Over the past year, I was fortunate enough to watch 73 feature length films with a 2017 release. Welcome to my sixth annual blogpost, where you'll get a chance to read about my top ten motion pictures of 2017. I consider these to be the strongest ones of last year because of the impact they left in me, not just right after their conclusion, but for days, months, or as I type this. These pictures made me question and wonder about my life and the life of others. There's fantasy, period pieces, and diversity (both on and off camera), but what they all share in common is a reflection of society today, that not much has changed despite the mistakes of the past. It is my hope that these pictures inspire and motivate others to seek internal and collective change for the better.
Honorable mention: Coco and Alejandro González Iñárritu's virtual reality piece, Carne y Arena.
10. The Promise (Dir. Terry George)
This is an important movie about the Armenian genocide that changed the course of history forever. It's unfortunate that it didn't deliver in the box office and that not many people got the opportunity to see it; maybe this blogpost can change that a little. I dare to say that Oscar Isaac delivers the best performance of his career.
9. A Ghost Story (Dir. David Lowery)
As someone who contemplates about our mortality on a daily basis, this movie haunts me to date because it makes me question my purpose on earth and whether or not I'm on the path to accomplish such purpose. I didn't love it immediately, but it's one of those movies that stick with you and you learn to love more and more as time goes by. This movie is a reminder that this physical life is fragile and temporary.
8. Okja (Dir. Joon-ho Bong)
Global warming is very real, and this fantasy movie is a representation of that, as well as the greed and irresponsibility that corporations sometimes show towards mother earth for the sake of their interests. Okja the giant pig represents the earth, and the treatment you see her get isn't always too pretty. Jake Gyllenhaal delivers an underrated, stellar performance in this film.
7. The Post (Dir. Steven Spielberg)
This is the reason I love Spielberg movies and why they can be so epic. It's sad that it feels like we're currently living in the same era it takes place due to the current political climate of the country. It's relevant and an important reminder of the mishaps we've experienced as a country in the past. Meryl Streep makes this film hers.
6. Detroit (Dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
Another unforgivable story about African Americans that I wasn't aware of and should be in school history books. Kathryn Bigelow executes another war movie, this time at home. It's upsetting to watch and it is another movie on this list that takes place in a different decade but might as well be today.
5. Baby Driver (Dir. Edgar Wright)
This is an example of why I go to the movies. This was the most fun movie-going experience last year. There's action, drama, suspense, romance, comedy... It's a true V8 ride. Hats off to the music supervisor and choreographers.
4. Hostiles (Dir. Scott Cooper)
A movie about a dog-eat-dog world during the early years of the United States. A movie about empathy, acceptance, and forgiveness. Christian Bale is incredible, and so is the score.
3. Lady Bird (Dir. Greta Gerwig)
A wonderful coming of age movie. Having gone to an all-guys catholic school and figuring out who I was in a small city, allowed me to fully identify myself with many of these characters. Each character is fully developed, no matter how big or small their part is, and the balance between comedy and drama is perfect. This is the feel-good movie of the year that reminds us that attention and love go hand in hand.
2. I, Tonya (Dir. Craig Gillespie)
Another reflection of American expectations and the things that as a society we consider important, such as looks before talent. This is a movie about being underprivileged, seeking perfection, hypocrisy, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The pace of this works, breaking the fourth wall works, having comedic relief works. Everything works. This was close to being my favorite movie of the year.
1. The Shape of Water (Dir. Guillermo del Toro)
The most well-rounded movie of the year from my compatriot del Toro. It covers various subjects, such as man v. nature, handicap relationships, being an outcast in a world ran by straight, white men unable to empathize. I loved the use of green and the homage to cinema and classic monster movies. This movie is basically about how we are all the same, and I hope many people got that.