Indiewire’s Massive Survey Makes ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Manchester by the Sea’ Official Critics’ Favorites
Everybody and their mother runs some declaration of the year’s best movies in late December, and yet one is more objectively correct than all the others. (Excepting, of course, the rulings from ScreenCrush’s beloved Senior Editor Erin Whitney, who is unassailably just in all matters.) Through the month of December, Indiewire conducts a massive survey of over 200 film critics, polling their picks for the Best Picture as well as standout performances, writing, directing, and the other usual categories. This is the most good, right, and true expression of the year 2016 on film that you’ll find online, and I’m not just saying that because this is the one poll to which I contribute every year. (That may be partly it.)
The results may not be entirely surprising, being oriented around the most critically-beloved movies of the year. But it’s also a valuable gauge of opinion, the closest that a group of professionals deathly allergic to agreeing with one another will ever get to a consensus. It was only natural that Barry Jenkins’ romance Moonlight would take the top spot, followed closely by Manchester by the Sea. The most surprising entry in the top ten may be the massive O.J. Simpson documentary Made in America, if only in that it has been considered a TV series by some. Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson also makes a welcome appearance on the Best Picture list, forgotten by many perhaps due to its late release date. (Keep an eye out next week.)
Jenkins took Best Director as well, with critical favorite Isabelle Huppert earning Best Actress for her turn in Elle while Manchester by the Sea’s Casey Affleck continued his late-year domination by topping the Best Actor voting. The most exciting surprise was Lily Gladstone earning the Best Supporting Actress designation for her work as a soft-spoken horse caretaker in Certain Women. The full results are over at Indiewire, and remember: critics are right and IMDb is not.