(*homocinematically inclined)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Movie Dearest's Top 10 of 2017

Movie Dearest creator Kirby Holt names his favorite films of 2017.

2017 was a great year for movies, which made this annual tradition of a "10 Best" list harder than usual, but not impossible when I focused in on the films that stuck with me long after the final frame. This top 10 is made up of my own personal favorites, the movies that moved me the most and will stick with me for years to come.

1. The Shape of Water: Guillermo del Toro's breathtakingly mesmerizing tale of a love both unusual and universal was the most cinematically transformative film experience of the year.

2. Wonderstruck: Two parallel stories of loss and hope bridge the expanse of time in Todd Hayne's beautifully crafted exploration of faith and fate.

3. Baby Driver: Edgar Wright's crazy, cool caper flick with a killer soundtrack was the year's most unexpectedly fun and thrilling roller coaster ride.

4. Darkest Hour: Gary Oldman's brilliant embodiment of Winston Churchill is just the beginning of the greatness in this taut biopic of the legendary British Prime Minister.

5. Blade Runner 2049: Rich with themes of humanity and identity, this gorgeously-shot, long awaited sequel one-upped its classic predecessor with a deeper emotional core.

6. Molly's Game: The whip-crack dialogue of Aaron Sorkin as performed by the chemistry-rich duo of Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba was one of the most rewarding surprises of the year.

7. The Greatest Showman: Not everyone appreciates a good old fashioned movie musical, but I was swept away by this lavish P.T. Barnum-inspired spectacle.

8. In the Fade: A life-altering tragedy leads a grieving woman (an excellent Diane Kruger) to go to extreme lengths for justice in this gripping, shocking drama from Germany.

9. God's Own Country: Don't just dismiss this gritty, sexy man-on-man romance as the "British Brokeback Mountain"; it's a gay cinema classic-in-the-making in its own right.

10. The Killing of a Sacred Deer: Following last year's equally off-kilter The Lobster, writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos delivered an even more darkly twisted tale of extremes.

Of course there were far more than ten movies I loved this year, so my "Honorable Mentions" include the Disney blockbusters Beauty and the Beast, Coco and Star Wars: The Last Jedi; the atypical romcom The Big Sick; the bittersweet biopic Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool; the haunting-in-a-different-way A Ghost Story; the stunning superhero sagas Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman; the riveting documentary Oklahoma City; the powerful dramas Mudbound, Wind River and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; and two very different foreign takes on LGBTQ characters, Thelma and Tom of Finland.

By Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

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