Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review of the 133 films I watched in 2016 [with BBFC analysis]

I’m slowly going through my review of 2016 releases, one blog post per week (backlog: un et deux). As I still have quite a lot of the 2016 awards-nominated films to see and thus don't want to complete my 'review of the year' without giving them a chance first, I thought I’d buy some time by looking at all the films I watched in 2016, not just the ones that were released that year.

I watched 133 films in total last year, in a mixture of mediums, from at the cinema (my Cineworld Unlimited and Odeon Unlimited cards have both recouped their charges), at the cinema with ISENSE, whatever that is, on DVD, on the TV, on Netflix and Amazon Prime, and a few other mediums that I shan’t detail.

The arithmetic mean for the 133 films I gave out of ten was 6.54, which unfortunately shows some erroneous decision-making on my part, given I generally only watch a film if I expect it to be 7/10 in quality.

However, the appearance of a couple of lesser-seen films with my favourite actresses in, Saoirse Ronan and Rooney Mara, on Netflix, including a couple of real stinkers (Lost River, Dream Boy, Dare, Trash), would have no doubt bought this average down. Plus, while catching up with the 2015 Oscar-contention films, there were a handful which I didn’t think were that great, but watched for the sake of completeness (eg The Revenant and The Big Short), so they, too, would have skewed the average.

I recently went on an R course, so here be three graphs that indulge my statistical fascination with films (and the BBFC in particular).

Given my'I only watch films if I expect it to be 7/10 or better' rule, it's no surprise that 7 is my mode mark.

U’s high median mark and low range can be attributed to the fact that it’s generally quite rare to award U-ratings these days, with the majority of animated movies getting the slightly more robust PG, to allow for more in the way of excitement for the viewer. Thus, I tended to shy away from U rated films that appeared frivolous, and only watch ones that I thought had to see. As such, the lowest rating I awarded a U-rated film last year was 7/10, for Houseboat and Finding Dory.

I applied the same general philosophy to PG-rated films, but despite the same median score as U-rated films, the range was far more variable, encompassing dross like Topaz and How to Train Your Dragon to masterpieces like Double Indemnity.

On the other end of the spectrum, 18-rated films proved to be very variable in quality, from the excellent The Wolf of Wall Street and the very good The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (a commendable remake of the Swedish original) to Quentin Tarantino’s indulgent and overlong The Hateful Eight and Spike Lee’s Oldboy (a dreadful remake of the Korean original.)

And finally, honouring the best and worst of all the films I saw last year

Top 10 Films Watched in 2016 

01. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944) PG
02. It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934) U
03. Au revoir les enfants (Louis Malle, 1987) 12
04. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013) 18
05. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) 15
06. A United Kingdom (Amma Asante, 2016) 12
07. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012) 12
08. Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007) 15
09. La mala educación (Pedro Almodóvar, 2004) 15
10. I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach, 2016) 15

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Best Supporting Actor: TIE - Alden Ehrenreich, Hail, Caesar! and Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street and Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood (piece on Paul's performance)
Best Supporting Actress: TIE - Saoirse Ronan, Atonement and Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Best Director: Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity

10 Worst Films Watched in 2016 

01. Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973) 15
02. High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2016) 15
03. Lost River (Ryan Gosling, 2014) 15
04. Dare (Adam Salky, 2009) 15
05. Dream Boy (James Bolton, 2008) 15
06. The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper, 2015) 15
07. We Are Your Friends (Max Joseph, 2015) 15
08. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Kenneth Branagh, 2014) 12
09. The Purge: Anarchy (James DeMonaco, 2014) 15
10. The Light Between Oceans (Derek Cianfrance, 2016) 12

Worst Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl 
Worst Actress: Emily Ratajkowski, We Are Your Friends
Worst Supporting Actor: TIE - Jesse Eisenberg, Batman v Superman and Sharlto Copley, Oldboy
Worst Supporting Actress: Cara Delevingne, Suicide Squa
Worst Director: TIE - Zack Snyder, Batman v Superman and Ryan Gosling, Lost River

Given the prevalence of 15-rated films in both these lists, it's no surprise that it corresponds to the most irregular rating in terms of my enjoyment of a movie!


If you enjoyed the nerding out in this piece, there's plenty more where that came from!


Anonymous said...

133 films that is some good going! Not sure what you didn't like about The Revenant and The Big Short, but I will look forward to reading your reviews.

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