2016 #20 – Krisha (dir. Trey Edward Shults)

“I had to leave to be a better person.” – Krisha Fairchild as Krisha in Krisha.

Krisha (2016)
Trey Edward Shults
Starring: Krisha Fairchild, Robyn Fairchild, Bill Wise, Trey Edward Shults
Written By: Trey Edward Shults
Running Time: 81 minutes (1 hour, 21 minutes)
Genre(s): Drama

Ever since I saw the trailer for Krisha, I’ve been looking forward to watching this film. It is a true family affair – director Trey Edward Shults loosely created the film based on his own experiences with family members and addictions and almost all of the important roles are played by family and friends including his aunt (Krisha Fairchild), his mom (Robyn Fairchild) and his grandma (Billie Fairchild).

The film is centered around Krisha, a woman who shows up for her family’s Thanksgiving dinner after being absent for many years. Even with its very minimal budget, Shults uses Krisha’s perspective to tell a story of family dysfunction.

He does a lot of directing in just 80 minutes, appropriately letting the audience feel Krisha’s discomfort and growing anxiety throughout the day as she continues to battle her addictions while trying to repair the relationships of those she loves, including her estranged son (played by Shults himself).

Shults goes all out and sometimes it is a bit over-directed. Literally everything a director can do with a film is accomplished here from single-tracking shots to slow-motion. But for the most part, it all works marvelously, especially since it captures the dysfunction going on beneath close doors for this family.

The casting of Shults’ family and friends worked wonders for this film as well because everyone fits their role like a glove, providing the perfect amount of chemistry needed to buy all of the conflict that is involved.

To think that this is Krisha Fairchild’s first major role is astonishing. She is a true revelation here. And Robyn Fairchild apparently isn’t even an actress, but a therapist? Trey Edward Shults is likely going to move on to bigger film projects very soon, but I hope he can at least continue to cast these two in a few of his movies, even in smaller roles. They’re just great.

Krisha is bleak and hard to watch because it feels so real. And that is what makes it a good film. 4/5.

2016 Personal Ballot (updates are in bold)

Best Picture
The Handmaiden
La La Land
Hell or High Water
Sing Street

Best Director
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Park Chan-wook – The Handmaiden
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
David Mackenzie – Hell or High Water
Jon Favreau – The Jungle Book

Best Actor in a Leading Role
1. Denzel Washington – Fences
2. Joel Edgerton – Loving
3. Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
4. Ryan Gosling – La La Land
5. Chris Pine – Hell or High Water

Best Actress in a Leading Role
1. Krisha Fairchild – Krisha
2. Emma Stone – La La Land
3. Sally Field – Hello, My Name Is Doris
4. Kim Min-hee – The Handmaiden
5. Kim Tae-ri – The Handmaiden

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1. Ashton Sanders – Moonlight
André Holland – Moonlight
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
5. Trevante Rhodes – Moonlight

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1. Viola Davis – Fences
2. Janelle Monaé – Hidden Figures
3. Lucy Boynton – Sing Street
4. Naomie Harris – Moonlight
5. Robyn Fairchild – Krisha

Best Original Screenplay
1. Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
2. Sing Street – Simon Carmody, John Carney
3. La La Land – Damien Chazelle
4. Hello, My Name Is Doris – Michael Showalter, Laura Terruso

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kyung
3. Fences – August Wilson
4. Loving – Jeff Nichols
5. Krisha – Trey Edward Shults

Best Film Ensemble
1. Moonlight – Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monaé, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali
Hell or High Water – Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Marin Ireland, Katy Mixon, Dale Dickey, Kevin Rankin, Katy Mixon, Margaret Bowman
3. Fences – Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney
4. Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monaé, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge
5. The Handmaiden – Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong, Kim Hae-sook, Moon So-ri

Best Original Score
1. La La Land – Justin Hurwitz
Moonlight – Nicholas Britell
3. The Handmaiden – Cho Young-wuk
4. Loving – David Wingo
5. The Jungle Book – John Debney

Best Original Song
La La Land – “Audition” by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
Sing Street – “Drive It Like You Stole It” by Gary Clark
3. La La Land – “City of Stars” by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
4. Sing Street – “To Find You” by Gary Clark
La La Land – “Another Day of Sun” by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Best Production Design
1. The Handmaiden – Ryu Seong-hie
2. Passengers – Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena
3. La La Land – David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Stuart Craig, James Hambidge, Anna Pinnock
5. Hidden Figures – Missy Parker, Wynn Thomas

Best Cinematography
1. La La Land – Linus Sandgren
2. Moonlight – James Laxton
3. The Handmaiden – Chung Chung-hoon
4. Hell or High Water – Giles Nuttgens

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
1. Deadpool – Bill Corso
2. Suicide Squad – Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini, Christopher Nelson
3. Sing Street – Barbara Conway, Sandra Kelly
4. The Handmaiden – Song Jong-hee

Best Costume Design
1. The Handmaiden – Jo Sang-gyeong
2. Sing Street – Tiziana Corvisieri
3. La La Land – Mary Zophres
4. Hidden Figures – Renée Ehrlich Kalfus
5. Captain Fantastic – Courtney Hoffman

Best Film Editing
1. Moonlight – Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders
2. La La Land – Tom Cross
3. The Handmaiden – Kim Jae-bum, Kim Sang-bum
4. Hell or High Water – Jake Roberts
5. The Jungle Book – Mark Livolsi

Best Visual Effects
1. The Jungle Book – Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Adam Valdez
Passengers – Pete Dionne, Sebastien Gourdal, Erik Nordby
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Tim Burke, Pablo Grillo, Christian Manz, David Watkins
4. Deadpool – Alex Burdett, Jonathan Rothbart, Ryan Tudhope, Alex Wang
5. Hell or High Water – Jeremy Cox, Scott Hastings, Daniel Holt, Michael Prawitz

2016 Ranked (updates are in bold)

1. Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins)
The Handmaiden (dir. Park Chan-wook)
La La Land (dir. Damien Chazelle)
Hell or High Water (dir. David Mackenzie)
Sing Street (dir. John Carney)
Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols)
7. The Jungle Book (dir. Jon Favreau)
8. Fences (dir. Denzel Washington)
9. Krisha (dir. Trey Edward Shults)
10. Hidden Figures (dir. Theodore Melfi)
11. Deadpool (dir. Tim Miller)
12. Finding Dory (dir. Andrew Stanton)
13. Hello, My Name Is Doris (dir. Michael Showalter)
14. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (dir. David Yates)
15. Christine (dir. Antonio Campos)
16. Captain Fantastic (dir. Matt Ross)
17. Passengers (dir. Morten Tyldum)
18. Sausage Party (dir. Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon)
19. The Girl on the Train (dir. Tate Taylor)
20. Suicide Squad (dir. David Ayer)