Movies of the Year, 2017

  • Manchester By The Sea : Kenneth Lonergan
  • Twentieth Century Women : Mike Mills
  • Hidden Figures : Theodore Milfi
  • Moonlight : Barry Jenkins
  • Certain Women : Kelly Reichardt
  • Graduation : Cristian Mungiu
  • I Am Not Your Negro : Raoul Peck
  • The Levelling : Hope Dickson Leach
  • In Between : Maysaloun Hamoud
  • On Body & Soul : Ildiko Enyedi
  • Mudbound : Dee Rees

These are the films I enjoyed most this year (some of them first released in 2016) listed in the order I saw them rather than in any hierarchy; with the exception of ‘On Body & Soul’, which was streamed on Mubi and deserves to be shown far more widely, they were all seen in one cinema or another. If I were forced to choose a top three or four – Go on! Make me! – they would be ‘Graduation’, ‘In Between’, ‘On Body and Soul’ and ‘Manchester By The Sea’.

I could make a list of almost equal measure of those movies that, to my eyes, were over-hyped, over-rated or just plain bad.  Top of that list would be Pablo Lorrain’s ‘Jackie’, a wooden study in hagiography almost equalled by the same director’s pompously ‘arty’ ‘Neruda’ – quite a feat to have two lousy efforts released in the same year. Despite some considerable critical acclaim, Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Elle’ was as unpleasant and exploitative as I should have anticipated – can we just see that rape scene from a different angle one more time, please? Both ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ were as empty as they were over-long and overwrought and I’m sorry but, in the face of much positivity, I almost totally failed to ‘get’ ‘Toni Erdmann’.

Next year, must try harder.

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