by Ian Morton
Another interesting year has come and gone with some serious ups and downs for film fans. Studios have merged, records broken and the unexpected has become the new norm. As we start the countdown to a new year, it seems fitting to sum up the one before with the best films of 2017, in no particular order!
Paying homage to something is a hard thing to do, particularly when you are paying homage to ‘the best worst movie ever’. Directed, produced and starring James Franco, this is a comedy that has more heart than most other films out there.
Merging his signature style with the dramatic events of World War 2, director Chris Nolan manages to layer 3 events with a range of timelines to generate the most compelling cinematic experience of the year. With an inception-esque story that will leave you hooked to the final pin-drop moment, this is certainly one that you will want to see with the lights off and the sound up loud!
Expanding upon the original, the legendary LA setting is familiar to fans but eye opening to series newcomers. From director Denis Villeneuve, the film is a masterclass in how to frame, build and develop upon its history, while at the same time embedding a little mystery of its own. Heightened further by a great lead performance from Ryan Gosling and the result is a film that will leave you arguing over its meaning for years to come.
There isn’t a lot out there like Mother! With most of its enjoyment linked to how much you connect to its themes, this is certainly one that will either be firmly at the top of your top 10 or bottom of your worst! Striking visuals paired with an truly mind-blowing plot make this a film you certainly won’t be forgetting any time soon!
A Ghost Story
One of the more obscure movies at the cinema was without a doubt A Ghost Story. Its pensive look into death is a lot to handle in its opening frames but once about halfway through, the film splits from its past to tell an entirely different story altogether. Heartfelt, reflective and incredibly grounded, this is easily one of the most existential experiences you will have while watching a film.
Surpassing expectations in every way, IT impressed audiences and demolished September records to become financially one of the best films of the year. By shifting focus to the kids rather than generic horror set pieces, the reboot does more than just adequately adapt the well loved novel for the big screen, it expands upon it. With Bill Skarsgard bringing Pennywise to life, the classic tale is as much about the characters as it is the scares.
Kumail Nanjiani manages to breath life back into the rom-com genre with an honest look at people and relationships they have with one another. Charming, funny and brilliantly grounded, this film was made for date night and a big box of popcorn.
Released in the early part of 2017, La La Land thoroughly shook the January blues with an infectious soundtrack and suitably melancholic story. From its huge opening number on a highway off-ramp to its closing dream swipe, this was a film that paid as much tribute to the past as it did reinvent a genre.
If you are looking for something a little different to watch as the new year approaches, then Raw is the one for you. The French horror from director Julia Ducournau is a spine tingling look at family, social pressures and cannibalism. It’s grizzly, it’s creepy but above else, it’s brilliant!
After the success of Deadpool last year, it seemed that audiences were more than prepared for more adult oriented superhero adventures. Taking this lesson to heart, director James Mangold used this platform to not only deliver a Wolverine film fans had always wanted but also wrap up Hugh Jackmans run as the iconic X-man. Using a brutal dystopian future as its back drop, the story explores the character in ways that have not been possible and has performances that make this one of the best superhero movies today.
What did you guys think of the films this year? Are your lists similar or have I just been watching the wrong movies? Let me know in the comments below!