As December inevitably comes to and end and thus the end of 2017 is nigh, we thought we'd round up the best films from the past twelve months. This year we have seen some stellar performances from the likes of Harrison Ford, Armie Hammer, Ansel Elgort and Lily James, with some of the best movies being shot by top directors such as Christopher Nolan and Edgar Wright. Here we bring you our top films that we think will definitely be hitting it big when awards season arrives early in 2018.
2016 was a big year for film, with blockbusters like La La Land, Moonlight and Lion leading the way. 2017 has followed a similar suit and we personally can't wait for awards season next year to see which of this year's big films win big. With the likes of Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk and Baby Driver all having been released this year, the competition is as high as ever. Below we've rounded up our favourite films from the past twelve months.
Edgar Wright really has excelled here. Not only did he put together a stellar cast - Lily James and Ansel Elgort make the perfect pairing in this movie - but the film is undoubtedly one of the best he has ever directed. The story is genius - Elgort plays out his life to the sound of a specially curated playlist, blocking out the symptoms of tinnitus, which he acquired in an accident as a child. Baby Driver follows him as he acts out his role as a getaway driver, trying to get away from Kevin Spacey's grip.
Lily James plats his love interest, who waits tables and dreams of adventures far away. Right on cue she meets Baby Driver, who turns her world upside down in a sort of thriller-esque romantic way. Baby Driver is somewhat La La Land meets Drive. The dance scene between the two is as seamless as that between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, while the stunts are next to nothing. Top marks in our books.
Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name is hotly tipped for an Oscar. This romantic coming-of-age drama stars Timothée Chalamet and Arnie hammer as the central protagonists and is based on the novel of the same name by Andre Aciman. Set in Northern Italy in 1983, the movie chronicles the growing romance between Elio Perlman, who is a 17-year-old living in Italy, and his father's American assistant, Oliver.
Luca Guadagnino's film will transport you away from wherever you are and plant you right in the heart of Crema - the Italian town where the story is based. Elio is a frustrated teenager, with no direction both sexuality-wise or life-wise. Every year his father plants a helper in the house and this year it just so happens to be Oliver. The film explores beautifully the relationship between the two, with very little actually happening while at the same time so much is happening.
Chalamet's performance is outstanding, especially when in once scene he has to call his mum and ask to be driven home. The key moment in the film? Not when the two men finally come together, but when Michael Stuhlbarg (he plays Emilio's father) gives a compelling speech on life. "We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of 30" is what this love story leads up to, offering a dramatic gesture of wisdom for everyone watching. Vanity Fair has described the film as a "true stunner" and we couldn't agree enough.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
When Disney took over the production of Star Wars a couple of years back, many fans were sceptical about how the new string of films would go. Fortunately for them though, they have been as good as ever. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has ben hailed as one of the best yet, with more hair-raising dogfights than ever before up in the sky, while down on land Luke Skywalker finally comes into his own (let's face it he was kind of annoying in the original trilogy).
The whole team are back with Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Luke (Mark Hamill), Leia (the late Carrie Fisher) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) reprising their roles to continue on from JJ Abrams The Force Awakens. The special effects are incredible and we finally get the answers to questions we've been pondering since 2015. Onto the next one!
Christopher Nolan knows how to do movies. He is the man behind such films as Interstellar and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, both which were met with critical acclaim. Dunkirk is no different and is easily one of the best films of the year. While the events that unfolded around the Dunkirk escape in 1940 have been well-documented over the years, it is without a doubt that Nolan's Dunkirk will become the cinematic documentary to which everyone refers to in coming years. It is as precise as possibly could be and the cinematic genius of Nolan really places you right there and then.
The film is essentially split into three inter-lacing time frames (sort of in an Inception-esque way), but it is easy to follow and the temporal climate of the film is pretty epic in itself. He did this in Interstellar and it is easy to see that playing with time is a favourite move from the epic director. Much like Interstellar, Nolan has brought in Hans Zimmer for the devastatingly good soundtrack. Starring the likes of Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Finn Whitehead and surprisingly Harry Styles, the film has a pretty complex cast who more than deliver. We're sure we will be seeing this one receive an Oscar nomination nod or two.
Argentinean director Andy Muschietti decided to rehash Stephen King's IT in 2017 and it was one of the most hotly anticipated films of the year. It was sure to be a smash hit for those who saw the original, drawing on other Eighties references in the same manner that Stranger Things does, such as Poltergeist and The Goonies.
IT stayed pretty much true to the original story, but this time around it seems as though this is more of a coming-of-age movie than one intended to scare you to death. While the scares may have been more fairground funhouse than expected, it was still an excellent film. Bill Skarsgård plays the evil Pennywise, who we see dragging kids into drains and taunting them throughout the movie, and boy does he do it well. As more kids begin to disappear, a group of school wallflowers decide to embark on a Stand By Me-style quest to find out what is going on.
While probably not as scary as die-hard Stephen King fans were expecting or wanted, the film is still definitely worth watching. The nostalgic references and companionship of the kids is sentimental and essentially crowd-pleasing.
Goodbye Christopher Robin
While you may think that this will be a fluffy movie dedicated to Winnie The Pooh and friends, but you'd be so far from the truth. Instead it focuses on the birth of Winnie The Pooh and the real-life story behind it, which is one tinged with sadness and difficulty. Domnhall Gleeson plays the PTSD-affected AA Milne spectacularly, portraying his movement from the trenches to home. He intends to write an anti-war book, but finds himself with writer's block. A few strolls with his son Christopher Robin and the pair begin to write the book that tore at the heart strings of so many.
Yet the film tackles the dark side to Winnie The Pooh. While the book was a success, Christopher Robin, AKA Billie Moon, realises that his life is being taken away from him. “If I’m in a book,” he explains, “people will think I’m not real”. This problem only intensifies especially as his parents begin to parade him around “like a show pony”. Milne and Robin realise that with success comes sadness and they are essentially captives in their own enclosure. It is an excellent film that casts light on adult petulance, notably that of parents, and the real trials of life.
Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 had a lot to live up to. Ridley Scott's 1982 classic is often labelled one of the best films ever made (although it originally flopped, but the 1992 Director's Cut saw it reach masterpiece status) and so the remake had to match this.
The new remake is as good as could be expected, and is even so good that whole new legions of fans were won over. Harrison Ford was back, starring alongside Ryan Gosling and the movie is directed by Denis Villeneuve, who also directed 2016's Arrival. If there is one thing that stands out in this film, it is the expansive world that Villeneuve seemingly has created. The virtuoso is a masterpiece and you really feel like you have stepped into another time frame, which is of course, what he intended. Cinematographer Roger Deakins has created a twilight world that doesn't take much to be reality, thanks to the fantastic visual effects.
Ana de Armas gets a special shout out for her excellent performance, whereby she injects magic and warmth into a three-dimensional character who essentially shouldn't have either of these traits. The music too gets a special mention, with aforementioned Hans Zimmer teaming up with composer Benjamin Wallfisch, this is a cinematic experience you shouldn't miss out on.
A Ghost Story
When you first encounter A Ghost Story, you probably think 'what on earth is this garbage?'. Film-maker David Lowery has essentially taken Casey Affleck and chucked a white sheet over him in an attempt to turn him into a ghost. However, while this sounds pretty farfetched, it works a treat and this film is one of the best of the year.
The film focuses on life after death and the bereavement that comes with. Affleck plays C, a ghost, who is the deceased husband of Rooney Mara. What's interesting about this film though is that Loweery decided to tell the story from the point of view of the ghost, rather than those alive. The distance between the pair is heartbreaking - once everything that made him human has gone, all that left is love and longing, which is aching to watch.
Music is central to the plot and the film's direction itself. Daniel Hart's string-heavy score is a beauty in itself and really touches a nerve. This is definitely a film not to miss out on, and its cosmic magic will give certainly bring a tear to your eye.
When it comes to superhero movies, it's hard to deny that they are almost all the time about men. Not since 2004's Catwoman have we had a film that is solely about a woman. Wonder Woman was that timely joy and finally women were hailed as superheroes worthy of their own movie. The film itself tackles this subject with Gal Gadot's character seemingly fighting a male hierarchy. General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) says at one point "as magnificent as you are, you are still no match for me" and she certainly proves him wrong.
Directed by Patty Jenkins, the film celebrates Gadot's feminine traits. However, it is still one of comic romance, with Chris Pine thrown in for good measure. This is a film that actually makes us think 'thank god for the comic book movie' (at long last).
The Florida Project
Sean Baker, the director of The Florida Project, has made a career out of telling stories of outsiders. The film focuses on Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), who lives with her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) in a cheap, gimmicky motel down the road from Disney World, Florida. Halley is all over town with her friends, causing havoc which leaves the motel’s manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe) to act as parent to both Moonee and Halley. His role has already seen Dafoe considered as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for Best Supporting Actor.
At times the movie has no point to it, but for Baker there is a huge point. He wants us to see the characters and the people they represent for all that they are worth and not just as some part of a story line. It shows rather than tells a story. What's also amazing about this film is that Baker has stuck to working with untrained talent as he always tries to. Brooklynn Prince is vibrant and Bria Vinaite, who is essentially an untrained Instagram star, is the real breakthrough star. We'd put this up there as the best film of the year.
On That Note
2017 has been a big year for film, with so many new releases that are definitely going to be deemed Oscar worthy. Above we have compiled the ten best (in our opinions) that we think you should watch right away, from Call Me By Your Name to The Florida Project.