This post is coming a little later in January than I would have liked, but hey better late than never right? 2017 was an exceptional year for the movie industry. There were so many advances in the representation of women, people of color, and LGBT roles in film, but also just so many great movies to see. I started out the year with quite the list of ones I was eager to see, and I am proud to report that I got to see pretty much all of them and more! However, of all the movies I saw, some stood out above the rest. So here it is, the ten movies I loved the best from the past year:
10. Ingrid Goes West
This movie got a lot of attention during festival season, but I feel like when it finally came out in theaters it kind of got overlooked and lost in the shuffle of the big budget summer block busters. Not only did I love the cast, who all played their roles perfectly, but I loved how clever it was in its commentary of our obsession with social media. When Ingrid moves west to stalk an Instagram famous blogger, it was pretty accurate in its portrayal of the blogger lifestyle in Los Angeles. It definitely made me more cautious when it comes to posting my location and personal information online, as I saw how easy it was for Ingrid to find her Instagram crush Taylor. Aubry Plaza was amazing in the lead role, and brought a personality to Ingrid that I can't imagine anyone else doing. And while the film was definitely marketed as a comedy, and obviously has it's funny moments, there is also a dark overtone that gives it an interesting twist and plot.
9. Call Me By Your Name
There were so many things I loved about this movie, one of them definitely being the unbelievable views of Italy it offered. But of course, I mostly loved the story at the center of it, about a young boy's first real love, and trying to navigate growing up. If you haven't seen it yet, I won't give anything away, but the last scene is phenomenal, and not like anything I have seen in a film ending. I also loved the film casting and acting. Not only were the leads, Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer extraordinary, but Elio's parents were also stand outs. The scene where Elio talks with his father about life and love is so emotional, and had me in tears. This is a must see love story that will stay with you long after you see it.
8. I, Tonya
Margot Robbie is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses. She has had such a variation of roles recently, and she has rocked them all. Her performance as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya is no different. Her and the entire cast completely got into character, both in their performances and their appearances, to the point where they look almost exactly like their real life counter parts. The film also does an amazing job of portraying the "incident" and entire story from all sides and view points. Because of this, it offers a very interesting way to depict a story based on real life, and one where no one really knows the whole truth.
7. Pitch Perfect 3
The first Pitch Perfect is one of my all time favorite movies, which made huge waves in showing that women were just as capable as men of carrying a great comedy film. And while this third installment may not have been as good as the first two, it was one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I felt it gave a satisfying conclusion to this series of movies I love so much. While it was a little more outrageous than the others, it still had so many funny one liners, a great soundtrack, and of course, showed the power of having an amazing group of ladies by your side.
The X-Men franchise is one of the few superhero film series I love and follow, so Logan was another one of my most anticipated movies of the year. And it lived up to the hype. We could not have asked for a better way to watch Hugh Jackman's final run as Wolverine. The acting of everyone in the cast, especially the young Dafne Keen was spectacular. One of the films most heartbreaking deaths had me in tears, while every action scene had me at the edge of my seat. Not to mention the cinematography was absolutely stunning. This is definitely one of the most well done super hero films I have seen yet, and definitely my favorite of the X-Men movies.
5. The Big Sick
Even if you don’t like romantic comedies, everyone should give this movie a chance. Being that it is based on the true story of how the star, Kumail Nanjani, met his wife in real life, the film skips a lot of the usual romantic comedy tropes. It shows a genuine and unique story about how two people that are not meant to be together, not only fall in love, but go through many unforeseen obstacles to be together. I especially loved how it showed the relationship with Nanjani's family, and how they grew to accept him even though his lifestyle did not match their culture's traditions.
4. Molly's Game
I had never heard of Molly Bloom or her story before seeing this movie, but wow she was an incredible woman. After not making it to the Olympics for skiing due to a horrific injury, Molly moves to Los Angeles and ends up running one of the most elite high-stakes poker games of the decade. From movie stars to professional athletes, she had some of the country's most powerful men in the palm of her hands. That is, until she got arrested by the FBI. Jessica Chastain does an amazing job portraying Molly, and of course Aaron Sorkin's script is phenomenal. The film was so fast paced, and did a great job of telling Molly's story both in the past, and during her court trial, I was immediately sucked in, and greatly enjoyed the wild ride.
3. Baby Driver
THIS MOVIE. This is one of the best action films I have seen in a while. The style and pacing is unbelievable, not to mention the way the film uses the soundtrack as its own character is amazing. If you haven't seen it yet, Baby Driver centers around a partially hearing impaired getaway driver named Baby, who owes a debt to a crime boss named Doc, which he pays off by helping Doc in his robbery jobs. However, when he falls for a waitress named Debora, Baby wants out of the crime business, but realizes it won't be that easy with the reputation he has built up. Ansel Elgort was phenomenal as Baby, and I not only enjoyed his love story with Debra, but also his adorable relationship with his foster father, who is also hearing impaired. Not to mention how good John Hamm and Jamie Foxx were. They both managed to be hilarious and frightening villains, and were fantastic in their roles.
2. Beauty and the Beast
Let’s be honest, this movie made my top 10 list before I even saw it. Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite movies growing up, so pairing that with Emma Watson was every Potterhead/Disney Fanatic’s dream come true. While some were hesitant about this retelling of such a beloved movie, I was very impressed with it. I enjoyed both the song and scene additions, and thought that the special effects were stunning. Not to mention the costuming which was also beautiful. I especially loved the added story additions of Belle being an inventor, and wanting to teach other girls in the village to read. And, Luke Evens as Gaston, and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere were perfect casting choices.
1. Wonder Woman
I never thought a superhero movie make the top of my favorite movies of the year list, but Wonder Woman definitely deserves it. As someone whose brother has made her watch many many superhero films, I was tired of always seeing the women in them be the object of weakness for the hero, and needing to be saved. While a few superhero movies before this definitely made small leaps forward in this department, Wonder Woman was the first in to put a female not only in the lead role, but in the director’s chair as well, and it paid off. Not only is the film's costuming and sets absolutely stunning, but the story is well told, and most of all, it is the definition of girl power. I remembering wanting to go out and take a kickboxing class after watching Diana defend herself in a darkened alleyway. And, Gal Gadot was the perfect casting choice to play her. Overall, this movie made me feel so empowered, and is one that all young girls should see to teach them they can do anything they put their minds to, no matter how many people tell you that you can't.
- Lady Bird
- Get Out
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle
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