Best Films of 2017

So I’m a little late to the game of putting out a year end list. But in point of fact, I never put out a year end list and it’s not really that important anyways. But 2017 was kind of an amazing year for film, for the industry, and for my experience of the industry as well.

It’s been a year which sort of lends itself to a ranking too. And the Oscars are very likely to disappoint what seems like the just allocation of reward for films made this year. Despite good films, the Academy Awards seem primed to spin a yarn more pandering than many of the films themselves. What “should” win will win, and it will seem spectacular that what will win does win, but it should also thoroughly disappoint us.

By way of commentary, ranking some movies on the year also makes sense. Perhaps for the last time I’ll get to peer into a sort of old school set of values. This Top Ten also sort of primes future work in my general evaluation of art. In many respects film is violently catching up with the normative considerations of other arts.

The result is the imperfect list below of imperfect movies. I’ve added minor commentary, but there’s a lot to just be commended overall. So these are the ten best movies I saw which received a wide US release in 2017.

  1. Dunkirk dir. Christopher Nolan—Best Picture, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas; Best Cinematography (film), Hoyte Van Hoytema
  2. Raw dir. Julia Ducournau—Best Foreign Language Film, Julia Ducournau
  3. Get Out dir. Jordan Peele—Best Director, Jordan Peele
  4. Call Me By Your Name dir. Luca Guadagnino—Best Adapted Screenplay, James Ivory; Best Performance, Timothée Chalamet; Best Supporting Performance, Armie Hammer
  5. Phantom Thread dir. Paul Thomas Anderson—Best Performance, Vicky Krieps
  6. Mudbound dir. Dee Rees—Best Cinematography (digital), Rachel Morrison; Best Casting, Billy Hopkins, Ashley Ingram
  7. The Shape of Water dir. Guillermo del Toro—Best Production Design, Paul D. Austerberry
  8. Good Time dir. Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie—Best Original Music, Oneohtrix Point Never
  9. Lady Bird dir. Greta Gerwig—Best Original Screenplay, Greta Gerwig; Best Supporting Performance, Laurie Metcalf
  10. Thirst Street dir. Nathan Silver—Unique and Artistic Production, Nathan Silver, C. Mason Wells