Film of the Year
- Moonlight (2016)
The film hits all of the right film language notes. It was a toss up between Lion and Moonlight -- but Moonlight won because I have to say the film speaks in a new film language -- one that honors both poetry and story, form and content.
Film Auteur of the Year- Barry Jenkins
Source: AV Club
Jenkins takes a story that - as far as I can tell - was never published and probably never performed on stage - and creates a beautiful cinematic triptych - of child, teenager, and adult.
Best Male Actor in a Film- Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight)
It's hard to play repressed emotion without seeming wooden. I am not sure what will come of Chiron and Kevin's love for each other - but Rhodes helped me to think that maybe there is a chance for a new beginning.
Best Female Actor in a Film- Sasha Lane (American Honey)
Source: American Honey
Lane plays vulnerability, recklessness and moments of sheer empathy with such depth and emotion. I did not want her to leave her hometown and join a ragged band of door-to-door magazine sellers -- but she is transformed. And so was I.
Best Young Actor in a Film- Michael Barbieri (Little Men)
Source: Ira Sachs
This kid is amazing (Barbieri, on the left with co-star Theo Taplitz). The improvisation scene alone is enough to make me crown him as best young actor; furthermore, Barbieri plays the best loyal friend I have seen on film or literature since Huckleberry Finn.
Best Male Supporting Actor in a Film- Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Best Female Supporting Actor in a Film- Sônia Brag (Aquarius)
While she is not technically a supporting actor in Aquarius, I chose to ignore technicalities. Brag plays Dona Clara - a woman holding onto her lease in a Brazilian apartment complex.
I sort of fell in love with Ira Sachs this year after seeing his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. He writes beautiful stories!
Best Short Film- Killer (2016)
Source: Matt Kazman
Best Non-English Film- A Tale of Love and Darkness (2016)
Source: Tale of Love and Darkness
The film traces an old man's memory of his mother -- and in the process tries to make sense of her suicide.
Best Documentary Film- Life, Animated (2016)
Source: Life, Animated
At first, I did not really like this film's premise. I thought the idea of Disney movies helping a child on the spectrum find his emotional voice a little cloying - however, the film feels real - and Jonathan Freeman is a brave young man.
I did not watch enough memorable animated films. Sorry.
And, here are my honorable mentions:
Closet Monster (2016)
The Wailing (2016)
A Monster Calls (2016)