Rudie’s Top Ten of 2017
10 . Call Me By Your Name
The third installment in director Luca Guadagnino’s thematic “Desire” trilogy (along with I Am Love and A Bigger Splash), Call Me By Your Name is a wonderful coming-of-age film that celebrates young love, the journey of heartbreak, and, of course, peaches. Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet are at the top of their game as Oliver and Elio, two young men who give in to passionate, yet short-lived, romance in the Italian countryside during the early 1980s.
9. Good Time
Robert Pattinson is king of the down-and-out scumbags, as writers/directors Joshua Safdie and Ben Safdie take an audience on a strange, drug-fueled journey through the dirty streets of New York City. Pattinson plays Connie, a small time crook on the run from the law, as he also tries to rescue his mentally-handicapped brother from police custody. Good Time also shows the ease of white privilege in society, as Connie worms his way out of almost every situation, while leaving people of color to answer for his misdeeds.
8. Phantom Thread
You really can’t go wrong with Paul Thomas Anderson, especially when the movies that star Daniel Day Lewis. Anderson channels Hitchcock and Max Ophüls in a lovely and masochistic romance between a world-class dressmaker and his new muse. Phantom Thread is an obsessive work that is surprisingly funny and suspenseful at times. It’s another great film from a master filmmaker!
7. Get Out
Not many directors can hit it out of the park on their first try, but Jordan Peele does it with ease in Get Out. Peele examines the pitfalls of white privilege among liberals, while subverting trope of blackness in modern horror cinema. Get Out is the best social horror movie since Night of the Living Dead.
6. Darkest Hour
The main question around Darkest Hour is: Should England fight, or appease Adolf Hitler and his Nazi forces, as they threaten to take over France and Great Britain? Politics and duty to country are at odds, as Winston Churchill becomes the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Director Joe Wright and Gary Oldman as Churchill turns something that could’ve been stodgy and dry into something that’s inspiring and riveting.
Director Dee Rees does a magnificent job combining different stories and backgrounds into one cohesive work of art. Mudbound features a number of stories that take place in the rural Mississippi Delta and European frontlines during World War II. The stories examine race, poverty, gender, and PTSD with excellent and nuanced performances from Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, and Jason Mitchell.
4. Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut Lady Bird is a lovely entry in the coming-of-age movie genre with exciting performances from Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan, as a mother and daughter who try to understand each other, while also reluctantly trying to commit to their unconditional love. Gerwig sets her tale in Sacramento, California during the early 2000s with a smart and keen ear for the era’s music and style. Everything just seems like a half-step behind the current trends of the time, which is perfect for suburban life.
While Christopher Nolan is known for his ambitious and large films, nothing will prepare you for the sheer size and scale of Dunkirk. Told over three stories in three separate timelines, Dunkirk features the Allied Forces escape from Nazi-occupied France back into the United Kingdom during World War II. It also features some of the best camerawork and editing captured on IMAX 65mm film stock over land, sea, and air.
2. The Florida Project
The Florida Project is an immaculate film about poverty in the shadow of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. While the subject matter would lend it to be drab and depressing, director Sean Baker injects the movie with so much joy and excitement through the eyes of a child, but also showcases the realism of living day-to-day in America.
1. Your Name
I love anime! It’s one of my favorite movie genres and Your Name is one of the best of the year. Director Makoto Shinkai creates something exquisite and delicate with the animation style, unconventional storytelling, and meaningful character development in this coming-of-age romance about two teens coming together despite their social class and different time and space. Your Name is a must see for anyone who loves anime, or just a good body-swap movie that’s also a touching love story.