LACE’s Top 10 (2017)
Although it may be unknown to most, 2017 was a fantastic year for film. Whether independent or big-budget, there was a lot to show over the past several months. In celebration of the new year, we have compiled a list celebrating what we think are the 10 best movies of 2017. One’s that made us laugh, made us cry, made us cheer, made us drop our jaws in awe of what we were seeing. So sit back and relax as we retrace the best of 2017.
South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho returned this year with this divisive magical adventure film about a South Korean girl who ventures away from home to save the titular Okja, a genetically modified pig whom she helped raise. Filled to the brim with strong portrayals of animal cruelty, Joon-ho’s statement against the food industry is stark yet beautiful in this Netflix original film.
War is a terrifying experience. But at the same time, it has the potential to bring a divided nation together in the desperate hope of survival. A monument to the miracle at Dunkirk, the latest effort by Christopher Nolan presents a grand display of survival and hope. Unique in structure and writing, “Dunkirk” will keep you clawing at your arm rests throughout the entire runtime.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Hate, crime, and pitch-black comedy all smashed into one film. From the mind that brought us “In Bruges” (2008) and “Seven Psychopaths” (2012), this deep, intricate study of character and morality can be nothing less than extraordinary. Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson all give performances of a lifetime. This twisted tale of polarization is the subtle wakeup call on racism and inaction that we all need.
Blade Runner 2049
Sequels are terrifying things. We are plagued by them, and they are always hit-or-misses, and usually never surmount to the original source material. “Blade Runner 2049” puts this trend to shame. Director Denis Villeneuve presents us with one of the best science fiction films of the 21st century, if not all time, that arguably surpasses the 1982 original in scale, style, and awe. “Blade Runner 2049” is without a doubt a masterpiece of modern cinema, cementing a golden age of science fiction.
The Big Sick
A deadly illness and comedy? Who know how wonderful these two factors mixed so wonderfully in this thoughtful romance between a struggling comedian and member of his audience. Based on the real-life story of Kumail Nanjiani (who plays himself) and Emily V. Gordon (Zoe Kazan), this arc of true love and the struggles one goes through to fulfill that prophecy is a teary-eyed laugh bag of a good time, and works splendidly despite all odds.
This is a “romance” unlike any other. Rather than focusing on the developing relationship of a couple-to-be, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut focuses on the ups and downs on the relationship between Christine "Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother (Laurie Metcalf). Turbulent yet real, this relationship is one many can relate to in this semi-autobiographical masterwork of love and comedy.
The Shape of Water
A fairy tale for the modern age, Guillermo del Toro returns to his fantasy roots in this unconventional love story between a “silent princess” and “a monster”. Mark by stunning direction and acting, this mysterious, yet surprisingly relatable story of connection and societal oppression grants audiences a gateway into recognition and sympathy with the struggles the characters possess in this masterwork.
Call Me by Your Name
What is it we all desire? It is companionship? A friend? A lover? Set in 1980s Italy, this story revolves around the theme of acceptance; coming to terms with who you are, and facing the consequences you may face to live your true life. Though seemingly shot simply, the marksmanship of Luca Guadagnino’s direction, and the stellar performances by leads Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet gives us a magnum opus of true love and acceptance.
It’s about damn time. Action, suspense, drama, development… a hero. “Wonder Woman” changed everything in the film industry in the blink of an eye. It paved new paths for female directors to take with the groundbreaking impression left by director Patty Jenkins. It gives struggling actresses and dreamers an idol to strive towards when looking for the freedom to express emotion and strength. It gives people a hero, one we needed for a long time.
Nothing short of a cultural phenomenon, comedian-turned-director Jordan Peele’s revolutionary directorial debut is a tour de force of blending fantasy with reality, with portraying the hidden demons everyone stores away in the back of their minds. Peele knows how to get into your head. Because of his background in comedy, the similarities with Peele’s previous work and the horror genre made it easy for him to get into our heads; to show us the things we hide in the closet. “Get Out” combats the oppressive state of modern society and sheds light at what he describes “the post-racial lie” in magnificent fashion utilizing horror and suspense. This is why “Get Out” is our pick for 2017’s film of the year.