Monday, January 15, 2018

Top 10 Films of 2017

This was a strange year for me. I found myself not fully appreciating a lot of films most people loved in 2017, while loving a handful of movies few people talked about. Ultimately, originality won out for me. And the most truly original films I saw in 2017 were challenging works that demanded my attention, and never left my mind. Some even begged me to brave them again with another viewing. If I could handle it.

Honorable Mention
Girls Trip
dir. by Malcolm D. Lee
Most people who open their hearts and minds to alternative cinema (i.e., independent, low budget, foreign, avant-garde, etc.) are routinely accused of being a film snob. We’re too critical of mainstream movies, it’s impossible for us to side with the masses. For me, that isn’t the case. I’m always looking for a good movie, no matter the cast, budget, director, setting – I’m just hoping to find something I deem worthy. I mention this because most people would not think I would enjoy a film like Girls Trip, yet, I absolutely loved it. Does it have as much “depth” as the films below? Did it “challenge” me? No, not really. But was it the funniest film of 2017? You’re damn right. The film is about four friends who travel to New Orleans for a much needed weekend of fun. Absurdity ensues, and I enjoyed watching every minute of it. Tiffany Haddish, a breakout star of the year, won me over immediately. I hope we see a lot more of her (and movies of this kind) from here on it.

10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
dir. by Martin McDonagh
Brutal, hilarious, uncompromising – all apt words to describe McDonagh’s tough-love new film. I’ve paid close attention to the other side of the argument concerning this film, and with respect, I simply do not agree with those negative takedowns. On its face, this is a movie about angst, rage and regret. But it’s also about the inverse; compassion and understanding. I will never comprehend the argument that in order for a movie to be good, it has to feature likable characters. Not all unlikeable people deserve a shot a redemption, but if they’re penned by Martin McDonagh, I’m certainly open to listening.

9. mother!
dir. by Darren Aronofsky
mother! was one of three films I saw twice in the theater in 2017. I had to put myself through it again, because I couldn’t believe it was all up there. For sheer balls alone, this film deserves recognition. Whether or not it is appreciated is a matter of taste. But mother! did things (both narratively and technically) that I hadn’t seen in a movie before. And that’s enough for me to take notice.

8. The Shape of Water
dir. Guillermo del Toro
One of the taglines for the film, Babel, was, “If you want to be understood, listen.” That has always stuck with me, and it is a perfect way to describe the importance of The Shape of Water. Del Toro wrote and developed the film long before America reached its pinnacle of absurdity, but the film is, nevertheless, a remarkably poignant commentary of the world we’re living in. And that’s just its story. The acting, cinematography, score, production design, and more, are all impeccable. It could very well be del Toro’s magnum opus. 

7. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos
The Killing of a Sacred Deer was cold as ice. Both in style and story, this thing was hard to get close to. And I couldn’t get enough of it. Was it enjoyable to watch? God no. But I appreciated it to no end. Shame it didn’t stick around longer. This movie deserved an extended, thoughtful discourse. 

6. Molly’s Game
dir. be Aaron Sorkin
A lot of 2017 movies lacked momentum for me. They began, they set-up, and then they were stuck with nowhere to go. I saw Molly’s Game late in the year, and it was like a shot of adrenaline to the heart. It woke me the hell up in a way I had been craving for months. Writers transitioning to directing can be tricky, but Sorkin’s manic energy carried through to the construction and execution of his film. I loved every minute of it. And it’s worth noting that I cried once in a movie from 2017, and that was while Kevin fuckin’ Costner sat on a bench and gave his daughter, played by Jessica Chastain, a free therapy session. Unexpected feels are the best feels. 

5. Personal Shopper
dir. by Olivier Assayas
Much like Assayas’ last film, the remarkable Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper was plagued by the all-too-common slow indie release. It premiered at Cannes in May 2016, kicked around various film festivals, until it was released quietly in the U.S. in March 2017. The movie played for two weeks, and then left without warning. Criterion quickly blessed the film with a DVD/Blu-Ray release, but Personal Shopper deserved to be in the 2017 film conversation more than it was. The film is a slow, mediative parable of loss, grief, and acceptance, featuring Kristen Stewart’s best performance, and my favorite ending to any film of the year.

4. Raw
dir. by Julia Ducournau
I heard all the stories. People puked during festival screenings! Some even passed out! It’s so gross! It’s so brutal! It’s so… raw. And, yeah, okay, I get it. Raw is a different kind of flick. The film is “about” a young, lifelong vegetarian who is exposed to horrific hazing at her new veterinarian school. Part of the hazing includes being force-feed meat, which quickly causes Justine (Garance Marillier) to have cannibalistic desires. But, of course, that isn’t what the movie is about. Raw is about the dangers of conforming, it’s about identity (specifically female sexual identity), it’s about knowing where you came from as a means of understanding who you are. Raw is one of the best cinematic metaphors for growing up that I’ve seen in years. Open your mind and give it a chance, on Netflix Instant, right now.

3. A Ghost Story
dir by. David Lowery
There were portions of A Ghost Story that I, frankly, never took to. I understood what Lowery was going for, but it felt like he was trying to fill time. When the movie finished, I brushed it off and didn’t think much more about it. But weeks later, something odd happened. I realized I had thought about the film incessantly since I left my screening of it. The damn thing wouldn’t leave; it battled around in my mind, darling me to figure it out, to accept it, to look closer. A Ghost Story is unlike any film I’ve ever seen about loss. It’s an audacious work about time – what it is, how it operates, and what we choose to do with it while we have it. I’m so thankful Lowery made this film (for $100,000!); I can’t wait to let it wash over me again.

2. Dunkirk
dir. by Christopher Nolan
I’ve been in fistfights that took less effort than it did to watch Dunkirk. And that is intended as compliment, because Christopher Nolan’s miraculous film kicked the shit out of me. I hardly breathed, and I dared not look away. I spent half of the movie trying to figure it out, and the subsequent duration with my mouth hanging open, stunned at what Nolan had pulled off. I’m always looking for something new. Something challenging, something that forces me to sit up straight and take notice. And just because a movie tries something new doesn’t mean I’m going to instinctually like it. But it does mean that I’ll pay attention. Movies that demand our full attention are becoming more and more rare. Dunkirk tried something new, and excelled at every step of the experiment. Why isn’t Nolan more in the running for the Best Director Oscar?

1. Phantom Thread
dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson
When the end title card for Phantom Thread faded in on the screen, I sat back and let out a huge sigh of relief. I put my hand over my heart, and enjoyed the moment. Because 2017, I had discovered, did indeed produce a masterpiece film. To me, the film was perfect. It was slow and gorgeous and oh so wonderfully British. It was acted to utter perfection and shot (by Anderson himself) with such beautiful confidence. The ceaseless score, by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, was a character itself, and the costumes were such a sight to behold. 

Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the most fast and furious filmmakers we have. His films are fun, angry, and ferocious. They move. But Phantom Thread explores a different area of Anderson’s psyche. It’s soft, gentle work. The humor is discrete, and the anger is contained. If this is truly to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ final performance, then what a final, glorious bow to take. Everything about his work in Phantom Thread is worth positive mention. The cadence of his voice, the manner in which he physically occupies a space (does anyone stand in a doorway more significantly than Daniel Day-Lewis?) – the man has presence in a way very few actors (living or dead) have. 

I loved everything about Phantom Thread. It is a much needed reminder that earnest, original film is alive, it’s just a bit harder to find than it used to be. Film is my life, and, so, by extension, Phantom Thread is good. Phantom Thread is life.

Fifteen More I Liked (alphabetically)
Blade Runner 2049
Brawl on Cell Block 99
Call Me By Your Name
Detroit
The Disaster Artist
The Florida Project
Good Time
I, Tonya
Lady Bird
Logan Lucky
The Lost City of Z
Song to Song
The Square
Una

44 comments:

  1. There are still a lot of movies i need to watch from 2017 like Phantom Thread, Call Me By Your Name, Molly's Game, A Ghost Story, etc. But here is my list so far:

    10. Get Out - dir. by Jordan Peele
    9. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) - dir by. Noah Baumbach (Another proof that Adam Sandler can actually be a really good actor when he tries.)
    8. Lady Bird - dir by. Greta Gerwig
    7. Wind River - dir by. Taylor Sheridan
    6. The Disaster Artist - dir by. James Franco (I love The Room and was very sceptical about this movie, but James Franco actually nailed it. I loved his performance as well.)

    5. Good Time - dir by. Joshua Safdie and Ben Safdie (This is one of those movie i knew nothing about before watching it and ended up absolutely loving it.)
    4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - dir by. Martin McDonagh (It seems like Sam Rockwell is finally gonna get his long overdue Oscar nomination for this, and he deserves to win it as well.)
    3. Dunkirk - dir by. Christopher Nolan (My favorite Nolan movie since The Prestige.)
    2. Blade Runner 2049 - dir by. Denis Villeneuve (Another brilliant movie from Denis Villeneuve. At this point he is probably my favorite director working today. I have yet to see a not great movie from him.)
    1. The Shape of Water - dir by. Guillermo del Toro (I didn't think anything would knock Blade Runner down from my number 1 spot this year, but The Shape of Water actually did it. An absolutely beautiful movie. I loved everything about it. The performances, the cinematography, the score. Everything was just perfect. I watched this movie a couple of weeks ago and i still think about it every day. I can't wait to watch it again on blu-ray.)

    Honorable mentions: Detroit, Trainspotting 2, Last Flag Flying, The Florida Project, Battle of the Sexes, Split, Personal Shopper, Logan, It Comes at Night, Mother!, Logan Lucky, I, Tonya, Brawl in Cell Block 99.

    I could keep going. This year had a ton of great movies.

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    1. Great picks. I'm glad you had such a good year! Good Time would definitely be 11 for me. I wanted to include it in my Top 10 but it just barely missed the cut. I loved the manic fuckitall energy to that film.

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    2. Yeah, Good Time was definitely the biggest surprise of the year for me. This is also the first time i have actually seen how good of an actor Robert Pattinson can be. I have previously only seen him in a couple of those Twilight movies that my girlfriend at the time dragged me to. Both him and Kristen Stewart has come a long way since then. Both of them gave two of my favorite performances this year with Good Time and Personal Shopper.

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    3. Oh hell yeah, same here. I've been rooting for Pattinson for a while, but I didn't know he had Connie in him. Great, great work.

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  2. Here's my list at the moment as I'm really hoping to see The Shape of Water, Phantom Thread, I, Tonya, The Florida Project, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and many other films. Raw is already in my 2016 list somewhere in the top five while I hope to watch Personal Shopper in the coming weeks as it's on Showtime.

    I'm interested in Girls' Trip as I heard good things about it and I'm kind of hoping for Tiffany Hadish to get an Oscar nod as I was shocked but elated that she won the New York Film Critics prize for Best Supporting Actress. It's different yet feels fresh.

    Oh, and I too used Microsoft Word on that one script I wrote.

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    1. Love that list. So cool that Dunkirk is ranked first. I can't wait to read your thoughts on Phantom Thread. That one saved the year for me. I found it to be perfect.

      And I forgot you had Twitter! I still don't know your handle, sneaky fella.

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    2. I don't have a Twitter account. I just read your Twitter scroll. I still won't use Twitter. I'd rather keep things simple and not abuse it like Dumb Man!

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    3. Smart man. I've taken a huge step back from social media the past year and a half, and it has done me well. It's crazy how quickly it stopped being a part of my life.

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  3. Man, I can get your feeling, normally I've watched 6 or 7 films of your list but this year I haven't watched any of them! I've been watching more series (Twin Peaks, etc) and a lot of classics I've never watched before. I haven't gone to the cinema since a while... last thing I saw I actually think it was Wonder Woman.

    I can't wait to watch Phantom Thread. The clips I've already seen with Greenwood's music and the whole atmosphere of it seems so eerie... I think There Will Be Blood is one of the best films I've ever seen so I hope this one doesn't disappoint.

    I want to watch The Killing of a Sacred Deer soon. I wasn't too sure about Molly's Game (despite I love Chastain and Elba) but after what you wrote I think I'm gonna watch it asap. From the rest of your list I'm eager to watch The Lost City of Z and Wind River. Sadly, I'm a bit afraid of watching the Blade Runner sequel... I wanted to go to the cinema but I saw some clips and I feel a bit disappointed, specially when I learned Jóhann Jóhannsson was not a part of it, I loved so much his work on Sicario that I was waiting for his collab in there. I guess I'll end up watching it sooner or later, though.

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    1. Ps.: Agree with what you wrote about Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (another one I want to watch, forget to mention it above). One of my favorite characters from cinema/series are not the 'likable' ones. Gemma Teller Morrow (played by Katey Sagal) from SoA will always be one of my fave characters. I could not despise her even when she did terrible things... I guess that's the beauty of it, to like the character even though it would made terrible person in real life.

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    2. I remember people shitting on unlikeable characters when Rust and Bone came out. That was my favorite film of 2012 and a lot of people told me how much they hated the film, simply because the two main characters weren't inherently good people. And look, you're allowed to dislike a movie for any reason you want, but I just don't understand that argument. But oh well.

      Phantom Thread is virtually nothing like There Will Be Blood, but it is still astounding. What an achievement. I would love to hear your thoughts on that and The Killing of a Sacred Deer as well.

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    3. Really? I didn't know people said that about that film... It's one of my favorites too! And there is one particular scene when they first met at the night club that has inspired me a lot because I had envisioned a similar one on a story I'm writing. I loved that film! It's my favorite from Audiard with Sur mes lèvres. Don't know if you've watched that one but Rust and Bone reminded me a lot to it because it's also about a very "peculiar" couple. Devos and Cassel are terrific, unique performances, Audiard has such a great taste for choosing a good couple of actors.

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    4. I haven't seen that but I want to now! And yeah, the blowback for Rust and Bone (most of which was on Twitter), was the first time I saw people saying that they couldn't like a film if it had unlikeable lead characters, which is such a silly argument. But like I said, oh wellllll.

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    5. Exactly... I love those flawed characters and I think you'll like Sur mes lèvres if you can find it. Now I've watched three films of the full list: Liked Wind River (amazing atmosphere and the way he cut to the flashback scene), didn't enjoy The Lost City of Z as I expected, and loved Personal Shopper! I was thrilled about it when I heard they were filming it and then I completely forgot about it and I felt like rewatchcing it after seeing it on your list and also a friend of mine told me I needed to watch it. All the medium stuff and the talk about Hilma Klint, it appeared on some of the books I'm translating and I find some connections to things I'm writing about too. I need to watch Clouds of Sils Maria soon, and I adored Stewart's performance. I was even scared at the ending, like really scared and I didn't expect all that from this film. I watched it a couple of days ago and I feel like rewatching it to be able to capture some details!

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    6. What I like most about The Lost City of Z is that there is still at least one director out there who has the audacity to make a movie like that, THAT way. That movie was a big, long, slow paced, shot-on-film epic that we don't see much of today. I didn't think it was great (I'd probably give it a B+), but I did think it was important. The long takes, the slow evolution of time... if only it had more Sienna Miller! I thought she was incredible in it.

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  4. I expected to see Song to Song here, I'm surprised it didn't make the cut!

    I have a few more films to watch myself before I finalize my list, but right now we share a few matches in Raw, Molly's Game, Dunkirk and Three Billboards. I'm so happy to see Molly's Game particularly because it was so much better than I expected it to be, and barely anyone talks about it.

    That tagline makes me want to revist Babel even though I fell asleep the first and only time I watched it.

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    1. Song to Song was definitely close, but I didn't fully connect with it. Much like To the Wonder (I had trouble with the Bardem sequences), parts of Song to Song lost me. But I still loved it, and I can't wait to explore it again.

      Yayyyy I'm so glad you liked Molly's Game! I don't know why people aren't talking about that one. Very odd to me. I loved every minute of it.

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  5. I saw Girls Trip last Saturday and it was a really nice film. I absolutely loved Three Billboards and Dunkirk. I also liked The Shape of Water and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Mother! and A Ghost Story are in my worst of the year list though. The first was a mess, the latter just too boring and uninteresting for me.

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    1. I certainly can't fault anyone for thinking mother! is a mess and A Ghost Story is boring and uninteresting. Those are two challenging films that were destined to polarize. But I'm glad you liked some of the others!

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  6. Once again, I didn't get around to seeing that many movies in the theater this year. I'm a disgrace to cinephilia. So, of the films I did see, only three really stood out to me.

    1. (tie) Blade Runner 2049
    I've said before that I didn't like the first Blade Runner. I thought it was a dull, awkwardly paced narrative that did not explore at all the themes it allegedly presented (I've seen the Director's Cut and Final Cut, aka the ones everyone talks about), so imagine my surprise when it's sequel was not only good, but it was everything I had hoped the first one would be. More in depth with its scope, boasting top notch performances, and some of the best visuals of the year, this film met that high bar of what science fiction could really be as a genre.

    1. (tie) The Shape of Water
    After the lackluster TV series The Strain and the visually stunning hokum of Crimson Peak, it is so goddamn refreshing to see Guillermo Del Toro return to glory like this. I still give the edge to Pan's Labyrinth as his best work, but this is pretty close. I get a smile every time I look back on it, and fully intend to go back and see it on the big screen a second time, a rarity for me.

    2. It Comes At Night
    Finally, a horror movie that doesn't feel the need to explain everything, or anything for that matter. And it is indeed a horror movie, dispite the lack of blood, guts, and jumps. The tension builds up and eats away at you throughout the runtime. Despite the mixed reaction among audiences who demand easy answers and constant jumps and gore, I have no doubt this will go down as a cult classic. Thank you Shults! Thank you A24!

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    1. (cont'd)
      In your list I also saw A Ghost Story and mother!, although I have some issues with both. With A Ghost Story, my issue is not the slow pace, which I generally prefer, but rather that it was too short, and could have gone more in depth with its story, but I still liked it. Can't believe that's the first pie Rooney Mara ever ate in her entire life!

      mother! however is a movie I genuinely hate. I appreciate that a major studio would take a risk, and hope they do that more in the future, but in this specific instance, it backfired big time. My biggest problem is its camerawork, which is among the worst I've seen. I honestly don't know why people say it's well shot. The movie's filled with what I like to call Weak-Armed Cameraman, which is when the motions are less stable than typical handheld but not quite as chaotic as jittercam. I find it very distracting, and it's damn near every shot in this movie. Not to mention all the close-ups of JLaw. She was dating the director you say? Go figure.
      Then there's the script. I love surrealist movies, and I love off-the-wall over the top movies, but it doesn't gel here. The first half is a respectable little psychological thriller, and if it were shot differently, I dare say I might have even liked it. But then all hell breaks loose, and my problem is that despite the sloppy cinematography, it's kind of boring. It's like Darren Aronofsky wanted to make a surrealist picture, but the only imagery he could think of consisted of riots and SWAT teams. The world is a shitty place, I get it. The second the mob started wrecking the house I only thought of two things: someone's gonna get torn apart and eaten and the baby was gonna die at some point. Lo and behold: the baby got torn apart and eaten. Then after the house exploded and mother and Him were talking about something along the lines of there being one more thing I said to myself "I swear if he reaches into her chest and pulls out her heart and it's that crystal thing from earlier and the ending's that 'here we go again' thing I'm gonna be pissed." Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened! Then I thought to myself as I was leaving the theater, "What, was this script written in a day?" and I was promptly shocked to learn it was written in three. It's not the wost movie I saw this year, but it's down there, behind Kong: Skull Island and Wonder Woman.

      I also saw Personal Shopper, but I think I told you how I felt about that one already.

      Been meaning to see most of the other movies mentioned as well. I wasn't sure about Phantom Thread, because while it looks gorgeous I'm not on the PTA bandwagon (Magnolia and The Master are great, Boogie Nights is very good, I'm on the fence about Punch-Drunk Love, and I hate There Will Be Blood, and will never understand the hype for it) nor am I on the DDL bandwagon (his godawful impression of Scooby-Doo doing a godawful impression of Yosemite Sam is the biggest reason I hate There Will Be Blood), but he seems to be more subdued, less cartoonish here, and I do actually like a lot of Anderson's films, I just don't think everything he touches is gold like a lot of other people do. The fact that you put at #1 on your list settles it though. I'm seeing it.

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    2. Great comments. I wouldn’t say you’re a disgrace to cinephilia. If you’re like me, maybe you feel that the new movies are letting you down a bit. I had much more fun diving into FilmStruck in 2017 than I did in the movie theater. There simply aren’t too many good new films made anymore.

      You’re the first person I’ve seen suggest that A Ghost Story could’ve been better if it was longer, but I have to agree with you. I wanted more, but I didn’t fault the film for its current length.

      We have a difference of opinion on mother!, and that’s totally fine. The cinematography in that film (from a technical standpoint) is as impressive as anything I’ve seen in years. It is definitely acquired taste, but that movie told a story with its visuals (for better or worse), which few movies bother to do today.

      I didn’t know you disliked There Will Be Blood so much. All I can say is that Phantom Thread is virtually nothing like There Will Be Blood, but I love them both. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on Phantom!

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  7. I saw Molly's Game yesterday and I just accidentally trashed it on my website. I did like it but it had the awful disadvantage of me watching it after few similar and much better films. I thought that scene with Costner was just so cliche and horribly written - really, this is the reason for her actions? - but him breaking down in the end was a very nice moment. Still it wasn't really earned because the film was all over the place and didn't properly develop this relationship. He had more to do when he wrecked that toilet sign in Hidden Figures last year.

    Dunkirk is probably gonna stay in my top 3, it's a remarkable achievement. I don't understand when people say this is not an emotional movie. I cried at least three times during it.

    Three Billboards....the backlash is so dumb. Not only are the people saying the film is about a 'racist cop' but now I read on AwardsWatch people are actually disliking Rockwell personally because he plays that guy? What? I actually thought his character was very interesting - he was dumb but he had good instincts. And just because he is appalled by men raping women doesn't mean he isn't a racist in the end. I have to assume it's insane stans of Call me by Your Name and Lady Bird writing this backlash garbage, they are so bitter about their favs not winning something

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    1. Oh how I love your comments. My appreciation for Molly’s Game had a lot to do with timing. I honestly found most of the prestige 2017 films to be incredibly dull. And that thing was fully energized and I dug it. And I too agree that Dunkirk is very emotional.

      The last sentence of your comment is everything. I will never understand shitting on a movie just because it is taking awards attention away from a movie you like.

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    2. It's just disgraceful. I shit on Call me By Your Name and Lady Bird because they bored me to tears not because Chalamet took Jackman's spot (which he had no chance of getting) or because Ronan is winning with Robbie when it comes to Comedy awards.

      My shitting is always noble.

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    3. Yes, it certainly is. And hilarious. No one shits on something quite like you. So excited for today's RF.

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  8. Amazing list! I still have not seen Phantom Thread, but most years, I find, we pretty much have the same top pick. I obviously cannot wait to see it.

    I always have a very hard time ranking movies by how 'good' or 'well made' they are, so I mostly rely on how much I was emotionally invested in the film. From that perspective, my list would look like this:

    1- Call Me By Your Name
    2- mother!
    3- Dunkirk
    4- A Ghost Story
    5- The Shape of Water
    6- Blade Runner 2049
    7- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    8- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    9- BPM (Beats Per Minute)
    10- Baby Driver


    (I still haven't seen Wait quite yet, but I did not forget you! I will get to it as soon as I can and write back to you about the whole thing, including your "making of" posts.)

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    1. Oh, I completely agree with you. My Top 10s aren't about ranking what film is "better" than the others, it's about which ones I connected to the most. Very well said.

      Great list! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Phantom Thread. And no rush at all about seeing Wait! I will be so grateful for you to take the time to watch it.

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  9. Thanks for sharing! A number of this year’s crop seem to be divisive, Sacred Deer, Song to Song, Personal Shopper, Raw, A Ghost Story, Three Billboards, Mother!

    And a notable year for LGBTQ and horror! At least looks that way. Wouldn’t surprise me if transgender drama A Fantastic Woman (which I haven’t watched) wins Oscar for Foreign Language Film.

    Many I’ve yet to see from 2017, my top 10, today:

    1. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)
    2. Good Time (Safdie’s)
    3. Get Out (Jordan Peele)
    4. The Square (Ruben Östlund)
    5. Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan)
    6. On Body and Soul (Ildikó Enyedi)
    7. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)
    8. War for the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves)
    9. Spielberg (documentary) (Susan Lacy)
    10. Thelma (Joachim Trier)

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    1. Great picks. I really need to see Thelma. It looked perfectly suited for my tastes. And I agree, very divisive year for many films. Glad we agree on a number of them. Good Time was my number 11, for sure.

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  10. Glad to see Girls Trip get an HM. I had a blast watching that one and Haddish absolutely killed it.

    Still working my way through a lot of 2017's movies so I've only seen 3 of your top 10 to this point. I'm sorting out my feelings on The Shape of Water, which I just watched. Raw and Dunkirk are the other two and both are outstanding. My review of the latter will go up tomorrow.

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    1. Wouldn't it be great it Haddish landed an Oscar nom? It's an insanely tough category this year but I would just love it.

      The Shape of Water fully resonated with me a few days after I watched it. That thing is just so damn pretty, and compelling.

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  11. Gahh I wish I loved Shape of the Water more. I think I love Pan's Labyrinth too much and it felt like similar but not as great territory.

    YASSS to mother!, Raw and Killing of Sacred Deer. I still haven't watched a few of these and some of them definitely require a rewatch like Dunkirk.

    My favourite of the year is still Wonder Woman. It's really weird. I know it's not a perfect film in any way but that is one movie that really moved me this year like no other yet. But like it's still not in the level of my other number 1s of yesteryears so I'm still holding out hope.

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    1. Wasn't Raw great? They went for it with that one. I loved that damn movie.

      I'm glad you liked Wonder Woman, an important film for today, certainly. And I agree, as years go on, my number 1 of the year isn't in the same class as previous year's number 1s. Phantom Thread is an exception. That's one I'll remember and rewatch for years and years.

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  12. Cool list! Unfortunately, I think I've only seen three movies listed here, but your picks are interesting. A lot of them are on my to-watch list. Your thoughts on Phantom Thread has really made me excited; I'm in need of a quiet, gorgeous, beautiful utterly British movie, especially set in the 1950s. lol 2017 seems like a very personal year for people to define their favorites or least favorites. There wasn't a lot of movies that captured everyone's attention at once in a positive way. A lot of the conversations have been so divisive; people either strictly love or hate something, and there's very little room in-between.

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    1. That's a good way to sum up 2017 in movies, but I also think that's where our culture is at (with certain age groups). "Listen to me: it's great." "NO, listen to ME: it sucks!" Garbage like that. Now, perhaps more than ever, it seems important to certain people that if they hated a movie others loved, they must let as many people as possible know how much they hated it.

      But yes, Phantom Thread is sooooo good. I can't wait to see it again!

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  13. DUDE. I just saw Phantom Thread hours ago, but my top 2 might be the same. But Blade Runner 2049. That one has stayed with me. LOVE that The Killing of a Sacred Deer made it as well.

    I've seen all but Molly's Game and The Square, so I might put together the CinSpecs sooner than expected this year. Under my new system, something like The Death of Stalin will be in 2017, so I could update the ballot later anyways. I'm low-key dying to post them and my top 10 list ASAP.

    Also, I meant to tell you I finally watched Wait. Hope to see another feature from you, buddy! :)

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    1. Yeah I'm always in a mad dash to get my list posted, because ultimately, it's impossible to see everything. (Happy End - where are you?!). Blade Runner 2049 has stayed with me too. It was so big and beautiful. What do you think, could it finally be Deakins' year?

      Dude, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to watch Wait. I really (really, really) appreciate that!

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  14. Great list. mother!, Sacred Deer, Personal Shopper, and Raw are four films that were generally appreciated but that I felt were beyond exceptional to the point of being near-masterpieces. I totally adore those movies, far more than I expected to actually. Also, our top 2 films for the year are exactly the same! I cannot get Phantom Thread out of my head, and have been listening to the score nonstop ever since. I suppose if I had to do a list, it would look like this:

    HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, Logan Lucky, The Post, Good Time, Baby Driver, Song to Song).

    10. Paddington 2 (I laughed, I cried. Probably one of the best animated kids films ever made).
    9. The Last Jedi (just so much goddamn fun, and not too long at all in my opinion; I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did)
    8. Personal Shopper
    7. The Meyerowitz Stories (took a couple of viewings, but this is quietly one of the best family dramas of its kind in a long time)
    6. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    5. mother!
    4. The Florida Project (holy SHIT this movie completely floored me. If I were a filmmaker, this would be a direct inspiration. Sean Baker is a very special talent)
    3. Blade Runner 2049 (this was loved when released then seemingly totally forgotten about, which I don't get. This is one of the best sequels I have ever seen.)
    2. Dunkirk
    1. Phantom Thread

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    1. Great list, so happy you shared it here. Paddington 2 was absolutely fucking delightful and I loved it as much as the first. Yes, one of the best animated kids films ever, no question. So happy our top 2 are the same.

      And The Florida Project - loved it. I really did. However, somewhat curiously, that one didn't stick around in my mind for very long after seeing it. I need to see it again though, certainly.

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  15. I'll vote only "Dunkirk". This movie is a one of the best and classic story in the world. I watched it and i enjoyed that

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  16. I'm still trying to catch up on 2017 films, but there's my favorite 3.

    3. The Disatser Artist
    2. The Shape of water
    1. Blade Runner 2049

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    1. Great picks. I need to check out BR2049 again. That thing was so damn big. Loved it.

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