Many times I’ve run screaming from a theater, gasping for air, fighting off the effects of a terrible performance. Usually, the actor in question has done something worth watching and thinking about, even in a bad appearance. Below is a group of performances that stuck with me, for all of the wrong reasons, in 2016.
“La La Land” is brimming with nods to Gene Kelly and the days of MGM musicals. Chazelle clearly did his homework and loves the genre, the problem is that his stars may not be as in love with the subject or style as he wants them to be.
“Miss Sloane” is an incredibly well-made film about lobbying, lobbyists, politics and the lengths people will stoop to for a political agenda. It’s well-written, wonderfully acted and yes, there’s a progressive viewpoint to the thing.
Being 17 is a confusing enough time, emotions awaken and collide inside a person in new and confusing ways almost daily. Techine is an experienced director with what turns out to be a very clear memory of what it’s like to be just short of adulthood. Co-written with Celine Sciamma, “Being 17” is also a film about romance.
David Yates is the director of “Fantastic Beasts,” just as he was with the last four Potter films. He’s a steady, talented, director that does not get in the way of the story and uses CGI in effective amounts without going overboard.
Screenwriter Steven Knight must have been listening to Dooley Wilson, because the look and feel of “Casablanca” resonates in “Allied,” especially as it unfolds in the place of the same name. The design and the mood echo the classic film: Max and Marriane are even costumed similar to Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
While “The Hebrew Hammer” is a great send-up of Blaxploitation films, it doesn’t hold up to repeated viewings. “Eight Crazy Nights” is, well, let’s be charitable — it’s dreadful. There’s the adorable “An American Tale” and that’s about it for Hanukkah films.
French co-directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud spent four year filming “Seasons,” a gorgeous film in the tradition of their previous works “Winged Migration” and “Oceans.” The film is lavish in its photography and its ambition, but it does remind me of a really good episode of BBC’s “Planet Earth” series
Her voice is like a balm for bruised hearts and people who think Dusty Springfield should have a statue out in front of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. There’s a definite nod toward Burt Bacharach and early sixties Hi-Fi standards in the way she plays and sings.
I give you a list of great punk, funk, rap and rock that helped get me through the Reagan era and a few that helped make the George W. Bush years more tolerable.