My favourite films this year were homegrown, showcasing what British cinema does best – not plummy period pieces, half-baked gangster flicks or corny rom-coms, but cutting-edge dramas with true grit.
After Red Road, Fish Tank and Wuthering Heights, American Honey is another masterpiece from Andrea Arnold – a bleakly beautiful ode to the open road, and what it is to be young in 21st century America.
I, Daniel Blake is a heartbreaking film, and a devastating portrait of life in Britain today. The brilliant performance of Hayley Squires as single mum Katie recalls Ken Loach’s long line of tragic heroines dating back to Carol White.
I also watched a lot of Natalie Wood movies, and finally saw Barbara Loden’s magnificent Wanda (1970.)
Among this year’s departures were three incredible actresses: Caroline Aherne and Jean Alexander, both comedic icons of British television; and Madeleine LeBeau, who played Yvonne in Casablanca.