Sight & Sound release best films of 2016 list

Ben Bussey
·UK Movies Writer

Sight & Sound, official magazine of the British Film Institute, has published its choices for the best films of the past year – although a great many of them are films which the wider UK audience hasn’t had the chance to see yet.

Sight & Sound's film of the year, 'Toni Edrmann.' (Credit: Soda Pictures)
Sight & Sound’s film of the year, ‘Toni Edrmann.’ (Credit: Soda Pictures)

Conducted annually, the BFI poll critics and curators (totaling 163 this year) to name the greatest cinematic works of the year – and coming in first place this year was ‘Toni Erdmann,’ a German/Austrian comedy drama from director Maren Ade.

‘Toni Erdmann’ scooped 49 votes for the top slot after screening at the London Film Festival in October; a UK cinema release is set for February.

Second place went to another LFF entry, ‘Moonlight,’ director Barry Jenkins’ drama starring ‘Luke Cage’ actor Mahershala Ali, also opening wide in February.

Mahershala Ali in 'Moonlight' (Credit: Altitude)
Mahershala Ali in ‘Moonlight’ (Credit: Altitude)

Third and fourth place go to Paul Verhoeven’s drama ‘Elle’ and Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Certain Women’ (both LFF entries hitting UK cinemas in March), whilst Andrea Arnold’s ‘American Honey’ came in fifth.

Given that the directors of ‘Toni Erdmann,’ ‘Certain Women’ and ‘American Honey’ are all female and ‘Moonlight’ director Jenkins is black, the BFI hail the list as “a small triumph for diversity.”

As may be apparent from the top five, films which screened at festivals take up much of the list, but many films to have already been on general release also appear.

As well as ‘American Honey,’ the listed films which have already hit cinemas across Britain are ‘I, Daniel Blake,’ ‘Things To Come,’ ‘Paterson,’ ‘Fire At Sea,’ ‘Julieta,’ ‘Love and Friendship,’ ‘Victoria,’ ‘Embrace of the Serpent,’ ‘Everybody Wants Some!!,’ ‘Evolution,’ ‘Hell or High Water’ and ‘Nocturnal Animals.’

Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' (Credit: HBO)
Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ (Credit: HBO)

Perhaps surprisingly, Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ is also named one of the films of the year.

Filling out the list are the as-yet unreleased ‘Manchester by the Sea,’ ‘The Death of Louis XIV,’ ‘Personal Shopper,’ ‘Sieranevada,’ ‘Nocturama,’ ‘Cameraperson,’ ‘La La Land,’ ‘Aquarius,’ ‘OJ: Made in America,’ ‘The Ornithologist,’ ‘Raw’ and ‘Neruda.’

For more details on all these films, read the full list here.

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