tv Review 2016 BBC News December 30, 2016 8:30pm-9:01pm GMT
hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: president putin says he will resist calls to retaliate against america's expulsion of 35 russian diplomats. the us has accused the kremlin of hacking and publishing the emails of senior democrats during the us presidential campaign. mr putin also said that positive developments in relations between russia and the uk would be mutually beneficial. russia asks the un security council to consider a new resolution to endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. postmortem examination into the cause of george michael's death has proved "inconclusive the singer was found dead by his partner at home on christmas day. drivers have been told to take care in fog and freezing conditions, as a coach overturns on the mao in oxfordshire injuring 17 people. now on bbc news, film critic mark kermode takes a look back at the big releases of the year, sorting the crackers
from the turkeys, in review 2016: the year in film. hello, and welcome to this review of the year in film. i'm mark kermode, and we're here at the cinema museum in south london where, for the next half an hour, we will be looking back at some of the best movies released in uk cinemas in 2016. 2016 was a pretty tumultuous year, what with the brexit vote in june, and the results of the american election in november proving that the unexpected really can happen. in the world of politics, uncertainty can be alarming. when it comes to movies, it is the unexpected which really makes it all worthwhile. while the naysayers claim that movies today are just an endless slew of sequels, remakes and superhero franchise fodder, let's spend some time celebrating the films which offered something different, which prove that cinema today really is more vibrantly diverse than ever. 2016 got off to a remarkable start
with room, irish director lenny abrahamson‘s film about a mother and child inprisoned, adapted by screenwriter emma donoghue from her bestselling novel. room opened in the uk injanuary to rave reviews, particularly for brie larson, who went on to win both the bafta and oscar for best actress. you're going to help me trick 0ld nick. this is our chance. you're gonna play dead.
0ld nick is going to come and take you outside, and i'm going to be there in your head talking to you the whole time. i'm scared. i know. the oscar for best picture went to spotlight, a fact—based drama about the boston globe's coverage of a child abuse scandal within the catholic church. but the oscars themselves were mired with headline—grabbing controversy when the subject of racism in hollywood and the 0scarssowhite hashtag made front—page news. of the 20 0scar nominees for best actor, actress, best supporting actor and best supporting actress, not one was a person of colour. oh, and in the best director category, all the nominees were men, again. it's a depressing state of affairs and the academy have taken steps to ensure their membership becomes more diverse, but, despite such embarrassment, there was one area in which the oscars got it right, and that was in the foreign language film category. having premiered in cannes, back in 2015, laszlo nemes‘ searing
holocaust drama son of saul took the 0scarfor foreign language film in february, 2016. with claude la nzmann the filmmaker behind shoah, declaring that this hungarian masterpiece presented a very real sense of what it was like to be in the sonderkommando. son of saul was a deserving 0scar winner, but nominated alongside it were some of the best films to open in uk cinemas in 2016. from director ciro guerra came embrace of the serpent, a monochrome mix of fact and fantasy, western exploration and amazonian myth that earned colombia its first nomination for the foreign language film 0scar. this is madness! from france, mustang, a tale of turkish sisters imprisoned in their home by a controlling uncle.
beautifully directed by deniz gamze erguven, who coached vibrant performances from her ensemble cast, mustang also benefited from a terrific score by warren ellis. ellis is one of modern cinema's most intriguing composers. alongside the likes of johnny greenwood and clint mansell, who did superb work on ben wheatley‘s adaptation ofjg ballard's dystopian novel, high—rise, his woozy, sensuous score perfectly capturing the film's increasingly unsettling tone. i'm so sorry. i'll survive. i thought you were empty. ijust moved in. you're an excellent specimen. high—rise opened in uk cinemas in march, where it went head—to—head with the coen brothers‘ splendid throwback hollywood fantasy, hail, caesar!, one of the most delightfully silly films of the year. why do you say it like that, why do you say "t‘were"?
well, you said "say it like i say it." yes, but... you seem to be lingering. it's interminable, the word, i'm wondering when it will end, and we shouldn't be wondering, should we, we should be marching right along for so simple. would that it were so simple. calm down! when april rolled around, nothing could touch thejungle book, disney's reboot of its classic cartoon which became the real king of the swingers at the uk box office. billed as a live action affair, the jungle book was in fact almost entirely cgi with the young star, neel sethi's mowgli being one of the very few live—action elements in a movie which cast idris elba as a digital shere khan, bill murray as a lovable baloo the bear, and christopher walken as a gigantic king louie. moving on to may, and 0nce director john carney‘s sing street put a smile on my face and a spring in my step with its tale of a teenager's pop—tastic adventures in the mysterious world of 80s dublin. meanwhile, over in france,
the 69th cannes film festival offered yet more reason for rejoicing as ken loach won his second palme d'0r for the social realist drama i, daniel blake. having previously claimed the top prize with the wind that shakes the barley, ken loach, who turned 80 this year, won the judges over once again with his blistering tale of a newcastle joiner recovering from a heart attack who finds himself on the wrong end of a bureaucratic benefit system. superbly scripted by paul lafferty, with outstanding performances by davejohns and hayley squires, i, daniel blake is powerful and impassioned film—making. no wonder bothjohns and squires were honoured with trophies at the recent british independent film awards. what i gather now is the decision—maker, the decision—maker's gonna be sending you a letter through the post. you're gonna have to wait for that. my kids have to start
school tomorrow, i've got about 12 quid in me purse. all because you can't just calm down and listen to people when they talk, you all have to do this. you know what, i've listened to you, you've created a scene. no mate, if i was going to create a scene, you'd know about it. trust me. you need to leave the building. this is ridiculous. who is first in this queue? do you mind if this young lass signs on first? there you go. now you can go back to your desk and let her sign on and do the job that the taxpayer pays you for. thejury prize at cannes also went to a british film—maker, andrea arnold, whose first us—set feature, american honey, went on to win best film at the biffas. centring on sasha lane's texan teen who hits the road with a group of young magazine sellers, american honey was shot by i, daniel bla ke‘s cinematographer, robbie ryan, who worked wonders with the square academy ratio frame which is andrea arnold's preferred format. remarkable, too, to see transformers
star shia labeouf doing career—best work in a film which is the very antithesis of those bloated blockbuster movies, which made him a star. of course, those blockbuster movies continue to thrive. the transformers franchise was very much in evidence here in the autumn as they shot scenes for the forthcoming transformers: the last night, which we can all look forward to in 2017. in the mean time, the summer of 2016 was dominated by the return of a forgetfulfish, who made a whale—size splash at the box office despite her diminutive portions. disney—pixar‘s finding dory was one of a slew of animated features, which breathed life into uk cinemas in 2016. i'm coming. sorry. that's ok. everybody does it, nothing to be ashamed of. injune, we got the long—delayed
release of the anime gem when marnie was there, studio ghibli's japanese adaptation ofjoan g robinson's norfolk—set novel. why is it? that mansion feels familiar, somehow. it's really best for you to stay away from that old marsh house. throw me the rope, hurry. then there was zootropolis, or zootopia as it's known in the us, which is currently shaping up as a strong contender for the forthcoming animated feature 0scar. we are in a really big hurry. we need to acknowledge the elephant in the room. francine. happy birthday! 0ther contenders include kubo and the two strings, a sublime stop—motion animation from pa ranorman creators laika studios. he just saved our lives. yes, he's very powerful, but he still has much to learn. what? well, fast learner. and moana, disney's current cinema
offering from the directors of aladdin and the little mermaid. the real treat for me, however, was makoto shinkai's your name, a thrilling body swap anime which topped the japanese box office charts for three months before wowing audiences here in the uk. while films like finding dory and zootropolis delighted audiences and critics alike, some of the year's other blockbusters proved altogether more divisive. take, for example, zack snyder's much—hyped batman vs superman: dawn of justice, which proved a solid box office hit when it opened here in march, despite almost universally negative reviews from sniffy critics like me,
who were variously accused of being corrupt, idiotic or simply out of touch. now in fact, what the financial success of batman vs superman proved is that reviews have zero effect on box office. audiences don't go to see films because critics love them or hate them, they go because they want to see them. or, they don't. take note, alex proyas, director of this year's copper—bottomed stinker gods of egypt, who took to social media to call critics "a pack of diseased vultures, pecking at the bones of a dying carcass", without realising that in doing so, he was effectively calling his own movie roadkill. 0ops! while batman vs superman caught its fair share of critical flak, other superheroes did better with the critics. take ryan reynolds‘s deadpool, marvel‘s wisecracking self reflexive antihero who took the box office
by storm and earned pretty decent notices in the process. captain america: civil war performed well too, when that opened in april. in the autumn, dr strange offered up a winning mix of superhero antics and ken russell—style hallucinogenics. the reality you know is one of many. this doesn't make any sense. not everything does. not everything has to. 0n the evidence of these movies, we are not going to see an end to big budget blockbuster comic book film franchises any time in the near future. but it was at the other end of the financial spectrum, and indeed often on the other side of the atlantic, that the really interesting stuff was happening.
encouragingly, 2016 saw the release of a number of low—budget home—made features which really put their more expensive counterparts to shame. take, for example, notes on blindness, an electrifying adaptation of the memoirs of theologian john hull, who made cassette recordings documenting his loss of sight and subsequent journey from darkness into light. getting actors to lip sync to these recordings in a manner similar to that used by clio barnard for the arbor, film—makers peter middleton and james spinney created something really unique, a film which is informative, empathetic and deeply spiritual — one of the very best films of the year. the pictures in the gallery of my mind have dimmed somewhat. i could no longer remember easily what my wife looked like, or what my daughter, imogene, looked like. everything was drifting away. how could this happen to me? who had the right to deprive me of the sight
of my children at christmas time? notes on blindness was one of several home—made indie pics that opened in the uk this year. 0ther admirable oddities included stephen fingleton‘s stripped down northern ireland thriller the survivalist, joe stevenson's chicken, superbly shot by rising star dp pete evan balter, and jane gull‘s my feral heart, with a brilliant central performance by newcomer stephen brandon. my favourite film of 2016 was the spine—chilling british production under the shadow, from iran—born london—based writer—director ba bak anvari. the uk's entry for the foreign language film 0scar,
under the shadow, was set in tehran, shot injordan and filmed in farsi. there are nods to roman polansky and the guilermo del toro but anvari's superbly creepy chiller conjures an atmosphere, which is uniquely its own. with very strong performances by narges rashidi and avin manshadi as the mother and daughter terrorised by falling bombs, religious zealots and marauding djinn spirits, under the shadow is a film you simply must not miss, believe me, it will take your breath away. films like under the shadow and notes on blindness found their audiences, thanks in large part to the efforts of the uk's still thriving independent cinema circuit,
the real heart of the movies. if you're lucky enough to have a local arthouse cinema, then make sure you make the most of it. multiplexes are fine, up to a point, but without the independents we will end up with an endless string of movies which all look the same and nobody wants that. the 13th amendment to the constitution makes it unconstitutional for someone to be held as a slave. there are exceptions, including criminals. the loophole was immediately exploited... what you got after that... of course, in the age of the internet, viewing habits are changing, with more and more people choosing to watch movies online. this, in itself, is not a problem unless the film's online presence prevents people from seeing it in cinemas and that was kind of the case with the brilliant documentary 13th, by ava du vernay, which provocatively teased out connections between the history of slavery and modern—day imprisonment in the us. it's powerful polemical fare and,
for me, one of the real highlights of the year but having been funded by netflix, 13th was only allowed to play in one cinema in the uk, this, despite the fact that several independent cinemas were hammering for the chance to show it. in an ideal world, streaming services and cinemas would work hand—in—hand, not in competition. beasts that needed to be controlled. it became virtually impossible for a politician to run and appear soft on crime. the kinds of kids that are called super predators. millions of dollars will be designated forjail facilities. as the autumn rolled around, fans of science fiction welcomed the arrival of arrival, the beautiful first—contact movie from french—canadian director denis villeneuve, who made the great thriller, sicario. based on a story by ted chiang, arrival starred amy adams as a linguist, recruited to help communicate with aliens, whose nature and purpose is unknown.
they need to see me. are you insane? now that's a proper introduction. a film of ideas rather than special effects, arrival played in uk cinemas around the same time as tom ford's nocturnal animals, which also starred amy adams, in a very different role, this time as an la art dealer, confronted by ghosts of the past. i never sleep. 0ther outstanding female performances in films released in the uk in 2016 include isabelle huppert‘s wonderful work in mia hansen—love's things to come, a drama about an academic, whose life is unexpectedly changed when her husband reveals a dark secret. then there was pedro almodovar‘s julieta, sensibly adapted from the writings of canadian author alison munro, with awards worthy performances from emma suarez and adriana ugarte, the younger and older incarnations of the eponymous character.
for me, this was almodovar‘s best work since volver. i was also bowled over by meryl streep as the so—called diva of din in stephen frear‘s affectionate and funny florence fosterjenkins, a celebration of the life of the first lady of the sliding scale. stop! there's work to be done. plaudits too to kate beckinsale, who was an acerbic delight in whit stillman‘s love & friendship, perhaps the most perfect screen rendering ofjane austen's matchlessly witty writing. lady susan? how dare you address me, sir? be gone, or i will have you whipped! outrageous. have you never met him? no, i know him well. i would never speak to a stranger like that. and, let's not forget, kate dickie, deeply disturbing in the ultra—creepy new england folktale the witch. take your children outside.
what does this, what does this? his mouth is sealed up. oh, god! william. when it comes to leading men few were better than david 0yelowo in a united kingdom, which opened the london film festival in october. directed by amma asante, a female british director of proud ghanaian heritage, a united kingdom broke several glass ceilings as it retold the story of a love affair between british girl ruth williams, played by rosamund pike and african king—in—waiting seretse khama. having been overlooked for his sterling work in selma, david 0yelowo would be top of my awards pack this year. we should not be fighting for segregation, we should be fighting for equality. that is where we should be focusing our minds, not on the wife i have chosen, who means you no harm, whose only apparent crime has been
to fall in love with me, and mine to fall in love with her. i'd also like to include a shout out for bollywood legend shah rukh khan, who brilliantly handles the dual role of a superstar and his obsessive devotee in the thriller, fan. taking inspiration from films like martin scorsese's king of comedy, fanis a roller—coaster ride, built on not one but two great performances by shah rukh khan, no wonder he is one of the world's most popular movie stars. 2016 was also the year we lost some great stars, from gene wilder, star of timeless classics like blazing saddles and young frankenstein, to alan rickman, who worked wonders both behind and in front of the camera, to david bowie, whose man who fell to earth got a poignant big—screen rerelease in june. other significant re—issues include the 30th anniversary outing
for david lynch's blue velvet and a big—screen rerelease of in the heat of the night as part of the bfi's black star season, celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors. perhaps the most remarkable return of 2016 was of napoleon, abel gance‘s silent masterpiece from 1927, back on our screens with a magnificent score by carl davis. seen in its most complete form, this reissue was the result of decades of research and restoration work, and what a glorious sight it was to see! as the end of the year rolled around, star wars is back in our cinemas in the shape of rogue one, a stand—alone anthology instalment set shortly before the events of the 1977 original. like its iconic predecessor, rogue 0ne relies heavily on british talent, from director gareth edwards to star felicityjones, to the army of technicians
at elstree studios where much of the film is shot. what will you become? worth noting too that another of the year's runaway hits, bridgetjones‘s baby, was also a home—grown success story, with welsh director sharon maguire helming the third series instalment to record—breaking box office success. maintaining good relationship with ex. how are you? very well, thanks. how are you? i'm fine. i'll have a whisky, please. and my love life is showing signs of improvement. glass of wine. big glass. shovel. and my love life is showing signs of improvement. may i? it fits! aside from one tiny development... i'm pregnant?
surprise! everything is completely under control! sort of... whether you like your movies big or small, down—to—earth or out of this world, there really was something for everyone in uk cinemas in 2016. sometimes, you just had to look a little bit harder to find it. hey! let me do this, please. good evening. fog has been a bit of a problem across the southern half of the uk in recent days. change is on the way as this weather front moves south. it will introduce cold air, and it will take 48 hours for
that to happen. but the cold, clear air is on the way for 2017. there was some brighter weather to be had, this is a view in devon earlier on, lovely sky. but it wasn't like that in kingston in greater london, you can hardly see across the thames. we have dense fog in the south—west of england, central and southern england, central and southern england towards east anglia and the south is, slow and some of the major roads, bear that in mind, south is, slow and some of the major roads, bearthat in mind, and south is, slow and some of the major roads, bear that in mind, and there in mind there may well be further delays at some of the airports. 0vernight delays at some of the airports. overnight at will turn cold to go with that fog in the south—east. 2 degrees in central norwich and london. freezing fog to go with that. no such problems further north and west. that has a breeze and will keep temperatures on the mild side, nine or 10 degrees. early in the morning the fog could be dense for a time. if you don't have fog you will have a fair bit of cloud, but it is essentially dry across most of
england and wales, the morning might be brighter in the north of england. in scotland, all weather front is there, a lot of cloud, rain and a bit of a breeze, the rainfall is cutting guard by this stage. dry, mild and cloudy in northern ireland. the weather front is pushing southwards, where the weather turning up in the central moment in the afternoon. rain pushing into northern ireland as well. south of that, the fog is lifting closely into the low cloud. something brighter in northern england. temperatures getting up to nine or 10 degrees quite widely. through the evening, the weather front makes steady progress into the north of england and parts of wales. towards midnight, it looks dry, mild and fine. seven or eight degrees in the london area. behind that weather front, wintry showers in the north of scotland. cold air moving south.
a bit of sleet on the back edge, nothing too significant. and damp across east anglia the south—east. sunshine in the north and west, but cold in the northerly wind. hello. 0ur hello. our top stories on bbc world news: as the us expel 35 russian diplomats, president—elect donald trump praises the russian president's response. vladimir putin says he won't expel us diplomats but would work to restore ties with donald trump when he takes office in january. after nearly 24 hours syria's ceasefire is generally holding, the guns have fallen silent, but all sides remain on alert. the world footballer of the year, cristiano ronaldo, turns down a big—money move to china.