Top 10 2017

by | May 27, 2020 | 0 comments

2017 has been one of the best years for films in a while, at least in quality if not for the box office. Each genre has had revitalization, from the western with Hostiles and Wind River, to the romantic comedy with The Big Sick, to horror with Split and Get Out. It’s been hard to whittle down just 10 films for this list, in any other year many of the films not in this final cut could easily have been the film of the year. Nevertheless, here is our top 10:

10. War for Planet of the Apes

This final entry in the supposed Apes franchise is a philosophical analysis in what it means to be human. The nuanced performances by the motion-capture actors and some of the most state of the art effects we have seen yet in cinema bring together a unique movie-going experience.

9. The Florida Project

This gentle view into the lives of children in working-class Orlando, Florida shows us the innocence in a child’s perspective, and yet we see the struggle of single mothers and the hotel manager (played by a brilliant Willem Dafoe) to try and become meaningful figures in the lives of these youngsters. Sean Baker’s work proves him to be a director with an incredibly endearing eye for people’s stories.

8. The Big Sick

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani drew on the true story of their relationship, and together they’ve produced the funniest film of the year, with a beautiful romance and a stellar supporting role by Holly Hunter. The film in itself also shows us a view into the lives of normal Muslims in America, which today, unfortunately, is too big of a breakthrough in film.

7. Get Out

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut proves to be a delightful surprise as he brings us not only a gripping horror film but also an impactful analysis at post-racial America without seeming too political. Peele’s subtle hand as a screenwriter and director is a welcome breath of fresh air in today’s very white-male directorial body.

6. Lady Bird

Another directorial debut, this time by Greta Gerwig shows us life in Sacramento through the eyes of a high school senior girl. The stakes of the entire social life of Lady Bird (played by a powerful Saorise Ronan) envelops us as we enter a world of quirkiness and social stress. Having a female protagonist in a middle-class America-set film is such a novelty in cinema that it’s hard to not see Lady Bird’s perspective as incredibly refreshing.

5. Hostiles

Scott Cooper’s western is a beautiful epic brought to life by a stellar Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike. The film is a testament to the determination of human survival and the ruthlessness of nature and mankind alike. Hostiles stands out like a sore thumb in the dying genre for all the good reasons, and one only hopes that it’s enough to keep the Old West alive on screen.

4. The Post

Steven Spielberg’s latest has the legendary director pair with two legendary actors: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. Together, this team of legends brings us a story about press freedom and keeping power in check in a moment in time in which the world seems to be falling from the grasp of the people. This expertly executed and thrilling journalistic investigation film could not have been released at a more perfect time.

3. Call Me By Your Name

The word that one will see as a pattern in describing Luca Guadagnino’s latest film is: “delicate.” Adapted to the screen by the veteran screenwriting legend James Ivory, the story of a love affair between a young boy and a young man over a summer in Italy is as poetic a film can become, the filmmaker expertly draws us into the moment so that we can feel the hazy Italian sun drench over two great performances from breakout Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.

2. The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro’s passion project is a mesh of many genres in film, but it somehow manages to extract the best from each and infuse it into his film. The result is a fairy-like tale of romance and adventure that will draw you into the screen and make you glad that you have eyes and ears to experience such a magical episode.

1. Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest auteur directors out there, and he took on the war-movie stereotypes boldly by bringing us the most unique view into a battle (or retreat I should say) yet. The result is a gripping tale about human survival, where the politics and philosophies don’t matter, only dodging a bullet and keep on breathing. The expert execution forces the most impactful movie-going experience you will have this year.

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