December 8, 2016
German comedy Toni Erdmann voted best film of 2016 by critics
Directed by Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and is Germany’s official candidate for next year’s foreign film Oscar.
American coming-of-age story Moonlight and adult drama Elle came next in Sight & Sound’s Films of the Year poll.
Last year’s winner was The Assassin, by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien.
Toni Erdmann, which will be released in the UK on 3 February, is one of three films with female directors to make this year’s top five.
The others are Certain Women, a triptych of tales from US director Kelly Reichardt, and Andrea Arnold’s road movie American Honey.
Nick James, Sight & Sound’s editor, expressed delight that the poll “recognises the talent of women directors at the top of the art form”.
Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, which won the veteran British film-maker his second Palme d’Or at Cannes, came sixth in the poll.
Oscar-tipped Manchester by the Sea – named the National Board of Review’s best film of 2016 earlier this week – is ranked seventh.
According to the British Film Institute (BFI), publisher of Sight & Sound, the results represent “a small triumph for diversity”.
The full top 20:
- 1. Toni Erdmann (dir. Maren Ade)
- 2. Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins)
- 3. Elle (dir. Paul Verhoeven)
- 4. Certain Women (dir. Kelly Reichardt)
- 5. American Honey (dir. Andrea Arnold)
- 6. I, Daniel Blake (dir. Ken Loach)
- 7. Manchester by the Sea (dir. Kenneth Lonergan)
- 8. Things to Come (dir. Mia Hansen-Love)
- 9. Paterson (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
- 10. The Death of Louis XIV (dir. Albert Serra)
- 11= Personal Shopper (dir. Olivier Assayas)
- 11= Sieranevada (dir. Cristi Puiu)
- 13= Fire at Sea (dir. Gianfranco Rosi)
- 13= Nocturama (dir. Bertrand Bonello)
- 13= Julieta (dir. Pedro Almodovar)
- 16= La La Land (dir. Damien Chazelle)
- 16= Cameraperson (dir. Kirsten Johnson)
- 18. Love and Friendship (dir. Whit Stillman)
- 19. Aquarius (dir. Kleber Mendonca Filho)
- 20. Victoria (dir. Sebastian Schipper)