The 2018 Academy Awards are upon us, and the nine nominated movies for best picture are immersed in controversy. 2017 was the year spotlighting hot topic issues; the year of #metoo, and the scandals that rocked Hollywood to it’s core.
While previous years have been suffocated by #OscarsSoWhite, I thought this year’s content was more progressive with subject matter, but apparently I’m a little off base. The Guardian asks relevant questions like “is Three Billboards racist? Is The Shape of Water plagiarized? Is Call Me by Your Name pedophilic? And, most importantly, why have this year’s films struck such a nerve?”
Let’s not forget that I, Tonya managed to be snubbed from Oscar nomination glory, because critics and moviegoers argued that the subject of domestic abuse was handled carelessly. Ugh…some of these gripes are really reaching y’all…
It’s truly the year where no film goes un-scrutinized, and while I can argue against some, I can’t argue against all complaints. Let’s not forget that movies aren’t judged on merit, but are elected and campaigned to be the best. But does that make them the best of the best? This year has had much to celebrate cinematically, but it’s been weird wading through another controversial year in Hollywood.
On a happier note, let’s all raise a glass to future Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell!!
Here are my top 10 personal favorite films of 2017.
Plot: “The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.”
Director: James Gunn
Actors: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista
Bottom Line: I had absolutely no idea that a comic book movie could be so emotionally intense. As much as I loved volume 1, volume 2 was an even better cinematic ride for me, and I remain stunned as to how this series got me into the comic book universe!
Plot: “A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit.”
Director: Martin McDonagh
Actors: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell
Bottom Line: This is one of those movies that highlights the greatest acting abilities of it’s entire cast. Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson are at the top of their game here. Watch out, Oscars, Three Billboards is coming for you!
Plot: “At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.”
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Actors: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon
Bottom Line: Holy hell is Sally Hawkins triumphant in this role! While I don’t think del Toro deserves the Best Director Academy Award, I can agree that this is some damn good work from one of Hollywood’s most unique directors.
Plot: ” In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X, somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world, and his legacy, are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces. ”
Director: James Mangold
Actors: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen.
Bottom Line: Probably one of the most well-crafted comic book movies of a generation, Logan doesn’t follow the typical narrative one would expect from Marvel (or DC). It goes above and beyond, and it’s another Marvel masterpiece that has my eye on the comic book universe. WHERE ARE THE ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS FOR THIS FILM???
Plot: “After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.”
Director: Edgar Wright
Actors: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm
Bottom Line: While some of my blogger friends weren’t as jazzed about this movie as I was, it’s undeniable that this is one hell of a ride. With such an all-star cast, this is another homerun hit for director Edgar Wright. Plus, how adorable is Ansel Elgort?
Plot: “A young girl risks everything to prevent a powerful, multinational company from kidnapping her best friend – a fascinating beast named Okja.”
Director: Joon-ho Bong
Actors: Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Seo-Hyun Ahn
Bottom Line: After watching the Netflix original movie Okja, I was an emotional wreck and am looking at food in a whole new light. Director Joon-ho Bong made me reconsider my diet in a way I’d never imagine and had me in hysterical tears once the credits rolled.
Plot: “It’s time for a young African-American to meet with his white girlfriend’s parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare.”
Director: Jordan Peele
Actors: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford
Bottom Line: One of the more intelligent (and surprising) hits of 2017, Get Out left me in awe in the very beginning of the year (didn’t this come out as early as April??). This is undoubtedly a gigantic leap for black cinema and easily one of the best films of the year.
Plot: “In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.”
Director: David Lowery
Actors: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, McColm Cephas Jr.
Bottom Line: I gained more insight of the possibilities of life after death from a ghost in a sheet than I have in thirty-one years from any textbook. The complexities of the afterlife may be more simple than we’ve imagined and may not be what we expect. While this one flew swiftly under the radar, I urge everyone to give it a go.
Plot: “Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.”
Director: Craig Gillespie
Actors: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney
Bottom Line: With her cigarettes, blue nail polish, heavy metal playlist and self-made tacky leotards, Tonya was the anti-image of figure skating. This is probably the most fun I had all year at the theater, and Margot Robbie’s complex performance deserves the Academy Award!
Plot: “Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.”
Director: Christopher Nolan
Actors: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance
Bottom Line: Dunkirk is a masterpiece. Full stop. This is probably the only true Academy Award movie of 2017 through and through, and it’s going to get sadly snubbed. White knuckled, heart racing and teeth clenched, this movie engulfed me entirely, and I was only ten minutes into it. Don’t catch this one at home; it needs to be seen on the BIG screen!
There you have it – my top 10 favorite movies of 2017. Was I missing anything?
Let me know your top 10 would be!