Spinning Platters film critics present their top 10 films of 2016

Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann each share their ten favorite films of 2016. Here is Carrie’s list, presented, unlike last year’s alphabetized list, in descending rank order. And you can check out Chad’s list here to see which one of us you agree with more!

10.) Nocturnal Animals

Tony (Jake Gyllenhaal, middle) arrives at a possible crime scene with lawman Bobby Andes (Michael Shannon, r.).

Sometimes the story-within-the-story convention can be confusing or feel gimmicky, but in this visually stunning picture from fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford, the technique works to terrific effect. Amy Adams, as a woman haunted by a decision she made years ago, reads a manuscript sent to her by her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), and that story comes alive on screen in the form of family man Tony (Gyllenhaal again) and his confrontation with some dangerous, deranged miscreants. Ford’s keen aesthetic vision and sharp performances by Adams, Gyllenhaal, and Michael Shannon as a tenacious lawman combine to make this brutally poetic but utterly captivating film one of the year’s most definitively unusual. (You can also read my full-length review here.)

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The 39th Mill Valley Film Festival, showcasing over 200 films from more than 50 countries, opened last Thursday evening, and runs until this Sunday, October 16th. The Festival is screening some titles already garnering Oscar buzz: Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, which opened the Festival (and will open widely this fall), the stunning Manchester by the Sea (which already received deserved acclaim back in January at its Sundance premiere), and Loving, the Jeff Nichols historical drama that closes the Fest.

With a full week to go, there is still plenty of time to head over to Marin to catch some great new films. Below we spotlight five Fest titles you may want to check out. Full schedule, tickets, and more information are available here. [read the whole post]