra)

Most haunting: Notes on Blindness (dir. Peter Middleton and James Spinney)

Most relevant: Francofonia (dir. Aleksandr Sokurov)

Bravest and best for the representation of women: The Witch (dir. Robert Eggers) and Mustang (dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven)

Bravest and best for the representation of men: Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins)

Most loved: Paterson (dir. Jim Jarmusch) and Our Little Sister (dir. Kore-eda Hirokazu)

Most visionary: Homo Sapiens (dir. Nikolaus Geyrhalter)

Greatest cinematic experience: Napoleon (dir. Abel Gance)

Best re-release: Ivan’s Childhood as part of the complete Tarkovsky season “Sculpting Time”, courtesy of my colleague James King

Most enjoyable: Hail, Caesar! (dir. Joel & Ethan Coen)

Most unlikely film for me to list in a Top Of the Year (but honestly I really did enjoy these): Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (dir. David Yates) and Creed (dir. Ryan Coogler)

Most loathed: Nocturnal Animals (dir. Tom Ford)

Most discussed: Toni Erdmann (dir. Maren Ade)

Best performances in a male role: Ralph Fiennes in A Bigger Splash; Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes in Moonlight

Best performance in a female role: Natalie Portman in Jackie and Isabelle Huppert in Elle

Best director: Pablo Larraín (The Club, Neruda and Jackie)

Best script: Whit Stillman for Love and Friendship

Best cinematography: Stéphane Fontaine for Jackie

Best soundtrack: Mica Levi for Jackie and Scott Walker for The Childhood of a Leader

Best cinema: Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore, hosting free open air screenings for about 7,000 people of Chaplin and Keaton classics with a live orchestra score as part of Il Cinema ritrovato festival