The Best Movies Of 2016

It’s that time of year, the annual movie review. The movies listed below are the best of the best (in my humble opinion) of 2016.

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: This movie is a dream come true for any Star Wars fan. A prequel to Episode 4,  it abuts to the beginning of A New Hope and explains how the plans for the death star landed in the hands of the rebels. Starring Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, it is the perfect addition to the Star Wars franchise.
  2. Arrival: Arrival, starring Amy Adams is not the standard science fiction invasion alien film. It is about being human and dealing with everything that is human, while dealing with extra layer of potentially being invaded by an alien race. It could have been the typical schlockly science fiction film, but it is so much more.
  3. Denial: Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz), a respected historian and professor must prove that the Holocaust happened when she sued for libel. A powerful story of how thin the line is between free speech and hate speech.
  4. Son Of Saul: Son Of Saul is about a Saul (Geza Rohrig), a prisoner in Auschwitz who is able to locate a spark of hope when he finds the body of boy he believes to be his son. A Holocaust film that is without sentiment, it is one of the more powerful Holocaust films that has hit the big screen.
  5. Indignation: Based on the book by Philip Roth, Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman) is a young man of Jewish descent from New Jersey. Instead of going to college close to home, he attends a college in small town Ohio.  Against the backdrop of the Korean War and the sexual and social repression of the 1950’s, Marcus struggles to find himself.
  6. Florence Foster Jenkins: Florence Foster Jenkins is a socialite and an heiress living in New York City in the 1940’s. She has always wanted to be a performer, but her technical abilities don’t match up to her ambitions. A live concert will be a life long dream come true, but it could also be a cold blast of reality.
  7. Love And Friendship: Based on the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) is a widow who decides that its high time to live with her in-laws. While she is chilling under their roof and looking for a husband for her teenage daughter, she may as well find one for herself.

Here’s to the good movies in 2016 and the hopefully good movies that will be released in 2017.

This will be my last post for this year. Have a safe and happy New Year and I will see you in 2017.

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Success, especially in the performing arts, is often more a matter of hard work and perseverance rather than pure talent.

In the new movie, Florence Foster Jenkins, Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) is an aging socialite in New York City during World War II. Her dream, like many others, is to sing on the stage. What makes her different from others with the same dream is that while she lacks the ability to sing, she makes up for the lack of talent in hard work, optimism and sheer perseverance.

Florence’s long time companion/de-facto manager St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) hires Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg) to accompany Florence on the piano. Cosme is horrified about Florence’s lack of talent and is unsure if he wants to continue in the job. When a recording is made of Florence and she happily signs up to sing at Carnegie Hall, both Cosme and St Clair are horrified. Despite his initial concerns, Cosme has learned to see that he shares a love of music with Florence. St Clair, who has shielded Florence from the negative reviews for many years, is afraid of the public ridicule she may face. But Florence presses on, despite the challenges and the concerns of Cosme and St Clair.

Based on the true story of the real Florence Foster Jenkins, this movie is a lesson in courage and optimism. As she always does, Meryl Streep gives her all to the character and the narrative. Despite having the dubious distinction of being “the world’s worst opera singer”, there is a heart and a belief that she can succeed, despite the obstacles.

And that is where this movie succeeds.

I recommend it.

Florence Foster Jenkins is presently in theaters.

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