2017 was a very good year for me, in term of finding favorites- to the extent that, even after narrowing my list down, I find that I have 14 in the top tier.
They are as follows:
- Call Me By Your Name: Every aspect of this movie is perfect- from the atmosphere to the plot to the chemistry between characters (notably Elio and Armie Hammer and Elio and his father). I want a pair of vintage-y swim trunks. And maybe a peach.
- It: It Chapter 2 disappointed me a bit, but happily this one stands very well on its own.
- Dunkirk: A stylishly-executed war drama about the evacuation of soldiers from Dunkirk. A few people have criticized the “confusing” pacing of the film, but I found that the manipulation of time serviced the feeling of different types of combat in a really interesting way.
- Baby Driver: The use of diegetic music (music incorporated as part of the plot, rather than disconnected soundtrack) in this really blew me away, particularly during action sequences. Shame about Kevin Spacey, but there’s enough Jon Hamm, Jaime Foxx, and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers to provide a good distraction.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: I’m struggling not to start every single one of these descriptions with “This is one of my favorites”. Frances McDormand is a queen, the supporting cast is amazing, and I hope Sam Rockwell can break out of playing incapable racists (see also Vice and Jojo Rabbit).
- The Shape of Water: This is almost one of my favorites but it is at the same type so elegantly done that I would be amiss not to include it. Yes, it is a fish sex movie. Yes, I watched it with someone I was trying to dissuade from his romantic intentions toward me, not realizing the first scene would be bathtub masturbation. The music is beautiful, the wetly green colors are slimily luscious, the acting is all great. They need to cut out the random musical number. There is some controversy about the disabled marrying literal monsters that is very much worth reading about.
- Coco: Coco is highly predictable, fairly formulaic, and astonishingly beautiful. yes, clearly if I were to take two films off of this list, they would be Coco and The Shape of Water, but I’m including them, so deal with it. I can’t stop thinking about the skeleton who is forgotten, I believe his name is Chich. The true star. Along with that beautiful flying tiger animal.
- Phantom Thread: A psychologically twisted costume drama, one of my favorite genres. For fans of Daniel Day Lewis, couture, Paul Thomas Anderson, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (you’ll understand). Also good on a rewatch (I rarely rewatch because there is so much new to see, but this was on a plane).
- The Killing of A Sacred Deer: You may know Yorgos Lanthimos from The Lobster (too weird for me) or, more recently, from The Favorite (a psychologically twisted costume drama for which Olivia Colman won best actress). The Killing of a Sacred Deer seems less well known than those two and deserves to be more widely seen. It’s disturbing and will put you off spaghetti.
- Hostiles: In 1892 a legendary US Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne chief and his family back to their lands through dangerous territory. Frankly, I really liked this movie and did not find it to be too problematic or too forgiving toward white people in an era when we did a whole lot of bad shit, but it’s been long enough since I saw the film that I am unprepared to thread the needle of an accurate description with adequate historical disclaimers.
- Wind River: We’ve already covered Sicario and Hell or High Water- this is the third and last installment of Taylor Sheridan’s trilogy. In my mind, it is the best of the three and hideously underwatched. It’s cold and bleak and fairly devastating. Jeremy Renner rides a snowmobile.
- Ingrid Goes West: It’s a compulsively watchable dark social media satire about a disturbed Aubrey Plaza who worms her way into the life of an Instagram influencer.
- Thoroughbreds: Unfortunately not about horses. Fortunately about two teen girls who hatch an evil plan.
- Detroit: A fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots. I put off watching it for a long while after hearing about how absolutely brutal it is to sit through. I wish I hadn’t, because it’s also appallingly necessary viewing.
Honorable Mentions: Get Out, The Wife, Annabelle: Creation, The Breadwinner, BPM, Good Time, Logan Lucky, Mother!, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Beast, and I, Tonya.
I have not yet seen: Okja, You Were Never Really Here, One Cut of the Dead, Tigers are Not Afraid, The Rider, On Body and Soul, A Fantastic Woman, Au Revoir La Haut, November, and Foxtrot.
I turned 22.5 yesterday and today I have an exam that threatens to destroy all that I hold most dear. I’ve been studying since I woke up at 5:30 am. (Approximately five hours ago). There are about three hours left. It’s panic time.
Here’s what’s happening online:
- Kate DiCamillo (author of Because of Winn-Dixie, and others) on why children’s books should be a little sad.
- You can smell when someone is sick. Here’s a case where a woman was able to identify Parkinson’s patients by body odor, some even before they were clinically diagnosed.
- NBA = ballet? Check out these beautiful unplanned synchronized moments.
- Hedi Slimane takes over at Celine, replacing Phoebe Philo. Not a fan of this development.
- An ode to the pre-teen bedroom, complete with bead curtain.
- Ann Curry may have a baby crush on Stephen Colbert but I have a baby crush on Ann Curry.
- First there was athleisure. Now there is bath-leisure.
- Screen Junkies casts the It sequel– the prestige, the popcorn, and the provocative versions (the latter featuring Jared Kushner).
- Full cast and vague plot details have been announced for The Incredibles II and I am salivating.
- This webcomic is my current (as of yesterday) obsession and I’m narrowly avoiding bingeing it instead of studying. It’s sold out but if you buy it in book form it comes with a plush. Here’s the author/illustrators tumblr for more info.
- Phantom Thread is the last big Oscar nominee that I haven’t seen. Here are some of the films from which director Paul Thomas Anderson drew inspiration (including Rebecca!) and an amazing short film featuring under-the-radar lead actress Vicky Krieps.
- One thing I really like about this capsule wardrobe article in particular (among the seeming billions out there, which get
a bit very repetitive) is the recognition that, because everyone’s style is different, so will everyone’s capsule wardrobe be.
- What is Scandinavian style and why is it gaining so much traction globally?
- Living for Colbert’s imitation of French President Emmanuel Macron. It starts around 2 minutes in.
- In case you’re wondering what I’m doing here in France, here’s a video featuring some of my classmates.
- And to round out this rather fashion-focused week, Kate Spade succulent sandals.
Some of my favorite film critics are putting out their lists of ‘top 5 (or 10) films of 2017’ and I don’t want to be left out. However, the difference between me and them is that they get early screenings to everything, and so have actually seen the big 2017 films that I have yet to see (especially the Oscar-bait ones that cluster toward the end of December).
But I’ve been thinking back on what I’ve seen so far, and it’s definitely enough to make a top five, plus honorable mentions, plus shout outs to films I’m excited to see but that I haven’t had time to see, am saving for later, or that haven’t come out yet.
In an order that indefinitely particular:
- Baby Driver
- Wind River
- Ingrid Goes West
Honorable Mentions: Coco, The Shape of Water, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Not yet seen: Lady Bird, The Post, I Tonya, Phantom Thread, Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Hostiles, The Disaster Artist, Loving Vincent, The Square, Only the Brave, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, Mudbound, Good Time, Lucky, and many many more.
It may not be Friday where you are- hell, it’s hardly Friday here- but I’m starting a new (and long) day and will try to get this out of the gate before it becomes impossible. And if this is posted on Saturday, then you will know it was, actually, impossible.
- “It’s time for their to be roles in the ballet where two men can fall in love”. YES!
- Still trying to scrounge up and SNL skits I can find. Here’s Kellyanne Conway as Pennywise the Clown.
- A friend of mine who is also a Yale professor but who was not my professor and who is an amazing, lovely, inspiring woman wrote about her experience at a ten-day silent Vispassana meditation retreat.
- You already know my (very long and involved) feelings on the #MeToo campaign. From Reductress: Woman posts another Facebook status in hopes that men will learn to be human beings.
- A bunch of exhibitions coming up in Paris! What should I go to?
- Are box stalls really the best option for your horse’s health and happiness, or are they designed to reflect what human beings would want, were they horses?
- Is this feminist poem really by a third grader? “I am a church bell, gonging out wrongs and rights and normal nights.”
- A whole new way for me to be antisocial: Are you an introvert, an extrovert, or a Victorian ghost with unfinished business?
- This is so well-written and so funny: Will pumpkin spice destroy us all?
- Instead of saying, “Do not go around lighting people on fire,” we are telling women, “Don’t be flammable.” Men of the world, you are not the weather.
Apologies for the spurious posting but really in a #sorrynotsorry kind of way because I’m in France living my busiest and #bestlife.
I’ll stop with the hashtags now because I’m quickly losing all self respect.
Hi! Let’s do a quick rundown on my personal life since last Friday links post. I’ve moved to France.
That was shorter than I expected it to be. Continue reading “Late Links 9/16: Let’s do this thing!”
Is It a summer film, or no?
I generally consider Labor Day weekend to be my personal boundary between summer and fall- it makes sense based on the meteorology around these parts, if it’s not astrologically correct.
I’m going to include it.
And then if I do a fall list (Autumn ends in early-mid November) I’ll include it in there too.
Let the countdown start (from best to not as best)! Continue reading “All the Summer Film Releases I Saw, Ranked”
As usual, here is my new desktop background for the month of August. As usual, it is tiled and I have no idea where it came from.
After a one week break from links, we here at list Mimsy (i.e., me) are back. Capisce?
Capisce. Continue reading “Friday Links 8/4”
I saw The Big Sick the day before yesterday! It was pretty good but not as excellent as I was hoping it would be. It’s hard to get a romcom right- I mean it’s hard to make an intelligent romcom. Without spoilers, a few of the things I found lacking: a number of the best jokes were used in the trailer, and I found myself wishing I hadn’t seen the trailer so I could appreciate the film more. Kind of says something negative re: rewatchability.
Also, the movie, despite being a romantic comedy, is too much about the male main character, Kumail Nanjiani. Given that the female protagonist is in a coma for the majority of the film (not a spoiler; that’s the premise), it’s an easy hole to fall into. But even when Emily’s parents (Holly Hunter!) show up to stand in for her, the film still leans into being a coming of age story for Kumail Nanjiani (which, he did do a lot to make this film happen, so I can see how it focuses on his experience). The romantic plot line and family merging took a backseat to his personal development, to the extent that Emily’s coma feels more like a plot device to trigger Kumail’s transformation, rather than the premise of the film. And even though she’s based on a real person, Zoe Kazan’s Emily (through no fault of Zoe Kazan’s, who had to spend most of the film being coma patient) comes across as more manic-pixie-dreamgirl. Probably as a result of the script more than anything else.
But it was a good movie. It was funny and quick, even if it was not as insightful or deep as I was hoping it would be. Continue reading “2017 Films I’m Looking Forward To”