Here’s my own damn list of favorites for 2017…
Best Pictures of 2017
- Logan (Best Picture)
- Wind River (Best Screenplay)
- Dunkirk (Best Visuals & Sound)
- Get Out
- Coco (Best Director)
- Lady Bird
- Thor: Ragnarok
- John Wick: Chapter 2
- A Ghost Story
Honorable Mentions: War for the Planet of the Apes, Baby Driver, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, T2 Trainspotting, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Florida Project, It Comes at Night, The Shape of Water, Stronger
Best Actresses of 2017
- Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
- Elizabeth Olsen – Wind River
- Anne Hathaway – Colossal
- Rooney Mara – A Ghost Story
- Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
- Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project
- Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
- Dafne Keen – Logan
Best Actors of 2017
- Jeremy Renner – Wind River
- Hugh Jackman – Logan
- Colin Farrell – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
- Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
- Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger
- Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Ewan McGregor – T2 Trainspotting
- Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
I feel like every year gets harder for me to get the list under twenty and this year was no exception. It was a fun year, for sure.
In my opinion, Pixar has been way off its narrative game ever since Toy Story 3, but boy did they deliver big time with Coco. It’s about family and their role in supporting you and your dreams. It’s about the want to create music or any kind of art and not compromise in that creation. And it’s about not having to choose between the thing you love and the people you love. It’s a beautiful movie.
If Get Out was just a psychological thriller, it would be a very competent one, but there’s so much more. It’s a very sharp, very in your face social satire wrapped in a genre movie. Writer/director, Jordan Peele, cleverly illustrates how casual suburban, middle-upper class racism, despite contradictory assertion, is just as vile as blatant hatred. He criticizes white liberal hyperbole and speaks to people who believe they’re of a common cause against racism, but unknowingly make things harder for black people. The writing is tight, there’s a ton a lighthearted laughs and scares to break up the deliberately uncomfortable moments, and the lead, Daniel Kaluuya, is perfect.
Dunkirk is a flick that begs to be seen big and loud. It’s a horror movie at its core in that you’re watching all of these people and you know that it’s probably not going to end well for them. Nolan has never been a good director of human emotions, but he’s an amazing technical director and this one proves once again he’s a master of his art.
Wind River is the third movie in Taylor Sheridan’s “American frontier trilogy” and the first one he’s directed. It continues on the theme set by the previous two movies, Sicario and Hell or High Water, in that it’s about of the death of the Native American population and how people and companies don’t give two shits about it. The film is icy and bleak, but still richly textured due to Sheridan’s characterizations of its people and places. Jeremy Renner isn’t an actor I would say has a ton of range, but his performance here goes to show you how good anyone can be in the right director’s hands. Elizabeth Olsen has done amazing performances in the past and this one was definitely a return to form. It’s a remarkable movie all around.
I could have easily made Wind River my favorite of the year and been perfectly happy, but kept going back to one over and over again.