MoviefiedNYC‘s Ten Best Movies of 2017

Here it is, better late than never, MoviefiedNYC‘s Ten Best Movies of 2017. It was not a banner year for great movies but once the last quarter arrived, September through December ultimately redeemed 2017 and proved to be an ok year at the movies!        Here are the Ten Best of 2017 as seen by John David West:

1. Dunkirk


Witnessing Christopher Nolan’s latest experiment with time was initially frustrating, but ultimately mind-blowing. It was a unique cinematic experience making for a refreshing departure from the sappy Hollywood war film—or any predictable narrative, plot-driven movie. Nolan takes viewers through a turning point of WWII with an immersive experience on land, sea, and air, revealing the soldiers’ confusion, fear, and drive to survive. Their experience is the viewer’s experience and is historic and important from a cinematic perspective. Hans Zimmer’s score is equally effective as are incredible visuals by Hoyte Van Hoytema (Interstellar).

2. The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro is at the top of his game with this beautifully conceived fairytale for adults. With exquisite art direction, fluid cinematography by Dan Laustsen, a dreamy score by Alexandre Desplat (The Tree of Life), and a strong performance by Sally Hawkins; the world that del Turo has created makes this film stand out as one of the most unique movies of 2017. One can’t help but think of the 1955 classic B-movie, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, but this m/animal has more depth and love. And there’s a Good versus Evil element, with Good represented by characters on the margins of society.

3. Phantom Thread


Director Paul Thomas Anderson delivers a quiet mood piece that is beautifully styled, and artistically stylized. It’s lovely to look at, thanks to Anderson’s careful attention to detail in every shot. The cinematography—by Anderson himself—brings viewers in close contact with the fabric and feel of dresses as the characters make them. The score by Jonny Greenwood equally matches the lush visual textures seen on screen. This is a film involving three people: dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville), and Reynolds’ lover, Alma (Vicky Krieps). All actors are as exquisite as the other elements of this film and delicately funny.

4. Call Me by Your Name

Is this the annual pretentious film appealing only to lovers of high art, beauty, language, and the finer things in life that elevate us? Those elements are all there in a multi-linguistic script that is balanced and restrained, thanks to Luca Guadagnino’s measured direction. The film’s elements are indeed beautiful (the “Somewhere in northern Italy” location, the actors, and the soundtrack), but above all, the film’s subject is universally relatable. No matter whom you love, the pain of love and loss sticks with you long after the film’s credits end—and what’s portrayed behind those final credits makes the film devastating and unforgettable.

5. I, Tonya

Movie snobs beware, Tonya Harding is the subject of a narrative film and it’s funny and campy, it winks at its audience in a faux documentary style, it’s a tragic comedy about a comically tragic event, and it’s damn good. When I first heard about I, Tonya, I thought, “oh hell yes, this will be a hoot to watch,” a hoot in the campy Lifetime movie sense—certainly not in the Academy Award level sense! Margo Robbie kills it as Tonya. We are with her—elevated with joy—when she triple axels her way to the top of the podium at the US Championships, and we feel the pain of a too harsh sentencing when she’s stripped of her US figure skating rights and never allowed to skate again. One can’t help but think, “Jesus, at least let her skate in an animal suit in Ice Capades; she’s not a child molester or a drug kingpin—it’s just ice-skating after all!” Allison Janney also kills as Tonya’s monstrous mother. For a film about a kooky moment in sports history that centers on a bunch of foolhardy “Boobs,” it’s impressive how moving I, Tanya is.

6. Get Out

get-out 2

Jordan Peele brilliantly takes the anxiety felt by American minorities and submerges it into a thriller to capture today’s racial tension. This multilayered horror, sometimes-comedy draws on the ever-present U.S. issues of black and white racial tensions and the legacies of American slavery. Peele makes us question where all the racists suddenly came from when Trump became President, folks who were previously silenced and muzzled by political correctness. Get Out is not only a good horror film—a difficult achievement in itself—it’s a film that will be remembered as an important movie that reflects the time in which it was made.

7. Florida Project

Florida Project 2

Sean Baker’s latest social-realistic film introduces viewers to another set of enigmatic characters who live on the fringe of society. Halley (Bria Vinaite) and her daughter (Brooklynn Prince) survive on the edge of homelessness in a motel called the Magic Castle, near Disney World. The exterior of the motel is a vibrant cheap purple, and this creates a delightfully colorful world in contrast to occupants’ poverty, but at the same time reflects the children’s joyous summertime play. The film easily brings back memories of those days of childhood wonder, regardless of one’s economic status or what neighborhood you grew up in. Their world contrasts sharply to Disney’s with its pricy fun far out of financial reach to many. Too obvious a metaphor? Perhaps, but watching these characters live makes the film remarkable.  Florida Project doesn’t have a deeply complicated plot and the mother doesn’t have a traditional character arc whereby she learns and grows—she’s a tragic figure. Above all Brooklynn Prince, whose naturalness infuses Florida Project with energy and charm, makes you want to keep watching her—and everyone—live and behave in their world.

8. Faces Places

Faces Places 5

At 89 years old Agnès Varda—a legend of the French New Wave—is still making movies, and this time she’s found sweet perfection as she teams up with 35 year old photographer, JR. Together they make for the most unlikely duo to entertain audiences in years. Faces Places is a road movie that travels through rural France and shows us the extraordinary beauty of seemingly ordinary people. And the movie may make a historic stamp on cinema when the father of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard, makes the mother of the French New Wave cry—he doesn’t even appear in the movie and yet Goddard is still affecting cinema.

9. Good Time

Good Time 1

Who is that scruffy skinny actor so full of energy? Why it’s Robert Pattinson! He plays the worst brother a sibling could be cursed with, especially one who is mentally disabled. After a bank robbery that goes really bad, Connie’s (Robert Pattinson younger brother Nick (Benny Safdie one-half of the film’s brother directors) ends up in prison. Good Time has been compared to Martin Scorsese’s 1985 Tribeca odyssey After Hours. The comparison is certainly fair, only this NYC odyssey pushes it to full-throttle taking viewers in a rapid fire pace through Manhattan and God knows which borough of New York City.

10. mother!

mother! 2

Without a doubt mother! is the most polarizing film of the year. It pissed a lot of people off, made others laugh, and inspired endless “WTF” text messages upon its release. Once the allegory is clear, mother! sends your mind spinning. It’s an apocalyptic, biblical tale that layers on elements of war, invasion, and climate change, resulting in an experience that is disturbing, maddening, and sits with you for days. Michelle Pfeiffer delivers one of her best performances in years, and Jennifer Lawrence (this year’s Razzie nominee for worst actress), is well cast in one of her best role since Winter’s Bone.

Honorable Mention:

Blade Runner 21. Bladerunner 2049
2. Lady Bird
3. Coco
4. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
5. Mudbound

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Golden Globe Nominations are here!

Globes

And thus, it begins.  Awards Season has officially started with the announcement of the nominations for the first major film awards of the year, the Golden Globes.  It has been an interesting year with several good movies coming out steadily throughout the year.  However, as December nears its end and the tidal wave of award contenders premiere, and I need to say goodbye to my husband for days at a time so that I can watch them all.

Shape of Water
The Shape of Water

Unsurprisingly, Guillermo del Toro’s pseudo Sci-Fi romance, The Shape of Water, was the most nominated film with a total of seven nominations.  These included Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Sally Hawkins), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture (Octavia Spencer), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture (Richard Jenkins), and Best Director – Motion Picture (Guillermo del Toro).  The film has been garnering awards buzz for months.  This film has been widely considered del Toro’s best since Pan’s Labyrinth, which was nominated for six Academy Awards and won three.  Hawkins is a true contender for the Best Actress award playing entirely silent role as a mute janitor who feels a kinship with a captured creature from the deep.  If she does end up winning an Oscar, she will be the third performer to win the Best Actress prize for a (mostly) silent role following Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda (1948) and Holly Hunter for The Piano (1993).

The Post
The Post

The Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri tied for the second most nomination with a total of six each.  The Post tells the story of The Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham and Executive Editor Ben Bradlee and their struggle to publish information regarding the Pentagon Papers.  The film was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Meryl Streep), Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Tom Hanks), and Best Director – Motion Picture (Steven Spielberg).   This marks Streep’s 31st nomination for a Golden Globe, and will likely result in her record-breaking 21st Oscar nomination.

Three Billboards
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The black comedy/drama/crime film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri received nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Frances McDormand), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture (Sam Rockwell), and Best Director – Motion Picture (Markin McDonagh).  I am going to take this moment to really plug this film.  I saw it several weeks ago and I cannot even express how good it was.  It wasn’t too dark and depressing, but the acting, specifically by McDormand and Rockwell, was impeccable.  Go see it.  Now.  Seriously, stop reading this and go.  Finish the article later.

All the Money
All the Money in the World

As you may have read, Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World has been in the news a great deal, but not necessarily for its stirring performances or its compelling story.  Unfortunately, the film gained real attention when Scott decided to remove actor Kevin Spacey from the film entirely after actor Anthony Rapp and several crew members from his show House of Cards accused him of sexual abuse and harassment.  Scott spent Thanksgiving week reshooting Spacey’s scenes using Christopher Plummer instead.  It obviously paid off.  The film received nominations for Scott as Best Director, Plummer as Best Supporting Actor, and Michelle Williams as Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.  Drama indeed.

Lady Bird
Lady Bird

Rotten Tomatoes best reviewed movie of all time Lady Bird received expected nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy (Saoirse Ronan), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture (Laurie Metcalf), and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture (Greta Gerwig).  Gerwig, who also directed the film, was not nominated for Best Director, which I found surprising. Since the voting bodies for the Globes and the Oscars do not overlap, it is possible that Gerwig will join a very select group of women who have been nominated for Best Director at the Oscars.

Get Out
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out

A few other surprises and snubs: Daniel Kaluuya received a nomination for Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out (the film was also nominated for Best Musical or Comedy), Denzel Washington picked up another nomination for Roman J. Istrael, Esq., and The Big Sick was completely shut out!  I honestly expected Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordan to receive nominations for their screenplay, and that Holly Hunter would receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

 

The Golden Globes will be hosted by Seth Meyers and will air January 7th on NBC.

-Ariadne Ansbro

 

See all of the nominations below:

 

Call me by your name
Call Me By Your Name

 

 

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Call Me By Your Name
Dunkirk
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

I Tonya
I, Tonya

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
The Disaster Artist
Get Out
The Greatest Showman
I, Tonya
Lady Bird

 

Ferdinand
Ferdinand

 

Best Motion Picture – Animated
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

 

In the Fade
In the Fade

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
A Fantastic Woman
First They Killed My Father
In the Fade
Loveless
The Square

 

Streep - Post
Meryl Street in The Post

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep, The Post
Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

 

Oldman -Darkest Hour
Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Tom Hanks, The Post
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

 

Battle of the Sexes
Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes

 

Disaster Artist
James Franco in The Disaster Artist

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes
Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

 

Blige - Mudbound
Mary J. Blige in Mudbound

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Hong Chau, Downsizing
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

 

Florida Project
Willen Dafoe in The Florida Project

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

Nolan - Dunkirk
Christopher Nolan directing Dunkirk

 

Best Director – Motion Picture
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World
Steven Spielberg, The Post

 

Sorkin - Molly's Game
Aaron Sorkin directing Molly’s Game

 

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, The Post
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game

 

Phantom Thread
Phantom Thread

 

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
John Williams, The Post
Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

 

Greatest Showman
The Greatest Showman

 

 

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Home,” Ferdinand
“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Remember Me,” Coco
“The Star,” The Star
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

 

Stranger Things
Stranger Things

 

Best Television Series – Drama
The Crown
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us

 

SMILF
SMILF

 

 

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Blackish
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Master of None
SMILF
Will & Grace

 

Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies

 

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Big Little Lies
Fargo
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Sinner
Top of the Lake: China Girl

 

Feud
Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in Fued: Bette and Joan

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jessica Biel, The Sinner
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

 

Law - Young Pope
Jude Law in The Young Pope

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Jude Law, The Young Pope
Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius

 

The Crown
Claire Foy (left) in The Crown

 

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce
Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

 

Brown - This is Us
Sterling K. Brown in This is Us

 

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Brie - Glow
Alison Brie in GLOW

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Alison Brie, GLOW
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Issa Rae, Insecure
Frankie Shaw, SMILF

 

Anderson - Black-ish
Anthony Anderson in Black-ish

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick
William H. Macy, Shameless
Eric McCormack, Will & Grace

 

Dowd - Handmaid's tale
Ann Dowd (left) in The Handmaid’s Tale

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

 

Thewlis - Fargo
David Thewlis in Fargo

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo