My Top 10 Films of 2016

Another year, another roundup of my top 10 films! It's kind of crazy to think that this is the third time I've compiled one of these lists over here (check out 2015 and 2014).

I must admit, I really slacked off with watching new release films this year. I really spent most of my film-watching time occupied with older films, so found myself not getting to the cinema too often. Also, the ever increasing ticket prices in Australia are making it an expensive habit (a cool $25)!

As always, every year comes with the same disclaimer: these are listed by Australian release dates.

What films did you love in 2016?

10. Your Name

Directed by: Makoto Shinkai
Cast: Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryuunosuke Kamiki

The “story of miracles and love” revolves around Mitsuha and Taki. Mitsuha is a female high school student who lives in a rural town nestled deep in the mountains. Her father is the mayor and isn’t at home much, and she lives with her elementary school-aged little sister and her grandmother. Mitsuha has an honest personality, but she doesn’t like the customs of her family’s Shinto shrine, nor does she like her father participating in an election campaign. She laments that she lives in a confined rural town, and yearns for the wonderful lifestyle of living in Tokyo. Taki is a male high school student who lives in central Tokyo. He spends time with his friends, works part-time at an Italian restaurant, and is interested in architecture and fine arts. One day, Mitsuha has a dream where she is a young man. Taki also has a dream where he is a female high school student in a town in the mountains that he has never been to. What is the secret to their dreams of personal experience?

9. Lovesong

Directed by: Kim So-yong
Cast: Jena Malone, Riley Keough

The relationship between two friends deepens during an impromptu road trip.

8. The Revenant

Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson

In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

7. Lemonade

Directed by: Dikayl Rimmasch, Beyoncé Knowles
Cast: Beyoncé Knowles, Serena Williams, Zendaya, Quvenzhané Wallis, Amandla Stenberg

The second “visual album” by Beyoncé, this time around she takes a piercing look at racial issues and feminist concepts through a sexualized, satirical, and solemn tone.

6. The Witch

Directed by: Robert Eggers
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie

New England in the 1630s: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness. When their newborn son vanishes and crops fail, the family turns on one another. Beyond their worst fears, a supernatural evil lurks in the nearby wood.

5. Spotlight

Directed by: Tom McCarthy
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber

The true story of how The Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

4. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Directed by: Taika Waititi
Cast: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata

Ricky is a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive.

3. The Neon Demon

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cast: Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks

When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

2. Carol

Directed by: Todd Haynes
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandle, Sarah Paulson

In 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.

1. The Handmaiden

Directed by: Chan-wook Park
Cast: Kim Min-Hee, Kim Tae-Ri, Ha Jung-Woo, Cho Jin-woong

Korea, 1930s. A con man hires a pickpocket to become the maid of a mysterious and fragile heiress, in an attempt to seize her wealth. But the story takes a twist when the lady falls in love with her maid.

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