2017 has been one heck of a year.
Like every year before it there has been a rollercoaster of events. There are highs and lows, twists and turns, sudden drops and dives. Moments of beauty have been squashed by hate, yet in the growing darkness light was always found. I can’t say that 2017 was horrendous from start to finish, but I hope 2018 brings peace and love to us all.
Yet, with that said, it cannot be argued that 2017 has been a strong year for cinema. For my final post of 2017 (although it has been a while since my last review) I would like to share my top five films of 2017. The films I detail below are creations that have failed to leave my mind since the first viewing. They may not be the most critically acclaimed, nor the most action-packed films of the year, but they are the chosen few that I felt brought something special to my year and deepened my knowledge of film.
So, without further ado, I present my Top 5 Films of 2017:
5. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Image from Element Pictures
Writer/Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, and Colin Farrell.
I didn’t write a review on The Killing of a Sacred Deer when I first saw it (thanks to uni) but it’s a story that has haunted me ever since.
For those who are unaware, The Killing of a Sacred Deer follows the story of a strange family who are forced to pay for the father’s past mistakes. The father’s two children begin to suffer from an unexplainable illness after he befriends an odd teen, Martin, and from there things only get weirder.
I think it was the direction of this film that has landed it in my top five. The choices the director made are inspiring. From the cinematography, to the delivery of dialogue, to the progression of characters, it all just… worked. I found myself squirming at awkward conversations, growing angry with characters, and I fully believed the world I was plopped into.
I also admire that Lanthimos didn’t explain everything to us like so many blockbusters feel the need to do. We were left with questions, left to figure out things for ourselves, and overall enjoy the journey.
4. La La Land
Image from redcarpetrefs.com
Writer/Director: Damien Chazelle.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone.
La La Land was the first film I saw this year and it was the perfect way to start. And, yes, I am aware that La La Land technically came out in 2016 – BUT, since it only graced British cinemas in 2017, I believe it still fits the bill.
La La Land is a beautiful story of love, ambition and dreams. Every single creator can relate to this film and I guarantee all of your hearts will break. I doubt many people have made it to the end of 2017 without seeing this film (it is on Netflix now, after all) so I’ll keep this explanation short and to the point: it still makes me laugh and weep just like it did the first time. I’m a sucker for a musical number and this film perfectly intertwines gorgeous cinematography with the old Hollywood flare.
3. Get Out
Image from horrornewsnetwork.net
Director/Writer: Jordan Peele.
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams.
Get Out has to be this year’s biggest surprise for me. I expected to like the film, but I didn’t expect it to still stick in my mind all these months later. It tells the story of a young black man, Chris, who goes to meet his white girlfriend’s parents. You might be wondering, what does it matter if they’re an interracial couple? Oh, trust me, it matters.
Get Out is another film I didn’t write a review on. Why? I simply didn’t know what to write apart from: “Ah pure loved it!”
Overall, Get Out has to be one of the best psychological horror/thrillers I have ever seen. Period. It that a bold claim to make? Absolutely not. It had surprising twists that I did not see coming, it was funny yet terrifying, and kept me engaged from the second it began.
If, for some reason, you still haven’t seen this film then I can’t recommend it enough. I would even recommend getting the DVD/Blu-Ray as the deleted scenes are incredibly interesting (and hilarious) to watch.
Image from uniFrance Films
Writer/Director: Julia Ducournau.
Starring: Garance Mariller, Ella Rumpf.
Raw is the only film on this list I didn’t enjoy. Yet, I continue to love it.
Raw is about a young woman, Justine, who begins studying at a veterinary school that both her parents and sister studied at too. After a crazy first-year initiation, the previous strict vegetarian begins to crave meat. However, how far will her cravings go..?
Raw definitely is not an enjoyable watch, but Ducournau offers such a refreshing change to horror that I can’t help but list it in my top five. Again, it was the twists that captured my attention, the acting was superb, and the score still haunts my eardrums.
If you’re someone who avoids foreign films, I can’t slap you around the head enough. If you are simply avoiding this film due to the fact it’s subtitled – you are astronomically missing out. However, if you’re avoiding it because of the gore – well, that’s far more understandable.
1. A Ghost Story
Image from Bleeding Cool
Writer/Director: David Lowery.
Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara.
I feel as if this pick might be a little controversial thanks to Affleck, but since he spends the majority of the film under a large white cloth I don’t feel as guilty admitting this is my favourite film of the year.
I kept coming back to A Ghost Story again and again. Although films like La La Land got a more emotional response from me, films like Raw and Get Out shocking me to the core, A Ghost Story continued to stay – much like C’s character – stuck in my mind.
This film is about a young couple and their life together. After C dies, he is left to observe his partner M carry on with life without him.
Everything about this film spoke to me. The cinematography was absolutely stunning – each frame like a work of art. The long, unedited cuts that lasted far too long annoyed me, yet I wouldn’t change a thing. A Ghost Story is by far the sweetest tale of 2017 and the best example of 2017 cinema – in my humblest opinion.
So, there you have it: My Top 5 Films of 2017. If you agree with my list, why not check out my Top 5 Favourite Musicals? Or, if any of the films I mentioned interests you, feel free to read my reviews of them!
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and I’ll see you in 2018!