Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year where the awards circuit was dominated by two films that battled things out the whole way through and there was much controversy regarding the front runners due to the genre’s portrayed and some of the characters.
9. Phantom Thread – Strong production elements in this film outshine the almost non-existent storyline. The cast is quite good, but it’s hard to care for any of them because their true motivations for all of their actions aren’t explored enough. The music is great and helps move things along a it since the storyline doesn’t manage to keep things interesting enough.
8. Call Me by Your Name – Interesting premise that works most of the time because we can truly believe the way the two of the characters fall slowly in love over the course of the summer. Chalamet and Hammer are really believable as lovers and the fact that one is shy and one is outgoing works quite well to keep things feeling realistic. The characters are interesting to watch and we constantly want to know more about their lives. The dialogue is fun to listen to and remains clever the whole time. The one drawback of this film is that some parts move along super slowly and you just want them to be sped up.
7. Get Out – Great idea that works on numerous levels. I wouldn’t necessarily truly classify this as a horror film because it’s much closer to being a psychological thriller. The cast is great, and the story moves at a great pace constantly surprising us along the way. The added moments of humor help keep things fun and enjoyable and not scary at all. Extremely original idea that proves that all movies don’t need to be remakes and as long as they constantly have fresh ideas, movies will continue to be able to entertain us. Fun film, but not necessarily really deserving of being nominated for Best Picture IMHO.
6. Lady Bird – Great “simple” story that is so relatable to just about anyone watching it. The lead character played by Saoirse Ronan speaks in a voice very familiar to most people which keeps things feeling very realistic and there is no doubt in my mind as to whether she will get some recognition for that role during the upcoming awards season. The events of her life during that year all have significant effects on her as she tries to transform herself. The supporting cast all help her along even if some of them only have small parts, but we can still feel their influence on everything she does. Definitely worth seeing numerous times because it has so much to offer.
5. Darkest Hour – Amazing portrayal of a man in a difficult position and his ability to try and overcome political obstacles. Oldman is superb here because under the heavy makeup, he gets totally lost in the role and one must be reminded who is portraying Churchill. I will be extremely shocked if he doesn’t end up walking away with the Oscar for Best Actor this year. Despite the story taking place in Parliament and around London, they manage to show the tension that the threat of invasion had on everyone. The dialogue is beautifully written (even with Churchill’s mumbling speeches) and we get a real sense of how great an orator this man really was.
4. The Post – This film depicts a real story of investigative reporting where the characters must choose whether it is better to print the truth or try and help protect a very political policy. This film does a wonderful job keeping things at a great pace and even for those of the viewers (like me) who knew what would eventually happen, the story still remains gripping and thrilling the entire time. The cast is spectacular with leads by Tom Hanks (as The Post’s editor) and Meryl Streep (as the new publisher of the paper) that help embody the true personalities of the people they portray.
3. The Shape of Water – Such a great movie that works on so many levels. The characters are all quite unique and each follows their heart despite having their own agendas. This film is nearly perfect from a visual standpoint and it truly is wondrous to look at. Del Toro has created another modern day fairy tale that mirrors the evils that have occurred in the past while trying to find a bright shining light among the darkness of it all. The cast is spectacular and Hawkins does a superb job in the lead despite never needing to say a word. This is proof of how great an actress she is because we can feel her emotions just by her body movements and actions and there is no need for her to communicate verbally for this. The way that this film uses minority characters to tell its story also says so much about what was perceived as normal during the Cold War Era while still allowing such characters to be the heroes of this story. One of the best films of 2017 which gets better during each rewatch.
2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Amazing film that does a wonderful job creating interesting and unique characters that start off one way but by the end have changed completely. The story arc is great because it keeps changing directions and constantly surprises along the way. The cast is superb with McDormand, Harrelson and Rockwell each giving amazing performances. The rest of the supporting cast is also superbly chosen to help make all of the characters count. This is a story about how life leads us in directions that we never expect. It may all seem neatly put together, but it really isn’t because so much is left for us to ponder for a while after seeing it. The story and characters are all very layered yet it all plays out in a way that works really well. I’m so happy that this film has managed to win Best Picture at the Globes, SAG and BAFTA this year
1. Dunkirk – Amazing film that is told so well by Nolan. He is a master at telling complex stories in complex ways and this film is no exception to that rule. The cast is less important here because it is the story that acts as the main character throughout. The story expertly weaves three storylines together in a unique way to give us an even grander perspective on the whole event. The music by Zimmer helps keep the tension high as things get more and more tense as the story moves along. One of the best films of 2017, if not THE best.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! TSoW is a nice choice for Best Picture but it isn’t as good as some of the other films which work better. That being said, I can;t blame the Academy for finally trying to be a it different and giving a sci-fi fantasy film the award.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!