Best films of 2017

Alright movie lovers ๐Ÿ™‚ Here we are again. Honestly, it feels like last week that I did my best of 2016 movies list. I guess time really does fly when we look back. How have you guys been? I’ve been quite caught up with University and haven’t written as many reviews as I would’ve liked to but I certainly tried to catch as many films as I could in my free time. This year’s been a blast for film. Anyone who says ‘Oh this year was bad’ doesn’t have a clue what they’re saying. The past year has provided us with some of the most ferocious and passionate films. It is a year of genre-mashing, intimate portraits of human frailty and strength and utterly heart-stopping pictures filled with imagination. Above all, as a collective, films have progressively embraced a higher purpose and value to art beyond entertainment. They illuminate and spotlight the stories on the streets, in communities we have little access to, and of people that are easily typecast, misjudged or forgotten.

And if you fancy something a little different, take a step back from 2018 and re-visit some of the most original gems of the previous year.ย  Hey I haven’t seen Brigsby Bear and I heard its such a lovely film ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe you’ll find something on my list worth having a look at. Without further ado, here are my best films of 2017.

But first, a special tribute toย Twin Peaks: The Return

This thing blew my mind. Straight up deconstructed me and put me back in ways I can’t even fathom. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. . Showtime gave Lynch full creative control. And now we have quite possibly one of the greatest artistic creations in the history of art and cinema. Ultimately, Twin Peaks is about our identity, our ghosts and our immaterial selves. But just as Twin Peaks can be haunting, it is also hilarious. No matter how abstract it is, Twin Peaks is also honest and grounded.

Might not be your cup of tea, but I say give it a shot if you haven’t seen it. By far the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And I don’t say that lightly.

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Now for my top 10…

10. Logan

At number 10, Logan is the superhero movie that isn’t. It reinvents the genre and sidesteps trite tropes we’ve seen all too many times in superhero movies. Its violent in nature, mature in themes and serious about what it wants to convey. Ultimately, it succeeds as a gritty neo-western about death, decay and redemption. I’ve been dying to see a commercial superhero movie subvert conventions,take risks and not be afraid to become more than a genre film. And I got it. Logan is the dark realist drama that is both entertaining and hard-hitting.

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9. Dunkirk

Above all things, Dunkirk is a war poem played out on screen. From the ticking soundtrack to the vicarious nature of its scenes, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a transporting experience; I felt like I was actually in the war. No other war movie is as immersive, nerve-wrecking and tense.

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8. A Ghost Story

A Ghost Story baffles only those who can’t see past the film’s unorthodox way of telling a narrative. If you can see past a ghost in a white sheet, A Ghost Story is an extremely powerful and moving look at life, death, love and time. Most ingenious of all is how A Ghost Story deals with people experiencing grief and loss in ways that are so original and yet so grounded in the passage of life itself. David Lowery has created a surreal film with plenty of heart and soul.

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7. Lady Macbeth

You might already know that I like dark films. The kind that’s pitch-black and leaves me awake for days. William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth is an absolutely stunning and dark film. It is relentless, visually arresting and just so terrifying. The lines of morality have been re-drawn in this Victorian-era film and will subvert your values in shocking ways. Both an emblem of female strength and a brutal examination of dominant patriarchy, Lady Macbeth is a piercing and provocative experience.

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6. On Body And Soul

On Body And Soul is, personally, the most beautiful and important love story of last year. Eccentric, brutal, subtle and raw, On Body And Soul features the love story between a handicapped man and a woman on the autism spectrum. Between their shared dreams of deers in winter and the meat slaughterhouse that they work in real life, On Body And Soul is a film about the difficulties of connecting with someone else. The unfailing desire to connect, made even more difficult by their personal handicaps is a heart-wrenching tribute to our imperfections.

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5. Lady Bird

How does a film so perfectly capture the experience of teenage-hood? I can’t describe how much I was personally invested in it. From the subtle squabbles to the big fights, from little ebbs and flows of happiness, confusion and grief, Lady Bird captures the tumult of youth in all its beauty and heart-break. There is an understated greatness to Lady Bird that feels so natural.

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4. The Shape Of Water

The Shape Of Water’s is luminous, lovely and intimate. Guillermo Del Toro’s unique take on the classic fairy-tale is set in the cold war where political tension between nations provide the backdrop to a cast of misfits who just want to love and be loved. The romance between a mute woman and an underwater creature is oddly beautiful at first and then so touching as the film progresses. The Shape Of Water’s beauty is interspersed with moments of nudity and brutality which is, I think, Del Toro’s way of conveying how animalistic humans can be; That a lack of empathy and compassion will rob us of our humanity. On the flip-side, love can save us all. The Shape Of Water is filled with love and my heart is always warm whenever I think of it.

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3. Menashe

Menashe’s modest characters and story make it even more affecting, emotional and thought-provoking. A Hasidic Jewish community in New York is at the center of this film. In it, a man whose wife just passed on, is fighting for custody of his son due to the rules and restrictions of his religious community that prevent him from doing so. It is a raw and tender look at how humans,no matter who we are or what we believe in, will react as universally as any other human. Menashe is equal parts funny, sad, beautiful,compassionate and warm-hearted. Never one to judge its characters or their society, Menashe is a heart-wrenching film about real human beings in societies that can sometimes make it hard for us to be one. I cried the most I’ve ever cried in a film.

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2. Graduation

Graduation may be one of the most complex and accomplished films ever. Cristian Mungiu’s drama about a girl who is assaulted right before her big exams and her father who tries to navigate moral lines to help his daughter is both deeply personal and political. Mungiu’s film is a powerful satire of Romania and its systems of bureaucracy. Ultimately, it is a poignant look at the extent to which moral boundaries have to be broken by the common man just to survive in rigid and corrupt bureaucratic societies. It is a fantastic film of lost dreams, regrets, tragedy and the corruption of people by their social environments. There was so much I could relate to in this one.

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1. 120 Beats Per Minute

I had a very difficult time deciding my top 7 films of this list because anyone of them could have been my favourite movie of 2017. Literally. Each one of them had a unique voice and perspective, with something powerful, interesting and resonant to say about us and our world. But alas, upon reflection, there was one movie that truly stole my heart. 120 Beats Per Minute is an exceptional film. Hard-hitting yet brimming with life, 120 Beats Per Minute celebrates the lives of Act-Up activists in Paris and charts their struggle to promote awareness and progress in AIDS treatment. Visually jaw-dropping and powerful acting make the film an intense, transporting and moving experience. With a rousing defiance, 120 Beats Per Minute is about the struggle of a community and the strength of a collective. In the face of death, disease and apathy, they respond with passion, fervour and life.

Dynamic, heart-pounding, tragically sad yet fearlessly passionate, 120 Beats Per Minute is already one of my favourite films ever.

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The complete listย 

  1. 120 Beats Per Minute
  2. Graduation
  3. Menashe
  4. The Shape Of Water
  5. Lady Bird
  6. On Body And Soul
  7. Lady Macbeth
  8. A Ghost Story
  9. Dunkirk
  10. Logan

Honorable mentions: Wind River, I Am Not A Witch, Mudbound, Good Time, The Florida Project, Loveless, Princess Cyd, Blade Runner 2049, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out

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Bring on 2018! Hope you guys enjoyed this post and tell me what movies did you love in 2017?

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark Walker says:

    Great to hear your love for Twin Peaks. It’s was marvellous wasn’t it? I adored it.

    As for films, I reckon Blade Runner 2049 is the best of the year. It had everything and I’m astonished that the oscars ignored it for Best Picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved it so SO much. And I can’t contain it haha. And I originally wanted to put it in my list and make a concession haha ๐Ÿ˜›

      I really liked Blade Runner 2049. Villeneuve’s always on point with whatever he directs and was happy to see a commercial art-house film. I found it rather slow in certain areas and didn’t feel for some of it. But it was a very beautiful and thought-provoking film ๐Ÿ˜„

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Keith says:

    Oh man, love seeing films I still need to see. Iโ€™ve almost watched Menashe several times but put it off. Itโ€™s instantly moved up on my โ€˜watch listโ€™. And Graduation sound fantastic. Iโ€™m hoping itโ€™s easy to find.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you get to watch them! Menashe’s such a modest little story that’s big on emotion and also very observant. It’s actually adapted from the real life of the main actor (who is fantastic as a first time actor). He’s going against his community’s rules to act in a film, which makes the film’s themes even more realistic. Graduation is such a powerful and smart satire.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t heard of a handful of these! Great list! I’m so happy to see that you included A Ghost Story too…it flew so under the radar…probably bc Affleck sucks as a human.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope you’ll be able to catch some of them! I have never seen anything like A ghost story and that pie scene was like watching real life. I really liked the neighbour ghost scenes โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s definitely not an accessible movie for everyone, but I felt strangely connected to it. The neighbor scene was fantastic…so eerie!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah it’s so eerie. I do think people have to be open minded about it. It might seem whimsical and absurd but it’s actually so moving and interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jade says:

    Yay I was looking forward to reading this list! ๐Ÿ™‚ And it looks like I have quite a few good movies to catch. Haven’t heard of Menashe and Beats per Minute before, but they sound genuinely compelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. โ˜บ๏ธ Hope you get to watch them!! Menashe and Beats Per Minute were so good, I can’t recommend them enough ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  5. One or two good watches here.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha hey Peggy! ๐Ÿ˜‰ What were some of your favourite movies of 2017?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of your listing – Logan, The Shape of Water, would be it. Some of the others would be on my worst list tho!!! hahahahah I don’t have a super 10 – but I loved 3 Billboard, The Shape of Water, War for PLanet of the Apes, A Fantastic Woman, Film Stars Don’t die in Liverpool, Ingrid Goes West, maybe a few more that i can’t think of off top of my head.. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  6. Wendell says:

    I’ve only seen 3 of your top 10 (Logan, Dunkirk, and The Shape of Water. All of those are fantastic. Haven’t seen the rest, but I’m particularly interested in your top choice. Before now, I’ve never even heard of it. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chris says:

    Good list! I enjoyed Twin Peaks The Return too. For me, E8 and E18 were amazing and took TV to new heights.

    Of your top 10, On Body and Soul and Dunkirk I loved. Lady Macbeth I liked and had a great performance by Florence Pugh

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kamal S. says:

    The shape of water, i love that movie

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Auditor says:

    Good selection there. I’m also a huge fan of film and have recently compiled a list of my top 5 films. I’m quite new to blogging and would really appreciate it if you could check out my stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading the post fellow film lover! I’m so terribly sorry for the late reply, could you link your site here and I’ll definitely check your stuff out! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

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