Grant’s Top 10 Films of 2017 Featuring The Shape of Water, Phantom Thread & mother!

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2017 has been quite a year at the theater. We have are about at the end of the year, and I can’t tell you how many huge Oscar contenders there are this year.  There’s a huge consensus that even now there is no clear frontrunner for the best picture.  If you’re looking for something to catch at the theater over the holidays or just missed any of these movies when they came out, I’m going to list the most notable and my personal favorite movies from the past year.

Honorable Mentions:
Wind River
War For The Planet of the Apes
Baby Driver
Dunkirk
Ladybird

10. Call Me By Your Name

This film is a straight indie powerhouse. It’s a mix of an LGBT story, a coming of age story, and family drama all wrapped up in one without faltering on any of those genres.  Arnie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet absolutely knocked it out of the park with their performances.  The color palalette and the production design are superb.  This film has one of the best soundtracks of the year, and may very well pick up Best Original Song for “Mystery of Love”.  The infamous peach scene may be one of the best directed scenes all year.

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9. A Ghost Story

This was my number one movie for the longest coming out of the summer.  This atmospheric walk through time was absolutely hypnotizing from beginning to end. While it has fallen down my list quite a bit, it’s ideas and executions prove that this year was a dynamite year for indie cinema.

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8. The Big Sick

The other Sundance darling to get released over the summer has stuck in my top 10 as well.  This movie is equal parts hilarious and heart wrenching.  Every actor’s performance in this movie is accolade worthy.  It’s a refreshing take on the rom com genre, and definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.

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7. The Disaster Artist

If you haven’t been living under a rock for almost two decades, then you’re familiar with Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Infamously known as the best worst movie ever made, James Franco took on the retelling of the making of that movie in The Disaster Artist.  The film is an absolute riot.  It’s more than just a service to the culture dedicated to midnight screenings of The Room. Its a heartwarming tale about two dreamers setting out to make their way in Hollywood.  Franco gives the performance of his career for his portrayal of Tommy.  Wouldn’t it be the story of the century if Franco got nominated for Best Actor playing the guy who made the worst movie ever? What a story!

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6. Phantom Thread

Said to be Daniel Day Lewis’ last film before he retires from acting, it would make sense he opts for one more outing with frequent collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson.  Phantom Thread is very much a P.T. Anderson film, and Day Lewis gives commendable performance to go out on.  The film is absolutely beautiful.  The story is engaging.  The two actresses playing of Day Lewis are incredible.  P.T. Anderson films may not be for everyone, but if you’re a fan this is definitely worth checking out.

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5. mother!

Darren Aronofsky’s back at it again with the horribly uncomfortable, nightmarish scenrios brought to life on film.  This time he tackles an allegorical drama in the form of mother! starring Jennifer Lawerence.  I won’t dive into any plot details, because this is a film that needs to be absorbed without any outside influences.  I saw it three times in theaters, and the film got even richer with each viewing. This is one of the must see films of the year.

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4. Logan

This may be the first time ever that a super hero movie is in my top 10 at the end of the year.  Logan is a superb superhero movie, in that its not just superhero movie.  Its a compelling character drama under the guise of a western. Hugh Jackman pulls out the Wolverine claws on last time and gives his best performance as the beast I have ever seen on film.  Sir Patrick Stewart also gives an absolutely beautiful performance of Xavier.  This film proves that R-rated comic book movies can allow for rich storytelling, and Logan is one of the best movies of the year.

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3. The Shape of Water

Guillermo Del Toro is proven to be the modern master of monster movies, and The Shape of Water is another impressive film to add to his portfolio.  Absolutely breathtaking, this film will sweep all the technical Oscars.  This cast is superb, especially Sally Hawkins as the mute Eliza.  If The Creature of the Black Lagoon love story sounds like something up your alleyway, then definitely check this movie out.

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2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I have a weakness for dark comedies, and this movie hit that sweet spot for me.  it is equal parts hilarious and dramatic.  It has one of the most original revenge tales in recent memory, and the extraordinary cast helps elevate that to a whole other level. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell deserves Oscar for their performances.  This is not a predictable film.  You’ll be on the edge of your seat till the very end, and laughing all the way there.

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1. Blade Runner 2049

Another surprise to me is a blockbuster securing the spot for my favorite movie of the year.  Really, all the movies in my top 5 are interchangeable.  The talent involved in this movie just puts in a level above the rest.  Helmed by Denis Villeneuve, this film builds upon the original cult-classic and the universe it established.  Behind the camera is legendary cinematographer and my personal idol, Roger Deakins.  The film is absolutely breathtaking, from the elaborate lighting set ups to the organic special effects.  Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto take on characters that build this universe in a compelling way.  It’s sad this film flopped at the box office, but given the 3 hour runtime its understandable why people would not want to see it.  It deserves all of the technical Oscars, because this is one of the most ambitious feats of production in recent memory.

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See you guys for more good movies next year!

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"I'm a cinematographer based in Nashville, TN that specializes in narrative and commercial work. I'm an avid movie fan through and through, so long as there's good lighting"