Fantastic Fest 2016: Wrap-Up

A summary of this year’s Fantastic Fest

Best English-Language Feature

Ah, Fantastic Fest! It’s kind of like a comic-book convention, except with Elijah Wood instead of cosplayers, and there’s always some guy right in front of you in the line to the men’s room singing “we are the flesh” to the tune of “We Want the Funk”. (That would be me.) The Critics’ Code requires an end-of-festival writeup, including a complete list of films ranked by personal preference. In that spirit, I bring you this:

The Best of…

These are my personal favorites of the festival. Under no circumstances should any of the below be construed to mean that I know what I’m talking about or have opinions that should be taken seriously.

Best English-Language Feature

Buster’s Mal Heart [United States]


  1. Arrival [United States]
  2. Down Under [Australia]
  3. Safe Neighborhood [Australia]
  4. A Dark Song [Ireland]

Best Foreign-Language Feature

Call of Heroes [Hong Kong]


  1. Toni Erdmann [Germany]
  2. Playground [Poland]
  3. Raw [France]
  4. The Invisible Guest [Spain]

Best Documentary Feature

Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses [New Zealand]


  1. S Is for Stanley [Italy]
  2. 24×36: A Movie About Movie Posters [Canada]

Best Director

Sarah Edina Smith, Buster’s Mal Heart


  1. Bartosz M. Kowalski, Playground
  2. Benny Chan, Call of Heroes
  3. Liam Gavin, A Dark Song
  4. Werner Herzog, Salt and Fire

Best Actress (Lead)

Sandra Hüller, Toni Erdmann


  1. Amanda Fuller, Fashionista
  2. Kika Magalhaes, The Eyes of My Mother
  3. Catherine Walker, A Dark Song
  4. Amy Adams, Arrival

Best Actor (Lead)

Rami Malek, Buster’s Mal Heart


  1. Peter Simonischek, Toni Erdmann
  2. James McAvoy, Split
  3. Steve Oram, A Dark Song
  4. Lincoln Younes, Down Under

Best Actor (Supporting)

Ha Jung-Woo, The Handmaiden


  1. Michael Shannon, Salt and Fire
  2. DJ Qualls, Buster’s Mal Heart
  3. Louis Koo, Call of Heroes
  4. Eric Balfour, Fashionista

Best Actress (Supporting)

Quinn Shephard, Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl


  1. Ana Wagener, The Invisible Guest
  2. Kate Lyn Shiel, Buster’s Mal Heart
  3. Betty Buckley, Split
  4. Ella Rumpf, Raw

Best Writing

Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann


  1. Sarah Edina Smith, Buster’s Mal Heart
  2. Abe Forsythe, Down Under
  3. Eric Heisserer (from short story by Ted Chiang), Arrival
  4. Oriel Paulo, The Invisible Guest

Best Original Score

Mister Squinter, Buster’s Mal Heart


  1. Jóhan Jóhansson, Arrival
  2. Ariel Loh, The Eyes of My Mother

Best Soundtrack

Toni Erdmann

Only half of this win comes from the performance of “The Greatest Love of All.” The other half comes from using the Cure’s “Plainsong” as the closing-credits theme.


  1. The Bad Batch
  2. Fashionista

Best Cinematography

Peter Zeitlinger, Salt and Fire


  1. Zack Kuperstein, The Eyes of My Mother
  2. Shaheen Seth, Buster’s Mal Heart

My Final Film Ranking

Note that this final ranking might be inconsistent with the rankings from previous posts; I spent a couple of days re-considering what I saw, so various films may have gone up or down the list as I saw fit.

        1. Buster’s Mal Heart (Day 5)
        2. Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses (Day 3)
        3. Call of Heroes (Day 6)
        4. Toni Erdmann (Day 2)
        5. Down Under (Day 8)
        6. Safe Neighborhood (Day 7)
        7. A Dark Song (Day 5)
        8. Arrival (Day 1)
        9. Playground (Day 7)
        10. Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl (Day 6)
        11. S Is for Stanley (Day 6)
        12. The Eyes of My Mother (Day 3)
        13. Raw (Day 4)
        14. The Invisible Guest (Day 8)
        15. Fashionista (Day 5)
        16. Salt and Fire (Day 4)
        17. The Handmaiden (Day 1)
        18. The Red Turtle (Day 2)
        19. 24×36: A Movie About Movie Posters (Day 6)
        20. The Bad Batch (Day 2)
        21. The Void (Day 1)
        22. Split (Day 5)
        23. Re:Born (Day 5)
        24. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (Day 7)
        25. Dearest Sister (Day 8)
        26. Phantasm: Ravager (Day 4)
        27. Nova Seed (Day 2)
        28. Jungle Trap (Day 7)
        29. We Are the Flesh (Day 3)

Author: Lackey

Groovy, laidback, and nasty

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