Spring Review: Trollbäck+Company’s Favorite Films of the Year

As Oscar Season swiftly approaches, Trollbäck+Company’s top creatives took some time out of their busy schedules to give us some thoughts on their favorite Academy Award-nominated (and snubbed) films of the year.

In this industry, it’s important to stay inspired and keep connected to what’s going on in mainstream culture. Our top film picks help reveal what moves us here at the studio, and the diversity of thought within our creative team that’s integral to running a creative agency like ours.

Now, let’s see if the Academy agree with our recommendations.


CCO Alex Moulton: Coco

Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film

Pixar does an amazing job at telling stories that connect with you. That was my issue with almost every other movie I saw this year. You might have a great idea for a story, for instance, “The Shape of Water” or “The Florida Project,” but then either the plot falls apart or something happens where the story just doesn’t emotionally connect.

On the surface, “Coco” was a very simple idea. The movie takes all of these family and Latin traditions and makes you really understand why paying attention to that is so important right now. The film also did such a good job of weaving together different stories — it pulls out all the heartstrings, but there’s also a murder mystery in the center of it all. It’s a film that makes you cry.


ECD Elliott Chaffer: The Disaster Artist

Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay

I like the fact that Franco directed it in character. To know that character so well, to be that character, and to play that character… I think it would be interesting to see what the behind-the-scenes was like and to see how meta you could actually get.

What was also interesting to me about “The Disaster Artist” was that it was quite genuinely told. It wasn’t as pointed as you’d expect it to be. It’s just the truth. Plus, it’s basically a parody for what’s going on in politics in the United States of America. It’s just so on point, so meta.


CD Rosie Garschina: Lady Bird

Nominated for Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Director, Lead Actress and Supporting Actress

There’s the film itself and then there’s the cultural moment that it is capturing, which I think is another reason why it’s important.

It’s a female story, written and directed by a woman. “Lady Bird” is really a reflection of our time and the discussions we should be having about equal opportunity and representation.

There’s also the honesty of the characters. Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan’s relationship is terrible and flawed, but so accurate to what the mother and daughter relationship really is. I loved seeing an honest depiction of that relationship, which I think is not often celebrated or acknowledged in film.


AD Ben Nichols: Good Time


For me, this movie came out of nowhere. I hadn’t heard a thing about it before I saw it. I suppose it felt to me like a video clip that went on for two hours. It just kept going… this comedy of errors, of all these events, just going downhill.

I also think “Good Time” was really well acted. It’s a role you wouldn’t expect for someone like Robert Pattinson. The film had this weird way about it, too. It was shot so well, while reflecting this strange sort of cross-section of culture that comes out late at night. It had this depressing, real message, like: while everyone is sleeping, this is the shit that’s really going on.


CD Brian Bowman: Blade Runner 2049

Nominated for Best Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design and Visual Effects

“Blade Runner 2049” is a visual feast for the eyes. I think it was a great extension of the original story, which I’m also a fan of. I think Villeneuve is an amazing film director — I don’t think he’s made a bad movie, which is saying a lot.

It’s interesting, the film makes you really question what reality or human sentience is. For instance, Alan Turing’s theory is that if a computer can fake you out enough, then it isn’t a computer, and therefore it’s real. I felt like that’s what this film was about — not this confrontation between us and technology, but the effervescence of that technology and the emotions and experiences we have around it.