Mon. Sep 21st, 2020

My Picks for the Best Films and Performances of 2017

Hey look, another Top 10 list. But wait, there’s more! Thinking about the films that I loved this year it was those that challenged me that I got the most from. Divisiveness wasn’t just in the political and social spectrums this year. Films like mother! and The Killing of a Sacred Deer split audiences. Even the new Star Wars found a way to stir a divide in its staunchest fanbase. Comic book films got elevated with Logan and Wonder Woman. Rumination on death, birth, love and everything in between found their way onto my lists. Also, cats!

Performances this year that hit their mark shined a light on actors who landed hits all over the place with multiple films and two stars who had incredible years in both film and television. Race, gender and social inequality were focal points for many of the best performances, giving a voice and a platform for much-needed conversations. Strong women were a major acting force this year as well, including Sally Hawkins (Maudie and The Shape of Water), Stephanie Beatriz (The Light of the Moon), Salma Hayek (Beatriz at Dinner) and Hong Chau (Downsizing).

Here are my favorite films and performances of the year.

Top 10 FILMS

Call Me By Your Name
The Florida Project
Get Out
A Ghost Story
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread

Such Great Heists

Baby Driver
Good Time
Logan Lucky

Death Becomes Them

A Ghost Story and Personal Shopper both examined our relationship with death and surviving in intellectually and emotionally stimulating ways. Kristen Stewart (Personal Shopper) continues to build an incredible repertoire of amazing performances post-Twilight and A Ghost Story finds that the sadness on the other plane can be equally as aching. Plus, that score!


Stephanie Beatriz – The Light of the Moon
Jamie Bell – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Nahuel Pérez Biscayart – BPM
Hong Chau – Downsizing
Betty Gabriel – Get Out
Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip
Armie Hammer – Call Me By Your Name
Salma Hayek – Beatriz at Dinner
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
Vicky Krieps – Phantom Thread
Rob Morgan – Mudbound
Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
Benny Safdie – Good Time
Lois Smith – Marjorie Prime
Harry Dean Stanton – Lucky
Kristen Stewart – Personal Shopper
Daniela Vega – A Fantastic Woman

Amazing Double Threats and Triple Threats (and even a Quad)

Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name, Hostiles, Lady Bird
Colin Farrell – The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Jake Gyllenhaal – Okja, Stronger
Woody Harrelson – Wilson, War for the Planet of the Apes, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, LBJ
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water, Maudie
Barry Keoghan – Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Nicole Kidman – The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer (plus TV’s Big Little Lies and Top of the Lake: China Girl)
Caleb Landry Jones – The Florida Project, Get Out, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Tracy Letts – Lady Bird, The Post
Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me By Your Name, The Post, The Shape of Water
Robert Pattinson – Good Time, The Lost City of Z

Mom’s the Word

Whether they were fighting with their teenage daughters, stabbing their teenage daughters, comforting their gay son’s first love lost or the ‘original’ mother herself, moms had a big year in film.

Amira Casar – Call Me By Your Name
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Jennifer Lawrence – mother!
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

Put This Kid in Pictures: A Great Year for Youth Performances

Seo-hyun Ahn – Okja
Mckenna Grace – Gifted
Dafne Keen – Logan
Garance Marillier – Raw
Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project
Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck
Jacob Tremblay – Wonder

Transcending Space and Time

Laura Dern – TV’s Big Little Lies, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Last Man on Earth, F is for Family and Twin Peaks: The Return. In film, Wilson, Downsizing and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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