Monday, February 26, 2018

2017 Top 10

Normally I don't do this sort of thing, but this year I want to give an honorable mention to Feud: Bette and Joan, Ryan Murphy's exquisite TV mini-series about the two great divas of Golden Age Hollywood in their twilight years. This may have been TV, but it was every bit as good as a theatrical release; it's unfortunate that Olivia de Havilland is so upset with it that she's taking Murphy and FX to court over it. I hope they come to some kind of settlement before she leaves this world. (Yes, I know, a lot of dramatic television is as good as the movies now. What can I say? I'm extremely picky.)

So here we go once again. In case you've forgotten, I don't get to see everything. If your favorite movie isn't here, sorry, but that's just how it goes.

10. Lady Bird. A pleasant and light-hearted coming of age story. Is it Best Picture worthy? Eh, I dunno, but it definitely caught lightning in a bottle. Kudos to Greta Gerwig for striking gold.

9. The Shape of Water. Perhaps the most off-beat "Beauty and the Beast" story to ever hit the big screen; definitely the most sexual. I think Guillermo del Toro is a lock for Best Director. Picture too? We'll see.

8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Frances McDormand kills it in this brutal tale of justice versus vengeance.

7. The Disaster Artist. Way better than it has a right to be, James Franco's ode to the 21st-century Plan 9 From Outer Space and its singularly bizarre creator turned out to have a lotta heart as well as a lotta laughs.

6. A United Kingdom. Amma Asante is quietly making some quality adult films about race from a European perspective, and this real-life Cinderella story, though it came out here in America over a year ago, was one I never forgot.

5. War for the Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis may not have gotten an Oscar nod, but in no way does that diminish his work in all three of these Apes prequels, and the third one was every bit as thrilling and dramatic as the first two.

4. Darkest Hour. Just give Oldman the Oscar already.

3. Coco. Pixar does it again. I was prepared to like this supernatural musical, but I found it profoundly moving as well.

2. The Post. The right movie at the right time. With any luck, Steven Spielberg's journalism drama will get more people to realize what a horrible mistake we made in electing the madman currently occupying the White House — and to try and get him out.

1. Loving Vincent. To call it a work of art would be redundant, but how better to characterize this breathtaking feat of animation? Honoring the life and career of one of the most iconic visual artists of the modern era by bringing his paintings to "life," in a sense, had to have been a labor of love for directors Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman, because only love would inspire anyone to undertake a project as radical and original as this. Heck, it's right there in the title.

2016 top 10
2015 top 10
2014 top 10
2013 top 10
2012 top 10
2011 top 10


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