Posted by in Reviews, Sidedoor

Most of us savour the quiet nights in when we batten the hatches on the forces of nature and the world around us. As you get ready to devour another box set series in the cold nights ahead, spare a moment to look back on some terrific films from last year. We’ve listed some of our favourites which you might enjoy catching up on this winter.

Room | Based on a novel by an Irish-turned-Canadian writer and orchestrated by an Irish director, this is a remarkable story told delicately and creatively. With outstanding performances, the film explores the issue of abduction and child abuse from the inside, and the lengths a mother will go to love her son and to equip him for life. Alongside 2016 Best Picture Spotlight, this is another horrifying and gripping film about abuse that is ultimately inspirational in a different way.

I, Daniel Blake | Director Ken Loach is a master of social realism and delivers a critical observation in this story about an ordinary British man who, when he loses his ability to earn a living, triggers a series of interactions with the red-tape of the UK welfare system. This hard-hitting, rage-against-the-machine piece offers a healthy check on the type of society we want to live in.

Notes on Blindness | This is a beautifully poetic documentary about a professor’s journey of losing his sight. We’re helped to understand the sense of loss (and revelation) as we listen to Dr. Hull’s own words that were originally recorded on audio-tapes in the 1980’s. The story transcends on human and spiritual levels, and is helped by gorgeous cinematography. I found myself nodding in agreement with Hull’s end-screen quote:

To gain our full humanity, blind people and sighted people need to see each other.

These are just a few of the film highlights from 2016, full lists below. Let us know if you’ve any thoughts or recommendations.

Top five films released 2016 (GM):

  1. Room
  2. Notes on Blindness
  3. I, Daniel Blake
  4. Mustang
  5. Julieta

Others enjoyed: The Danish Girl, Son of Saul, The Big Short, Life, Animated, CreedBeyoncé: Lemonade

Top five films released 2016 (RMcC):

  1. Room
  2. Spotlight
  3. I, Daniel Blake
  4. Life, Animated
  5. Our Little Sister

Others enjoyed: Son of Saul, Love & Friendship, Creed, Train to Busan, The Big ShortDheepanHail, CaesarPete’s Dragon