Amalgamation of distinctive characters with different psychological projection, humanely dramatic gestures and some of the best crafted mise-en-scenes make up for this list of best International Drama Movies released on 2016. List has both best of foreign Drama films 2016 and best of Hollywood Drama films 2016.
11. Lion – UK/Australia
This is certainly one of the best movies taken from real life story. It is about a 5 year old Indian boy who lost his family and was adopted and raised by an Australian couple. First half of the movie depicts the emotion and survival of little Saroo in different situations in this cruel world after he was lost. Director Garth Davis’s great discovery is debutant Sunny Pawar (Childhood Saroo) a Mumbai native. His natural expressions, cuteness and honesty in his eyes impressively portray his state of mind which really gives a boost to the film. As the story goes on, the hunt for his real identity makes young Saroo(Dev Patel) restless. With his fragmented childhood memories Saroo starts to look for his roots.
Adept direction, beautiful cinematography, brilliant performances and above all the extraordinary story of Saroo Brierley make this film one of the best films of 2016.
10. Fences – America
FENCES – Adapted from an award-winning play, Fences is a complicated yet emotional tale of a flawed hero. Troy Maxson, is a retired Negro league baseball player, whose career is destroyed because of the pre-Jackie Robinson era rules, which barred the participation of black men in the national team. Leaving all the fame and fortune behind he earns his living as a sanitation worker. The bitterness and conflict going between Troy and his family is very immaculately shown by director Denzel Washington. Watch this exemplary flick for a heart-warming story, adept direction and some smashing performances by the lead pair (Denzel Washington and Viola Davis).
9. Toni Erdmann – German
This movie brings forth some contemporary issues, which parents usually face with their careerist children. What happens when Winfried becomes Toni Erdmann and follows his busy daughter everywhere? Will his desperate efforts change his equation with his almost estranged daughter? This bosting drama enwrapped in comedy exhibits how parental love can overcome any difficult situation.
8. The Last Family (Ostatnia rodzina) – Poland
Ostatnia Rodzina is a biographical Polish drama about the renowned painter Zdzisław Beksiński, and his family…. his long-suffering wife Zofia and their neurotic son Tomasz. The protagonist films and documents his family over 28 years. He tapes everything with his beloved camcorder, from family feuds, near-death experiences, love-hate relations to consecutive funerals. This strange yet riveting true story will leave you with mixed emotions.
7. The Innocents – France
December 1945, just after the deadliest WWII was over, Mathilde, a French Red Cross medical worker in Poland, finds herself helping local Catholic nuns who got pregnant when Soviet troops liberated Poland.”The Innocents” is a kind of film which shows the contrast between destruction of faith, hope, a lie to survive and the forgiveness and compassion to win over incredibly troubling situations. Anne Fontaine wonderfully directed this film and showed the depth of emotional distress the nuns were experiencing without showing any violence. This movie is about the aspect of life which depicts how faith and modern values collide.
6. Hidden Figures – US
Talent is its own religion, nothing can stop it. Hidden Figures is about the untold true story of three Afro-American women Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest successes in history of space science (launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit). This movie beautifully portrayed the naked truth of racial discrimination and these women’s fight for their civil rights.
5. I Daniel Blake – UK / Belgium
“They call this a “pauper’s funeral” because it’s the cheapest slot, at 9:00. But Dan wasn’t a pauper to us. He gave us things that money can’t buy.”
The movie is about a widowed, sick man, Daniel Blake, who is forced to work to get money for his living and an indigent young woman, who is ready to sacrifice everything for her children. The movie exhibits the harshness of the system, the society that we live in and how a section of our society manages their way through destitution. It beautifully showcases humanity, solidarity, altruism, while honouring friendship and life. This film will certainly leave you teary-eyed.
4. Hunt for the Wilderpeople – New Zealand
This is one of the best feel-good movies of 2016. It is a beautiful tale of the bonding between two loners and a little kid’s craving to become a part of a family. This emotional adventure comedy drama from Taika Waititi with its cuteness will steal your heart and take you to a refreshing journey.
3. A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove) – Sweden
This Swedish movie based on the best-selling novel (2012) by Fredrik Backman and directed by Hannes Holm, is a tragicomic drama showing laughter amidst pain in its trickiest way. Ove (Rolf Lassgård) is a 59 year old typical angry old man who lives alone after his wife’s demise. Grumpy, sad Ove tries hard to commit suicide and reunite with his wife. But suddenly his mundane, miserable life is filled with colours when an exuberant family comes to live in his neighbourhood. This movie is a celebration of life and at it will leave you exhilarated with a pinch of pain.
2. Manchester by the Sea – USA
The movie revolves round Lee Chandler, a grumpy and frustrated handyman who lives a life that is devoid of human interaction and emotion. Lee’s story takes a u-turn when he receives the news of his brother’s heart attack followed by his untimely death. He is also informed that he is now his nephew’s (Patrick) legal guardian. Thus, Lee and Patrick both are subjugated to their fates and struggle to adjust to their new course of life. It also brings back Lee’s tormented past that separated him from both his wife, Randi, and the community in which he was raised. This is a stellar movie about isolation, despair and combating your own demons.
1. Moonlight – USA
This movie rightfully won the Academy award for best picture. It’s flawless narrative, great performances coupled with outstanding screenplay and cinematography earned it critical as well as commercial success. Movie is based on the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by Barry Jenkins. The story centres around a Miami boy whose mother is a drug addict and his journey from boyhood to adulthood is shown in three chapters Little, Chiron and Black. The story depicts how adversely bullying can affect an individual by dragging him into a lonely planet. This movie showcases the depth of human connections, sensitivity and understanding, which shape our life’s trajectory.