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The Bamboo Awards: The Panda's Top 20 of '16 Extravaganza! - Number 1 Film Revealed!

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    Now to announce another award...


    Best Screenplay

    Awarded to films that have shown excellency in writing, whether it is adapted from another source, or original.


    Number 6



    Young Nick enters a church basement, spots a GROUP OF PREY
    KIDS, all in scout uniforms. They wave him over.

    NICK (V.O.)(CONT’D)
    ...the only fox.

    Okay, Nick!

    NICK (V.O.)
    I was gonna be part of a pack.

    Ready for initiation?

    Yeah! Pretty much born ready.
    They high five Nick. It looks promising and fun.

    NICK (V.O.)
    I was so proud.
    Suddenly, a BIG KID turns off the lights. Other KIDS switch
    on FLASHLIGHTS, shining them on Nick like gestapo spotlights.

    Okay. Now raise your right hand and
    deliver the oath.

    I, Nicholas Wilde, promise to be
    brave, loyal, helpful, and

    Even though you’re a fox?

    Then, a bunch of KID ANIMALS tackle Nick. Soon, all of the
    animals pile on, kicking and shoving him.

    No! What did I do wrong, you guys?!
    No! Please tell me, what did I do

    With Nick pinned, the primary mean kid straddles him. Someone
    hands him a MUZZLE. The mean kid snaps it on Nick’s snout.



    Number 5

    La La Land


    Mia’s in that coat, zipped up, looking odd indoors. On her cell--

    MIA (CONT’D)
    (laughing, big smile on her face)
    And I swear to God, she was wrecked. Pure
    lunacy. Oh God, I know...
    (seems to be listening, then,)
    No, no, Turner’s fine. So you -- are you
    waiting ‘til Denver to tell her...?
    (as her smile contracts)
    Oh. I see...
    (silence; she clenches her jaw...)
    No, you’re right. I understand.
    (...and a tear falls from her eye)
    Ok... Ok, I’ll talk to you later...

    Trying to play it off, she hangs up. Her eyes crumple into a
    new round of tears. But she restrains herself.

    We PULL BACK...to see that Mia’s auditioning for a CASTING
    DIRECTOR and ASSISTANT. And it’s clear to us -- there’s
    something about her, a glow in her face. She’s good.

    Great. Could you try it again but--
    (the CASTING DIRECTOR whispers in
    her ear; then, to Mia,)
    Never mind. Thanks for coming in.

    Beat. Mia manages a smile.


    Number 4

    Hell or High Water


    My partner had a family. A big one.
    They don’t have no pump jacks in
    their back yard. They’re gonna have
    to stretch a pension among the six
    of em.

    I didn’t kill your friend.

    Yes you did. By setting this thing
    in motion. You expect me to believe
    your dim-witted brother planned all
    this? We’ve seen how he operated on
    his own. No, this was smart. This
    was you.

    Beat. Toby looks over at a pump jack, undulating up and down,
    drawing money from the earth with every revolution.

    I been poor my whole life. So were
    my parents, and their parents
    before ‘em ... Like a disease,
    passed from generation to
    generation. And that’s what it
    becomes, a sickness ... Infecting
    every person you know ... But not
    my boys. Not anymore. This is
    theirs now. Ain’t no advice you can
    give a child these days. No
    lessons. No love. Nothing that can
    guarantee they have a chance at
    life, but money. I hate that the
    world’s come to this, but I has.
    And I dare you to look me in the
    eye and tell me different ... I
    never killed anyone in my life, but
    if you want me to start with you,
    let’s get on with it, old man. See
    if you can get that pistol from
    your boot before I blast you off
    this porch.

    They hold each other’s gaze, no surrender in either man’s
    eyes, but no anger either, just the grim acceptance that it
    had to be this way.

    An older Ford Expedition bounces up the dirt road and stops
    in front of the house. Justin, Debbie, and RANDY, 11, step
    out, book bags over the boys’ shoulders.


    Bronze Bamboo Stick Winner

    Hunt for the Wilderpeople


    (Couldn't find the script for this one so just used IMDb)


    Ricky Baker: We'll just tell them you were looking after me.
    Hec: Doesn't matter what you tell them, they won't believe you. They'll think I made you do it. I'm not going back to jail, I'm better off up here. This is no place for a kid. You're gonna have to go back, Ricky.
    Ricky Baker: To what?
    Hec: To the welfare people.
    Ricky Baker: No!
    Hec: They'll look after you.
    Ricky Baker: No, they won't!
    Hec: They'll find you another home, you'll be fine.
    Ricky Baker: You're not listening! Nobody listens! There's no more homes, just juvy!
    Hec: What's juvy?
    Ricky Baker: Juvenile prison. They don't care about kids like me, they just keep moving us around until something happens like... Amber.
    Hec: Oh no, bugger then. Okay, okay. We're in about a million hectares of bush, that's big, it's big enough to hide in for a while, anyway.
    Ricky Baker: Good enough for me.
    Hec: But we're heading into winter. It's gonna be rough, no huts, no tents, real bush life. Can you handle that?
    Ricky Baker: I can handle it.
    Hec: Yeah. And if you play up, I dump you.
    Ricky Baker: Okay, Uncle.
    Hec: I'd still prefer if you don't call me Uncle.
    Ricky Baker: Okay, Hec. So what do we do now?
    Hec: We run.
    [They run for a few seconds, then stop out of breathe]
    Hec: Wait, wait wait. Maybe we don't need to run.
    Ricky Baker: Oh yeah, let's just fast walk.


    Silver Bamboo Stick Winner



    Troy: Then when I saw that gal . . . she firmed up my
    backbone. And I got to thinking that if I
    tried . . . I just might be able to steal second.
    Do you understand, after eighteen years I wanted
    to steal second.

    Rose: You should have held me tight. You should have
    grabbed me and held on.

    Troy: I stood on first base for eighteen years and I
    thought . . . well, goddamn it . . . go on for

    Rose: We’re not talking about baseball! We’re talking
    about you going off to lay in bed with another
    woman . . . and then bring it home to me. That’s
    what we’re talking about. We ain’t talking about
    no baseball.

    Troy: Rose, you’re not listening to me. I’m trying the
    best I can to explain it to you. It’s not easy for
    me to admit that I been standing in the same place
    for eighteen years.

    Rose: I been standing with you! I been right here with
    you, Troy. I got a life too. I gave eighteen years
    of my life to stand in the same spot with you.
    Don’t you think I ever wanted other things? Don’t
    you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my
    life? What about me? Don’t you think it ever
    crossed my mind to want to know other men? That I
    wanted to lay up somewhere and forget about my
    responsibilities? That I wanted someone to make
    me laugh so I could feel good?


    Golden Bamboo Stick Winner



    FADE IN:

    A shimmering expanse of stars, packed together.
    A clear night, far from light pollution.

    LOUISE (V.O.)
    Memory is a strange thing.


    A modern home built on the shore with a large deck.
    The skin of the lake is a cloudy mirror.

    LOUISE BANKS stares up at the sky, leaning against the deck’s
    railing. Merlot glass in one hand.

    Louise has a clean, timeless look about her; the kind of
    woman who ages gracefully. Eyes that make people comment she
    must have an “old soul.” Short hair.

    LOUISE (V.O.)
    It doesn’t work like I thought it
    did. We are so bound by time; by
    its order.

    Closing on Louise’s face, still stargazing.

    A MAN steps onto the deck. Out of focus. Approaches OC.

    LOUISE (V.O.)
    Maybe there’s a higher order.

    Louise looks over at the Man who’s joined her. Smiles.
    Their hands clasp together.
    His thumb traces her knuckles.

    LOUISE (V.O.)
    I used to think this was the
    beginning of your story.

    MAN (O.S.)
    Louise... Do you... want to make a

    Louise beams. Her eyes get wet but she holds it in.
    It’s clear what her answer will be.


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    Number 14

    Hacksaw Ridge



    "With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don't seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together."


    My Grade: A-

    Most Valuable Player: Simon Duggan for his direction of photography

    Box Office: 64.1m

    Tomatometer: 86%

    IMDb Synopsis: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

    Critic Opinion: "The title, “Hacksaw Ridge,” comes from the Battle of Okinawa, where Doss distinguished himself. Make no mistake, if you walk through the door of that theater, you’re enlisting for Okinawa, too. This is a tough movie, but it’s also accomplished and driven filmmaking, ultimately in the service of something good.  Gibson is attuned — strangely, weirdly attuned, attuned in a way that makes you wonder how he gets through the night, but attuned all the same — to the horrors of life. But this time he’s saying, “Look. Here is a spirit that came through the horror. This is how bad it was, and yet he stayed human.” The least we can do is watch Doss’ story, in safety and in awe." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

    User Opinion: "Its pretty great from start to finish.  Everyone in this was good, even Sam Worthington.  When Mel Gibson gets a good performance out of Sam Worthington, theres no arguing his directing capabilities.  Sometimes its genuinely funny, there parts where I busted out laughing.  The action in this is relentless and brutal, once it starts holy shit it packs a punch and doesn't let up, motherfucker knows how to shoot action.  Perhaps most impressively, being a faith based film, I never felt like I was being preached at or told how to think." - Ozymandias

    Reasoning: Now I am really no fan of Mel Gibson, so the fact that this made my list at all says something about how strong I thought this movie was.  Taking into account that this had a budget that high tier dramas get nowadays, as a film with a massive action packed third act, is incredibly impressive.  The cinematography is gorgeous, and the story is an incredibly touching one about values and staying true to one's beliefs in hardship.  The ending with the real footage of Desmond Doss is also touching, and a heartjerking moment of the film.  The movie isn't perfect, it is full of tropes and the screenplay itself isn't all that impressive, but it is definitely a thrilling and moving one.  Mel Gibson won me over a little bit with this one.





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    How many animated films are going to show up on this stupid, pleb list?


    Number 13




    "If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess."


    My Grade: A

    Most Valuable Player: Lin Manuel Miranda and Mark Mancina for the Songs and Score

    Box Office: 194.9m+

    Tomatometer: 95%

    IMDb Synopsis: Moana Waialiki is a sea voyaging enthusiast and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her island's fisherman can't catch any fish and the crops fail, she learns that the demigod Maui caused the blight by stealing the heart of the goddess Te Fiti. The only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to return Te Fiti's heart, so Moana sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific. The film is based on stories from Polynesian mythology.

    Critic Opinion: "Principal directors Ron Clements and John Musker, Disney vets who previously directed “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” mined Polynesian lore for the story elements. Everything in the picture, from the characters’ clothes and hairstyles to the vessels they sail, bear the stamp of authenticity. But “Moana’s” greatest strength is the verve in which they move the action along and the sheer joyousness evident in every aspect of their storytelling.  That joyousness peaks in a sequence where Moana’s people set sail in a fleet of ships, singing in exultation as they go forth upon the sea. The scene soars. So does “Moana,” in its entirety." - Soren Anderson, The Seattle Times

    User Opinion: "For better and worse, I got a ton of nostalgia bombs watching this. Really felt like a 90s musical with 21st century technology. Visuals were absolutely breathtaking, lots of funny jokes, a winning vocal performance by Cravalho and some really well-done musical setpieces more than made up for a story that was pretty much beat-for-beat Disney formula." - tribefan695

    Reasoning: I know, another animated film, but I definitely couldn't leave this one off.  Moana excels at recapturing that old Disney magic, and they create their best musical since Beauty and the Beast.  I could rank Moana up there as one of Disney's strongest protagonists, and it's a film that can be enjoyed no matter your age.  What I also enjoyed about this movie was how Disney really did turn it into an all-out musical the entire way through, which is a contrast from a few of the recent ones where the music takes backseat by the second act of the film. Dwayne Johnson also breathes tremendous life into his bigger than life character Maui'i, one of the most fun side protagonists in a Disney movie since Robin Williams' Genie.  Moana is a joy to watch on screen, and is sure to up your mood.





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    And the next set of Bamboo Sticks I'll hand out before I take a break are for


    Best Supporting Performer

    For excellence in acting in a supporting role, whether the actor is male or female


    Number 6

    Angourie Rice, The Nice Guys




    Number 5

    Ben Foster, Hell or High Water




    Number 4

    Naomie Harris, Moonlight





    Bronze Bamboo Stick Winner

    Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water





    Silver Bamboo Stick Winner

    Mahershala Ali, Moonlight





    Golden Bamboo Stick Winner

    Viola Davis, Fences




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    Don't know why you're worried about having too many animated movies. I have about 7 in my Top 20 at the moment and only one of the 3 you've mentioned on yours thus far is there. This was a really damn good year for animation.

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    Number 12

    The Edge of Seventeen



    "Nick, I like you. I want you to put your mouth on my tits. We can do it in the Petland stockroom."


    My Grade: A-

    Most Valuable Player: Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine

    Box Office: 14.3m

    Tomatometer: 94%

    IMDb Synopsis: High-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother.

    Critic Opinion: "There is a short list of high school films that can grasp and accurately depict the pain, anguish and heartache of the teenage experience: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” the works of John Hughes, “Mean Girls,” “Easy A.”  Add “The Edge of Seventeen” to that prestigious list. Writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig and star Hailee Steinfeld team up for the decade’s best teenage movie, a funny, touching, gutting rumination on modern teenage life in America." - Adam Graham, The Detroit News

    User Opinion: "Put simply, The Edge of Seventeen is the best teen movie since Juno. It's frequently laugh-out-loud funny, but it also doesn't lose sight of its heart and authenticity. To that end, Hailee Steinfeld is terrific in the leading role. Her performance here rivals even her Oscar-nominated debut in True Grit in terms of polish and accomplishment. She communicates protagonist Nadine's feelings with acerbic wit, but never loses sight of the character's vulnerability. Despite Nadine's occasionally prickly sensibilities, Steinfeld is a joy to watch from start to finish, and she goes a long way toward making this film feel as poignant as it is hilarious." - Webslinger

    Reasoning: This movie has been criminally underrated and underwatched this year, and it definitely deserves more attention than it has gotten.  The movie plays off like a classic coming-of-age story such as The Breakfast Club, is laugh-out-loud funny, and it also has many moments that tug at your heart.  I really wanted to fit this movie into my top 10 of the year, if not for the fact that it deserves much more exposure than it has gotten, but I couldn't fit it in there.  It has a wonderful ensemble cast, as well as a brilliant performance by Hailee Steinfeld, who proves that her performance in True Grit was no fluke.  You should go watch this movie and support this movie, because the world needs more films like this one.





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    Number 11




    "Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in."


    My Grade: A

    Most Valuable Player: August Wilson for his screenplay

    Box Office: 17.4m+

    Tomatometer: "Though every performance is splendid, it’s Washington and Davis who create a mesmerizing symphony of emotion, finding both love and tragedy in every look, every line. Watch them, eyes blazing, in a central scene in which Rose confronts Troy. “I took all my feelings and wants and needs and I buried them inside you,” she says, a lifetime of resignation wrapped in her voice, searing pain in her eyes. You can almost see the charged air between them; it’s like being in the front row at a performance for the ages. How lucky we are that a camera has captured these words and these moments, for always."

    IMDb Synopsis: An African-American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life.

    User Opinion: "I don't think I've ever seen a movie based on a play that wears its stage origins so heavily on its shoulders, but Fences nonetheless packs an emotional punch through strong writing and the sheer power of its performances (Denzel Washington and Viola Davis solidify their status as being among the most celebrated people in their profession with performances that stand among their very best work). Washington also directs with an attention to detail that elevates the movie to a higher level when it could've easily drowned in one of its many monologues throughout." - filmlover

    Reasoning: I really enjoyed Fences when I came out of the theaters, and the movie has just grown on me since then.  The performances are so powerful, with Davis and Washington proving that they're some of the best actors working today.  I also though Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo and Mykelti Williamson did a wonderful job in their supporting roles as well. The real star though is the words that August Wilson crafted, that the ensemble so carefully delivers.  There isn't much to this movie beyond the acting and the words being said, but there doesn't need to be, because the script is lush and rich with powerful ideas and statements.  There were numerous monologues where I had straight chills from the power of what had been said in the film.  I was sad that I just barely had to keep this out of my top 10 for the year.







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    And now for another acting category!


    Best Actress


    Number 6

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead





    Number 5

    Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky





    Number 4

    Hailee Steinfeld





    Bronze Bamboo Stick Winner

    Amy Adams, Arrival





    Silver Bamboo Stick Winner

    Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch





    The Golden Bamboo Stick Winner

    Emma Stone, La La Land





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    Number 10

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story



    "I'm one with the Force, and the Force is with me."


    My Grade: A-

    Most Valuable Player: The Reshoots  The VFX Team/That Third Act

    Box Office: Irrelevant, because it's not an event 375.4m+

    Tomatometer: 84%

    IMDb Synopsis: All looks lost for the Rebellion against the Empire as they learn of the existence of a new super weapon, the Death Star. Once a possible weakness in its construction is uncovered, the Rebel Alliance must set out on a desperate mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The future of the entire galaxy now rests upon its success. 

    Critic Opinion: "And that's a balance, between originality and familiarity, at which Edwards largely succeeds from the opening frame to the closing credits. With its tendrils tying into the franchise's canon so tightly, it makes "Rogue One" makes George Lucas' Prequel Trilogy look that much worse in comparison.  That certainly makes this prequel worth spying."

    User Opinion: "This shit is awesome. Probably the fastest my heart's ever beaten in a movie theater." - cannastop

    Reasoning: Had I not have gone to see this movie a second time, it probably would have been much lower on my list.  The first viewing, the film was solid and quite enjoyable, but this is definitely a film that needs to sit to appreciate a little bit more.  Obviously, the third act is something else, and probably some of the best 30-40 minutes of cinema that came out this year.  Yes, the build up is a little slow, but the film progressively gets better as it goes along.  The visual effects are astounding and it was the most immersed I've been watching a tentpole this year.  2016, in my opinion, has had quite a number of weak tentpoles, and not many great ones, Rogue One is one of the few blockbusters to come out this year that really excelled in my eyes.







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    Number 9


    The Witch



    "Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?"


    My Grade: A-

    Most Valuable Player: Jarin Blaschke for the Direction of Photography

    Box Office: 25.1m

    Tomatometer: 91%

    IMDb Synopsis:  New England, 1630: William and Katherine try to lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. 'The Witch' is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own sins, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.

    Critic Opinion: "Which is more nightmarish: the spectre of a child-stealing crone who lives in the woods, or everyday life as a Puritan?  This remarkable feature debut grounds itself in painstaking period detail — you can almost smell the BO — while unspooling a folklore-inspired horror story that keeps you guessing about its intentions right through the explosive final scene. It’s a creepy little gem, and its imagery will stay with you long after you’ve left the theater."

    User Opinion: "The Witch is probably one of the best horror films I've seen. It's beautifully put together, the performances are amazing and, most importantly, it's absolutely terrifying.
    It's not a fun, "bring some popcorn and scream at the jump scares" type of horror film. It's grueling to watch. Not only because of the intensity and the supernatural stuff, but also the environment the films puts you in. Life fucking sucked in the 17th century and The Witch captures this with great eye for period detail. The way the characters act, speak and view the world.. it all feels authentic. And scary. The Devil is real, your daughter might be a witch and the fear of Damnation looms over everything you do. It's fucked up. " - Jack Nevada

    Reasoning: I was originally giving this film a B+, but the imagery and ideas haunt you long after you see it.  The Witch sets an eerily terrifying atmosphere that sucks the life out of you and leaves you cold.  It has a terrific blend of folklore, and making everything feel all the more real.  It puts you into the mindset of people living in the 17th century, and you're able to understand the irrationality of the witch hunts by invoking terror and religious fervor that many of the Puritans of the time had.  Anya Taylor-Joy is a marvel in this movie, and I nearly gave her the golden bamboo stick, I flip-flopped between her and Emma Stone a few times (and I may change my mind when I vote for the boffys, if she gets nominated).  When the film gets to its ending, you're left feeling as if you've just witnessed a nightmare that had just transpired.  It is fantastical, yet also leaves you with a slight quiver.  This is likely a film that will slowly creep up my best of 2016 list, but I am placing it right here for now.





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    Another Acting category to announce!


    Best Actor


    Number 6

    Sam Neill, Hunt for the Wilderpeople





    Number 5

    Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool





    Number 4

    Chris Pine, Hell or High Water





    Bronze Bamboo Stick Winner

    Ryan Gosling, La La Land and the Nice Guys





    Silver Bamboo Stick Winner

    Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea





    Golden Bamboo Stick Winner

    Denzel Washington, Fences





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    Number 8

    Kubo and the Two Strings



    "If you must blink, do it now."


    My Grade: A

    Most Valuable Player: The Animation Team

    Box Office: 48m

    Tomatometer: 97%

    IMDb Synopsis: Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior.

    Critic Opinion: ""Magic was never meant to be easy," a character says to Kubo regarding his unique ability to bring inanimate things to life, and you don't need a master's degree in meta to see the double meaning. But while magical is a word that gets thrown around a lot about the movies, few actually deserve to be called that. Kubo and the Two Strings does, and in spades. Filmgoers who've suffered through a summer of superheroes, supervillains and sequels/snarky reboots, we now have something that genuinely casts a spell on viewers. We've earned this." - David Fear, Rolling Stone

    User Opinion:  "I adored this. I don't need to remind all of you how amazing the visuals are, but I feel like the more straight forward, objective oriented story works better than it should here, especially as it mirrors the story Kubo tells at the beginning of the film. It takes Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey structure (which, admittedly, feels tired) and finds an ethos in it that makes Kubo's journey far more meaningful than just defeating a doomsday villain, and provides an ending of hope, even without true perfection. It runs with the idea of the Hero's Journey as a cultural touchstone (however problematic) and finds the heart to it." - Spaghetti

    Reasoning: And yet, another animated film makes it onto my list, this one really was a splendid treat.  The animation in Kubo and the Two Strings is absolutely gorgeous, and watching the visual sequences play through is candy to the eye.  The story is a little bit straightforward, but it plays some strong emotional beats to go with it, investing you into the movie.  It was an adventure to watch, and it captured some of the excitement that you have when you play a great new Zelda game for the first time.  I nearly put this higher, in fact I was swapping the places of the next few films quite a bit.  Anyways, while Illumination delivers heartless slopfests that appeal to the masses, Laika provides an outlet of inspired artistry for the medium.








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    Number 7




    "At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you're going to be. Can't let nobody make that decision for you."


    My Grade: A

    Most Valuable Player: Barry Jenkins for his direction

    Box Office: 12.3m

    Tomatometer: 98%

    IMDb Synopsis: A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

    Critic Opinion:  "And perhaps the most beautiful thing about “Moonlight” is its open-endedness, its resistance to easy summary or categorization. I guess I’m back where I started, trying to decide what this movie is about. As with any original and challenging work, the answer may take a while to emerge, but what strikes me now is less the pain of Chiron’s circumstances than the sense that, in spite of everything, he is free. A bullied, neglected and all-but-silent child, he grows toward an understanding of himself and his world, and though it is agonizing to witness his progress, it is also thrilling. To be afforded a window into another consciousness is a gift that only art can give. To know Chiron is a privilege." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times

    User Opinion: "As dark as the film gets at certain points, I couldn't help but smile in the air of optimism that ultimately pervades the entire thing. By the final shot - which feels earned by the time we reach it - I couldn't wipe the wide grin from my face. Moonlight is a film that celebrates its protagonist's unconventional growth not as some sort of aberration, but rather as a natural progression toward discovering one's own identity. In that way, it's easily the most sublime film of the year to date, and sure to land a spot among my favorites of the year as a whole." - Webslinger

    Reasoning:  Moonlight is another film that slowly grows on you, and encaptures you, if you let it.  The movie is a subtle, powerful look at boy growing into a man.  The film is fairly dark, and there are many tough moments to sit through.  The performances are some of the most authentic that you will see this year, every actor is believable, it is truly an ensemble film. There are various haunting moments throughout the affair.  The film also has powerful political and social themes throughout, but are never shoved into your face, just gently showing you, leaving you haunted.  Moonlight is a poetic take at the harsh realities many people live through in this country.






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    Now it's time for the last acting award!


    Best Ensemble


    Number 6

    The Edge of Seventeen



    Number 5

    Manchester by the Sea



    Number 4

    Hunt for the Wilderpeople



    Bronze Bamboo Stick Winner

    Hell or High Water



    Silver Bamboo Stick Winner




    The Golden Bamboo Stick Winner



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