Others Considered: Dead body (The Nice Guys), Ending (The Witch), Would That It Were So Simple (Hail, Caesar!), First encounter (Arrival), Final scene (Aquarius), Sabotage (Star Trek: Beyond), The fire (Divines), Final battle (Hardcore Henry), Horseback ride (Certain Women)
Honorable Mentions: The arm (Green Room), William Carlos Williams (Paterson), Diner ending (The Lobster), DMV (Zootopia), I Am Moana (Moana), Airport battle (Captain America: Civil War), Limo scene (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping), The party/Whitney Houston (Toni Erdmann)
Doesn’t quite sustain its high energy, rapid-fire delivery throughout, but the quick-moving parts contribute to a very enjoyable story. The script is witty, the voice performances are stellar–especially Cera–and the self-referential humor actually means something with regards to the central character. Compare the humor and the social commentary to that of the movie’s predecessor all you want, but this one still deserves a lot of credit for engaging with and understanding its main character. This is an analysis of the Caped Crusader filtered through history, comedy, and a simple but resonant thematic base about ego and loneliness. At the same time, it’s also an infectious kaleidoscope of color that recognizes the fun of its premise: a bunch of legos running around fighting each other.
A Patient Report on “A CURE FOR WELLNESS”
Quick Background: Patient was presumed to live a relatively healthy lifestyle, with normal vital signs related to cinematography, score, and production design. Patient exhibited effective atmosphere building. Patient cast Jason Isaacs. However, also directed by Mr. Gore Verbinski. Mr. Verbinski’s films have grossed 3.72 billion worldwide, therefore allowing him to make both the “highest grossing directors” list and the “overpaid directors” list.
Honorable Mentions (20): Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane), Amy Adams (Arrival/Nocturnal Animals), Emma Stone (La La Land), Jena Malone (The Neon Demon), Ralph Fiennes (A Bigger Splash), Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe), Adam Driver (Paterson), Viola Davis (Fences), Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz (The Lobster), Gillian Jacobs (Don’t Think Twice), Kate Beckinsale and Tom Bennett (Love and Friendship), Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller (Toni Erdmann), Sonia Braga (Aquarius), Kim Min-Hee and Kim Tae-Ri (The Handmaiden), Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Words cannot describe how difficult it was to honorable mention Jessica Chastain and Amy Adams, two of my favorite actresses. And then the long overdue Annette Bening, Ralph Fiennes, and Viola Davis? And then an Emma Stone career best? A tough task, these year end lists.
I like it when films commit to a particular style or premise rather than trying to be an amalgamation of half-baked ideas. Films like Green Room
or Don’t Breathe worked (for the most part) because they dispensed with extensive exposition in favor of letting the scenarios drive the stories. I’m not necessarily saying I always want minimal character development and thematic depth–nor am I implying that certain filmmakers can’t juggle multiple elements extremely well–but if your focuses as a filmmaker aren’t those things, then that’s 100% fine with me. However, if I get the sense that a film is trying to explore them, then part of my evaluation will include the level to which it succeeds. So, while Split deserves credit for going below the surface to unpack the effects of trauma on individuals, it also deserves some criticism for its reliance on thinly drawn characters, flashbacks, and parallels in order to make its point. Shyamalan might’ve been better served going all out on the horror element or the thriller element or the character element. Pick one.