2016 Lifestyle Favourites

We're two weeks into 2017 now, and already the year seems to be going at a rapid pace. I thought it would be fun to wind the clock back to 2016 and share the things that I've loved over the past year in a post about my lifestyle favourites...

Film favourites
I visited the cinema quite a few times in 2016 and saw quite a few films that I really enjoyed. My favourite was probably Hail Caesar!, a Coen brothers' movie that I watched back in March. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, the film tells the story of Brolin's character who works as a 'fixer' for a film company in 1950s Hollywood, covering up scandalous stories about the stars. The movie didn't go down well amongst my friends but it was just the kind of thing I like, music, dance sequences, retro costumes, a cracking storyline and plenty of laughs. For me, special mention has to go to Alden Ehrenreich's performance as his comic timing really stood out, even among an all star cast. I also loved all the fabulous dance sequences, particularly Channing Tatum's tap dance and Scarlett Johansson's amazing synchronised swimming routing.
Another film favourite this year has to be Nerve. Admittedly I wasn't too fussed about seeing this when it came out but went along for one of my friend's birthdays and was pleasantly surprised. The film is much more of a thriller/ action movie than I usually go for, but I found the storyline really interesting and actually enjoyed the tense moments. Dave Franco's performance was great - he's a really natural actor with so much charisma and, having also enjoyed Now You See Me 2 this year, I've started to really appreciate his acting talent.

TV favourites
I love a good literary classic, but War and Peace is one that I've never tackled, largely because of the sheer number of Russian names that I'd have to remember if I did read it! However the BBC's adaption of the classic Tolstoy novel was a great introduction for a novice to the story, and kicked off a brilliant year of TV back in January. The costumes and cinematography meant it was an aesthetic treat, and the acting was also superb. I've previously admired Paul Dano's acting talent in Little Miss Sunshine and Love and Mercy, but his portrayal of Pierre Bezukhov was even better, so if you didn't get a chance to see this when it was first on, I would definitely recommend catching up with it.
Another brilliant adaption of 2016 was The Night Manager, an interpretation of a John Le Carre novel, starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Coleman and Elizabeth Debicki. An extremely tense mini-series, the show followed Hiddleston's character, a hotel manager who infiltrates the world of a sinister arms dealer played by Laurie. Like War and Peace, the acting was brilliant, particularly Laurie's whose character was utterly terrifying and I also adored Debicki's character Jed's fantastic wardrobe.
My final television favourite of last year was a new series of a show that I hadn't been old enough to enjoy the first time round, Cold Feet. Although I didn't know much about the original storyline, it was still easy to get into this new series and already I cant wait for the next lot of episodes. The perfect combination of humour and sadder bits, I had to choose this as one of my telly favourites for the year.

Music favourites
My favourite musical release of 2016 had to be The Last Shadow Puppets' second album, Everything You've Come To Expect. I've always adored the duo's work, particularly that of Alex Turner, who I truly believe is one of the best musical talents of the 21st century. However with this album I was worried that the popularity would have got to their heads a bit and that they'd have lost the endearing Northern vibe that had made their previous stuff so great, which is what seems to have happened with Turner's Arctic Monkeys. Luckily, I was wrong. Yes, tracks like Aviation and Miracle Aligner have a much more American/ rock 'n' roll sound to them and have lost the youthfulness that previously epitomised the band, but The Dream Synopsis and Sweet Dreams, TN still have the witty lyrics and sound that I associate with the pair. The result is a really intriguing, varied album that I'd urge everyone to give a listen to.

Have a brilliant 2017 everyone! x


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