Films of my Life – the best films of 2017

God's_Own_Country_(2017_film)

The best films of 2017.

Was 2017 a great year for movies? Well it wasn’t too shabby. I had sixteen 5* (or 5/5) movies this year, an average of more than one outstanding movie per month. I also enjoyed the variety and breadth of the movies on choice.

Here is my list of 5* movies, in the order I saw them;

  • La La Land
  • Moonlight
  • I am not your Negro
  • Your Name (from 2016)
  • Baby Driver
  • Dunkirk
  • Toni Erdmann
  • God’s Own Country
  • Detroit
  • It
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • The Party
  • Paddington 2
  • The Red Turtle
  •  Mudbound (limited release and available on Netflix)

I loved everyone of these movies, and I recommend everyone to see them. But what were my favourites for 2017? In many respects it was “the year of the Gosling” with Ryan Gosling appearing twice on my list. Both of these movies are in my favourites;

Best Musical – La La Land

I love the sheer exuberance of this fantastic tribute to the classic Hollywood musical. Of course, a musical is only as good as the songs in it and La La Land has an abundance of riches in this respect. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have excellent chemistry, and this compensates for any deficiencies in their singing and dancing!

Best documentary – I am not your Negro

I must confess that I was not familiar with the work and writing of James Baldwin before I saw this movie. I was also fortunate to see it in “Home” (the new centre for contemporary arts in Manchester)  with a discussion afterwards. It was clear from this discussion that the way black people were treated in the 1960s, especially in the USA,  still has resonance today. This is an incredibly powerful film that should be compulsory viewing in every school.

Best Foreign Language Film – Toni Erdmann 

This German film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. In my opinion it should have won, as although I enjoyed “The Salesman”, it was not a patch on Toni Erdmann . The film is long for a satire/comedy but the performance of Peter Simonischek as a father who creates an alter ego; Life Coach Toni Erdmann, to allow him to reconnect with his daughter, is both very funny and very moving.

Best British Film – God’s Own Country

I saw this at the Thirsk Film Festival in August and you can read my thoughts here . Quite simply, it is a perfect movie with outstanding performances.

Best Sequel – Blade Runner 2049

Now this is how to make a sequel to a much loved and respected original; just wait 35 years and find a director who is prepared to pay homage to the original vision but also take it further. In fact all of the things that Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) got wrong (but “The Last Jedi” got right). Denis Villeneuve (Director of my favourite film of 2016) is the perfect choice to create a sequel that is every bit as imaginative as the original. It is also the second of my top choices to star Ryan Gosling

Best Comedy – Paddington 2

If you ever need cheering up, then this is the movie for you. I thought the first Paddington movie was excellent, but this  is even better with outstanding slapstick and visual gags, along with great combinations from just about every British Thespian. Simply, hilarious.

Best Animated Film – The Red Turtle

This European-Japanese collaboration has virtually no dialogue, and is a fable for adults and children. The animation is simple but beautiful, as is the central premise.

So there you have it. In my opinion, 2017 was a great year for movies. So what will 2018 have for us?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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