Last week we gave you our critical take on the year's best music and film, and asked for your opinions in our favourite annual tradition – the Ticket Awards.
So far you've responded in your droves – but there's still plenty of time to influence the results. At midnight on Sunday, December 11th, we'll close the polls on this year's edition. To vote, go to irishtimes.com/ culture/the-ticket-awards. You'll find our critics choices across a range of film and music categories. But if you don't agree with our picks, you can nominate your own in each category – just click on the dropdown menu. And everyone who enters is in with a chance of winning one of our fantastic prizes.
So what’s the form guide like so far? As far as best band is concerned, you could be forgiven for thinking that Radiohead would come home comfortably. But as things stand, the Oxford outfit are fighting for your affections in a very tight race – and the competition is largely Irish. Bell X1 and The Gloaming are on the top of most people’s lists, with just a few days to go.
Over in the best Irish category, the same pair feature strongly, but they'll have to fight off the main contender – one James Vincent McMorrow. Perhaps the most surprising bit yet is the superb showing by Saint Sister, who are proving hugely popular with Ticket readers, after a thoroughly successful year for Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty.
In our initial poll, the best track category proved one of the most diverse – you can see for yourself how many different tracks our critics liked on our Spotify playlist, which is available at http://bit.ly/2hibLyG (minus Tidal-loving Beyoncé of course). But as far as Ticket readers are concerned it's a much more straightforward affair. Beyoncé's Formation is challenging anyone to a fight, and so far the only one with the stones to take her on is Radiohead's Daydreaming. Anohni's Four Degrees (my own personal favourite) is coming up third. And despite being a critical darling, you might ask, whither Kanye? Whither Kanye indeed, with barely a sound from him among the readers' picks so far.
As for your favourite album of the year, it's proving a much tougher ride for the favourites. Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool is being edged out by Beyonce's Formation, which is having its own battle with local favourite We Move by James Vincent McMorrow. But currently slapping the chops off the lot of them is David Bowie's Blackstar. Well if you're going to be outclassed, it might as well be to something as superior as that.
Over in our film categories, it's one blazing row after another. In the best performance category – where we listed nine women and just one man in our suggestions – it appears that so far, Ticket readers largely agree with us that women dominated the acting game in 2016. Brie Larson, for Room, and Amy Adams in Arrival (no doubt benefitting from a recent big opening in cinemas) are both top of the pile. But close behind is Seána Kerslake for her stunning turn in Irish film A Date for Mad Mary.
Best Irish film is a dogfight. Mad Mary is throwing great shapes, and showing Room and Sing Street who's boss at the moment. But The Young Offenders, which had the highest opening weekend of any Irish film last year and went on to go well past the €1million mark, is currently the one to beat.
Best film at the moment is largely about Arrival, but it appears that Ticket readers are a bunch of lefty pinkos as well, as I, Daniel Blake is featuring very strongly. Also on the up is Pete's Dragon, perhaps proving that you are likely made of nicer stuff than our cynical editorial team.
Those are the favourite, but if there is one thing we’ve learned this year it’s that when it comes to elections anything can happening. So get voting and let this be one of the few polls this year that we can be pleased with.