Let's see most of those are going to be French, obviously... my favorite film of the year so far is Nocturama
, by Bertrand Bonello. My problem is I kinda want to say nothing more than "go watch it" but also be warned it is about a subject that is particularly touchy right now. What I can say is that it is tense, fascinating, disturbing, gripping, and daring. La vache
is a feelgood comedy about an Algerian guy who goes on a road trip to get to the Salon de l'Agriculture in Paris (he has a cow and gets invited here after harassing them for years). It's very heartfelt and very funny, cliché at times certainly but just an all-around good time.Voir du pays / The Stopover
is a drama about two female soldiers in the French army who are just getting out of Afghanistan. They (and the other soldiers they were with) are made to stay in a touristy hotel in Cyprus for three days to adress the psychological impact of what they went through and generally try and be ready to go back to normal society. Very compelling, great performances by the two leads, goes to some interesting, somewhat unexpected places.Vor der Morgenröte / Stefan Zweig : Farewell to Europe
is a Stefan Zweig biopic, in that new sub-genre of biopics focusing on a specifi part of their lives, in this case the time Zweig spent in America (Argentina, Brazil and the US mostly) late in his life. It's more interesting formally than you'd expect from a biopic, again an excellent central performance and has intereting resonance with current events in more way than one.
Edit : Stuff that's not technically 2016 but qualifies :Les ogres
is about a traveling theater group in current-day France : they're a very loud bunch, with a family at their centre and they essentially function like a big, deeply dysfunctional family in the large sense of the word (because you know, they have sex with each other). he film is to their image : loud and hyperactive, over-dramatic at times... but I loved it for that energy. It's a true ensemble film and apparently a very personal one (the director grew up in similar circumstances I think), with a deep bench of interesting characters. it's a bit long though (well over 2 hours), and some people find it shrill rather than exuberant.Comment c'est loin
is a film by and with Orelsan, whom you may know as a rapper and/or comedian (he does Bloqués on Canal + which this is very close to tonally). It's a largely autobiographical comedy about him and his best friend (Gringe), both losers completely stuck in their tendency to procrastinate and incapability to motivate themselves to do anything productive with their lives, or their days. If Les ogres is too energetic at times, this is the complete opposite. I found it very funny and engaging, in part because procrastination is certainly a huge problem for me (and many people I know).Tout en haut du monde / Longway North
is a French animated film that takes place in late-tsarist Russia and has unique animation style that serves a Jules Vernes-type narrative. OAD reviewed it
on Letterbox'd, she writes about it better than I can.Lu bian ye can / Kaili Blues
is a Chinese film taking place in provincial China, current-day. It follows a physician as he deals with ... stuff. Let's be honest : it's a confounding film, dealing with memory, and time, and reality, and dreams and life, the universe and everything. It's also absolutely gorgeous and has a long take for the ages, in a scene that's so astounding and captivating that it makes the film work despite how lost I felt watching it. Ce sentiment de l'été / This Feeling of Summer
is an indie drama about twentysomethings being sad about life. It's good though, very gentle and melancholy. Good performances too.Le nouveau / The New Kid
is a French comedy about a kid (12-13 ?) who arrives at a new school. There's not much more to say about it : the young actors are good, it's funny and just works well.Demain / Tomorrow
is a documentary about climate change, and specifically the solutions that are developing all around the world to respond to it. If you hate Mélanie Laurent you should avoid it, but it's a very optimistic look at the issue, one that succesfully melds big-picture ideas and concrete cases.