2017 has been a big year in film, and is perhaps one of my favorite years in film. There hasn’t been one instance throughout the year where I wasn’t eagerly checking showtimes to see if I can squeeze a trip to the movies into my schedule. So many long anticipated films came out this year, spanning from big budget films such as the live action version of Beauty & The Beast, to lower budget independent films such as Lady Bird. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I have a very niche taste in film, and tend to gravitate towards independent movies, period pieces, and witty coming of age stories. Aside from the super exciting string of Marvel films that were released this year, here are several of my favorite films that came out this past year.
1. Lady Bird
While the rest of the films I’ll be including in this list are in no particular order, Lady Bird definitely deserves to be at the very top. This movie touched me in so many different ways – from the way it was shot to the story line itself. The dialogue was witty, and the story line tugged at your heartstrings at just the right moments. Almost autobiographical, Lady Bird revolves around a girl in her senior year at a Catholic high school in Sacramento. While I did appreciate all of the references to the familiar things I grew up with in Sacramento, as well as the very narrative about life in a Catholic school, the story itself was so incredibly well-written, and contained elements that everyone can relate to – even those who didn’t grow up going to Catholic school in Sacramento.
2. Brad’s Status
Also taking place in suburban Sacramento (can you see why this year has been my favorite in film?), Brad’s Status revolves around the relationship between a father and his son as he takes him on a college tour along the east coast. Suddenly realizing his mortality, Brad, the father, yearns to relive his younger days, and is eager to live vicariously through his teenage son as he ventures into the next chapter in his life. This film sheds light on the various stages of growing up, and brings comfort to those who may still be feeling lost or dissatisfied in their own lives, whether they are just entering young adulthood, or watching the next generation of people enter young adulthood. Though the trailer itself was enough to send me down an existential crisis rabbit hole, this film brought comfort in the reality that you never really stop growing up, and that you have to find your own satisfaction in your own life path.
I need to be honest with this one. Majority of the reason why I went out of my way to see this movie was because Harry Styles was in it. I will say that majority of this motivation stemmed from pure curiosity, wanting to see if he could prove himself as an actor, just as he has as a well-known musical entity. I must say that with the little dialogue he had, Harry Styles thoroughly impressed me. I’m usually not too keen on seeing war films, but after the release of 2014’s Fury, I became 100 percent invested in the genre. What I liked about Dunkirk was that while the story included action-packed and suspenseful scenes, the way that the different story lines were woven together was seamless and beautiful. Taking place during World War II, there were three different stories that would ultimately come together – one taking place from the perspective of being in the air, one being on land, and the last being in the water. If this didn’t provide enough depth to the story line, each perspective also had different timelines: one taking place over the course of a week, one spanning one day, and the last taking place in an hour. The film began with the story lines separate, and it ends with them ultimately intersecting – a feat that was phenomenally and beautifully accomplished. The film itself had very little dialogue, but the limited dialogue, along with the action and the creative storytelling, was enough to keep me invested throughout the duration of the movie.
4. The Big Sick
Jumping back into the comedy genre, The Big Sick tells a love story in a very realistic and heart-wrenching way. Even though Judd Apatow is among one of my favorite film makers, I thought this movie would just be another typical crude comedy with dark humor and lots of cursing. While the movie was all of those things, it was also very charming and heart warming, and contained more touching scenes than I expected, easily setting it apart from its counterparts of the likes of Bridesmaids and This Is 40.
5. The Disaster Artist
To round out this year’s list of spectacular movies, The Disaster Artist tells the story of Tommy Wiseau and the conception of this lifetime’s biggest cult film classic, The Room. Again, just with the cast of this film, I was expecting another crude comedy with countless marijuana jokes, but this movie does so much more than make the audience laugh. It gives a true telling of an aspiring artist and how he picks himself up from what could have easily been the biggest flop in his creative career. Whether you are a film maker like Tommy Wiseau or someone trying to climb the corporate ladder, this movie has something for everyone to relate to and resonate with.