2017 took a bit longer to unravel itself, but in the end it came to life as a rather impactful year in film. I'll take a look at some pivotal elements of 2017, reveal my favorites in film, and also give you a glimpse into what's to come for 2018. First up I'll give a shout out to another year in which women are once again NOT represented or respected.
Where's the Love?
In a year where Patty Jenkins gave us the most enjoyable and relatable superhero movie, folks like the Hollywood Foreign Press gave no love. Granted AFI did the right thing and noticed Patty's incredible jump from Monster to box office force with Wonder Woman. But Dee Rees (Mudbound), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Niki Caro (The Zookeeper's Wife), Julia Ducournau (Raw), and of course icon Kathryn Bigelow (Detroit) all had quality material that hasn't been acknowledged in director nominations. Dear Golden Globes how is Ridley Scott re-cutting his film a better value than Lady Bird or Mudbound? Hopefully the Oscars will at least take note that a screenwriter award does not make up for a lack of love in the director chair. Women are still hugely under represented in the industry and need to be given more chances. And not just on the big screen, TV has done a better job but we need to see more women represented in the Emmy's. Some huge TV empires and series are under the watchful eyes of women and I'm not sure that folks realize it. There are too many talented ladies to not getter bigger and better material. Dear DISNEY…Star Wars?? Here are just a few ladies that you need to keep in your lexicon for 2018: Ava DuVernay, Reed Moreno, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Meera Menon (Was I the only one watching SNOWFALL this year!), Sara Colangelo, Amy Scott, Alexandria Bombach, and Augustine Frizzell. Big studios are the worst examples of those at fault. With Wonder Woman's success, it's a freaking travesty that only Patty Jenkins sequel to her film is the only other female directed film slated for 2018 release from Warner Bros WTF!!!! Hollywood wake up to the sad truth, you're sexist as hell. More respect for the females who are making our films and TV shows come to life.
GET OUT and LADY BIRD Show Indies Can Kick Ass
First Jordan Peele gives us the first ever $100 million film from a black writer-director! But Greta Gerwig's coming of age story owns Rotten Tomatoes! Yes, Hollywood is a billion dollar industry where a handful of studios own the market. The Indie scene though has started to truly show just how powerful it can be. In a world that is seeing a huge foreign push in the filmmaking world, indie film is the last vestige of American bold filmmakers. Imports do well with critics but rarely survive in our theaters. But the online scene has certainly awakened many eyes to filmmakers from around the world. The online streaming service world has a been a huge game changer and with major studios looking into that service system the iceberg may be bursting before us. Overall, the Oscars can really put a big stamp on the filmmaking world by recognizing GET OUT, LADY BIRD and even a darling film like Sean Baker's Florida Project instead of the usual suspects of old white folks making the same old shit. Golden Globes did highlight some films and folks like the Gotham Awards, WGA, and others have shown some great choice-making skills, but we need to see the big bald goldie do justice to the best of the best.
TV/Streaming Owns our world
Who isn't watching something awesome on TV or binge watching the latest shows on Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu? Here are just a few shows I've enjoyed in 2017.
Stranger Things 2 – Bigger and better season 2 showcases a real force in the TV realm. The death of Bob (aka SamWise) was heartbreaking.
The Crown Season 2 – The show got deeper in the lives of the royals and gave us a glimpse of a marriage held together through tradition and pure will of Elizabeth. Overall one of the most majestic things on TV, not a bad performance in this incredible show.
Big Little Lies – Didn't want to watch it. Thank God I was wrong. Who would have realized the all-star cast would give us 8 suspense-filled piece of pure gold. The soundtrack is also A+
Star Wars Rebels – A hell of a lot better material for Star Wars true fans. I mean skip the film and catch up on the animated TV shows!
Dark – German time-traveling thriller dabbles in the world of horror, suspense, and sci-fiction like other no show. And one of the best cliff-hanging enders to a season.
The Keepers – Documentary TV at its finest. Reminding us the scariest villains are often the ones we trust the most.
FAVORITES IN FILM 2017 BY CATEGORY –
Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049 – The master dives into Sci-Fi and gives us color, clarity and compassion. Especially love his take on Las Vegas 2049.
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom – Call Me By Your Name – Subtly mixed with unique style choices makes for something intimate and grandiose in its view of first loves.
Hoyte Van Hoytema – Dunkirk – By air, by land and by sea all in one beautifully shot film. His lens is our eyes, ears and nose in the most immersive war film ever.
Rachel Morrison – Mudbound – Never has a film given us the dirt and grim of the earth in such a moving powerful visual sense of who we are as humans.
Dan Laurtsen – The Shape of Water – Del Toro's sense of wonder with Desplat's score allows for Laurtsen to give us another unique view of what it means to love.
Favorite Adapted Screenplays:
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees – Mudbound – Williams and Rees capture the many points of view while also connecting with the powerful interpersonal relationships between the characters.
James Ivory – Call Me By Your Name – Gripping look at a the coming of age tale seen through the emotions of our young lead.
Scott Frank and James Mangold – Logan – Perfectly concise look at the bleak and dark world of the graphic novel that gives the perfect closure to our favorite marvel hero.
Angelina Jolie and Loung Ung – First They Killed My Father – Brutally honest take on the memoir of a survivor of Khmer Rogue transports us into her genocidal horror.
Hampton Fincher and Michael Green – Blade Runner 2049 – Fincher dives back into the world with precision and deft vision while Green gives the heartwarming closure we need for our Deckard.
Favorite Original Script:
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Dark wit and warm hearted take on small town america from the UK's majestic McDonagh.
Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor – The Shape of Water – Unorthodox love tale delves into the best romantic elements while all done non-verbally.
Jordan Peele – Get Out – A twist on racial division hits the nation's nerver pefectly.
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird – Gerwig's reality gives new form and merit to an old coming of age story.
Steven Rogers – I, Tonya – Tackling the other point of view of Harding v Kerrigan fued shockling filled with incredible wit and a dark sense of itself.
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – From the deep eyes of McDormand to the igonorant racial mind of Rockwell we see a Director capture so much so effortlessly.
Jordan Peele – Get Out – Fearless take on a subject matter done to push our buttons and open our eyes.
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird – Honest and earnest look at what it means to jump from child to adult.
Sean Baker – Florida Project – They say never to work with animals and children. Baker says f that and even breaks into Disney World = F'ing badass.
Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk – A bit of Memento with it's crazy timelines and a whole lot of silence in a war film that shocked and intrigued more than any has since Spielberg landed on Normandy.
Favorite Supporting Actor:
Armie Hammer – Call Me By Your Name – Boastfulness turned Sentaimental in a complete character that allows the lead to shine brightest.
Willem Dafoe – Florida Project – Mindful overseer who is our heart and soul in this tough look at reality.
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Typical dancing untypical racism and overall brilliance.
Patrick Stewart – Logan – Professor X completely broken still shines with his sense of hope and love.
Mark Rylance – Dunkirk – In a film about silence this actor's determination is all of merit we need to believe in the movie's importance.
Favorite Supporting Actress:
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird – Stunning performance of a struggling mother guiding her daughter into the harshness of adulthood.
Allison Janney – I, Tonya – Mean nature and anger has never been so compelling on the big screen.
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound – From the dark glasses to slow deliberate pace Blige is both matriarch and humble servant.
Bria Vinaite – Florida Project – A child mother pushed to the brink of breakdown dives darker and deeper than anyone expected.
Elizabeth Olsen – Wind River – The fish totally out of water in this wonderful film from Taylor Sheridan. She surivives and thrives under the harshest of conditions.
Gary Oldman – The Darkest Hour – Prosthetics made the visual side work but Oldman gave us the Winston we needed in this perfect role.
Timothee Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name – Youth doesn't stop Chalamet from showcasing tremendous physical and emotional maturity.
Hugh Jackman – Logan – Comes full circle with his character like we never expected but so gladly embraced.
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out – His eyes alone carry the film and yet his overcoming of fear is grandest element of this film.
Ansel Elgort – Baby Driver – Fun fluid role that has an actor at 100 mph both mentally and phyiscally.
Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Pure power defies all odds and everyone who stands in her way to gives us the best damn foul mouthed lead in a film all year.
Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman – More than a sexy outfit the Israeli captured our hearts and minds with this powerful take on Wonder Woman.
Margot Robbie – I, Tonya – Dived into the dirty realm of Tonya Harding to give us a tour-de-force of a role.
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water – Mezmerizing without a single word uttered.
Brooklynn Prince – Florida Project – 7 year old makes Shirley Temple look insignificant and useless in comparsion. What a total adorable bad ass.
3 Favorite Festival Finds:
Gook – Still waiting for Release, but twice now I've told you about this GEM!
Patticakes – Interview
FAVORITE FILMS OF THE YEAR:
17. THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE
16. THOR: RAGNAROK
15. YOUR NAME
13. I, TONYA
12. FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER
11. FLORIDA PROJECT
10. BABY DRIVER
9. BLADE RUNNER 2049
8. GET OUT
6. LADY BIRD
5. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
2. WIND RIVER
1. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
A Glimpse Into 2018:
5. THE ISLE OF DOGS
4. THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
3. I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW
2. THE OSLO DIARIES