WGF Staff's Favorite Films of 2016

It's finally the end of a particularly brutal year. From a laundry list of greats who've passed in 2016 to the tumultuous state of the country and world, there are definitely enough reasons to refill that Xanax prescription (or if you're in California, take advantage of new laws). But one bright spot in the year (and hopefully upcoming years) was the slew of great art and writing that inhabited our screens. The Writers Guild Foundation staff celebrates all film, TV and digital contributions, so we didn't want to judge on what was the "best." Instead, we'll give you our favorites. First up, our favorite films of 2016. 

Libbie Anderson, Volunteer and Programs Coordinator

Her pick: CERTAIN WOMEN (Screenplay by Kelly Reichardt)

In her words: "The quiet intensity of a Kelly Reichardt film is truly something to behold.  And I just don't think you can find a dreamier cast this year than Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and Kristen Stewart."

Javier Barrios, Acquisitions Manager

His pick: ZOOTOPIA (Screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston)

In his words: "Lightning in a bottle in how it perfectly captured the racial issues occurring in the country in 2016."

P.S. The screenplay for ZOOTOPIA is available to read in the Library! 

Chris Kartje, Director of Programs

His pick: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (Screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy)

In his words: "With shades of SEVEN SAMURAI and the John Sayles written BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS with a dash of THE LAST STARFIGHTER, ROGUE ONE is a lived-in world where a band of rebels and rogues still hold on to hope in spite of overwhelming odds, inspiring us to hold on tight to our hope and dreams."    

Mary McGuire, Director of Development

Her pick: LA LA LAND (Written by Damien Chazelle)

In her words: "Despite not being a fan of most musicals, I loved the homage to LA, the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and a very well written script by Damian Chazelle that would have stood alone without the music."

Enid Portuguez, Director of Communications

Her pick: OTHER PEOPLE (Written by Chris Kelly)

In her words: "I laughed, I cried, and I was so taken by Molly Shannon's performance. She has always been such a great comedic actress, but to see her so raw and tender broke my heart. The film finely balanced comedy with tragedy in a way that felt so real." 


Hilary Swett, Archivist

Her pick: ARRIVAL (Screenplay by Eric Heisserer)

In her words: "The story was thoughtful and engaging and the performances were solid. I was quite happy to see some good sci-fi that is about understanding aliens and not making war with them. My favorite aspect was the visual storytelling. The way that the film depicts an alien language that is so different from ours - non-linear, conceptual – prompted me to think about language and communication in a new way."

P.S. The screenplay for ARRIVAL is available to read in the Library!