Lists and Awards: Film Comment and More

In today’s round, we’re looking not only at the most recent best-of-2017 lists and awards but also new additions to the National Film Registry, the Black List, and more. We begin with Film Comment, where contributors and staff have voted up two top twenties and then added notes and links for each film on the neatly designed lists. So you’ll want to have a look at them at the site. Here, though, is a quick overview of the titles.

The best films released in the U.S. this year:

1. Josh and Benny Safie’s Good Time
2. Terence Davies’s A Quiet Passion
3. Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper
4. Jordan Peele’s Get Out
5. Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama
6. Frederick Wiseman’s Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
7. Albert Serra’s The Death of Louis XIV
8. Agnès Varda and JR’s Faces Places
9. James Gray’s The Lost City of Z
10. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird
11. Eduardo Williams’s The Human Surge
12. Aki Kaurismäki’s The Other Side of Hope
13. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project
14. Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen Time
15. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread
16. Hong Sangsoo’s On the Beach at Night Alone
17. Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck
18. Dee Rees’s Mudbound
19. Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute)
20. Ruben Östlund’s The Square

The best undistributed films of 2017:

1. Pedro Pinho’s The Nothing Factory
2. Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature
3. Heinz Emigholz’s Streetscapes [Dialogue]
4. Valérie Massadian’s Milla
5. Kevin Jerome Everson’s Tonsler Park
6. Wang Bing’s Mrs. Fang
7. Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik’s Spoor
8. Narimane Mari’s Le Fort de fous
9. Ilian Metev’s 3/4
10. Barbet Schroeder’s The Venerable W.
11. Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits
12. Serge Bozon’s Mrs. Hyde
13. Raúl Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento’s The Wandering Soap Opera
14. Antonio Méndez Esparza’s Life and Nothing More
15. Karim Moussaoui’s Until the Birds Return
16. Ben Russell’s Good Luck
17. Shevaun Mizrahi’s Distant Constellation
18. Nathaniel Dorsky’s The Quartet (Elohim,Abaton,Coda,Ode)
19. Helena Wittmann’s Drift
20. Michael Glawogger and Monika Willi’s Untitled

And there’s an accompanying podcast in which Film Comment editor Nicolas Rapold, Film Society of Lincoln Center editorial director Michael Koresky, and FC digital producer Violet Lucca discuss the list (61’02”).

More Lists

The Playlist has polled more than thirty of its regular contributors to come up with an annotated top twenty-five, a list that looks quite different from Film Comment’s. The top ten:

1. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird
2. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk
3. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project
4. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water
5. Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049
6. Jordan Peele’s Get Out
7. David Lowery’s A Ghost Story
8. Josh and Benny Safdie’s Good Time
9. Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name
10. James Gray’s The Lost City of Z

Lady Bird also tops the list at, where contributors write about each of the films voted to the top ten:

1. Christy Lemire on Lady Bird
2. Brian Tallerico on Phantom Thread
3. Godfrey Cheshire on Get Out
4. Susan Wloszczyna on Mudbound
5. Matt Fagerholm on Call Me by Your Name
6. Odie Henderson on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7. Sheila O’Malley on Personal Shopper
8. Glenn Kenny on The Florida Project
9. Simon Abrams on A Quiet Passion
10. Matt Zoller Seitz on A Ghost Story

The Hollywood Reporter has rolled out all its critics’ lists on a single page, introduced by Todd McCarthy, who has a few notes on each of his top ten. His #1 is Downsizing: “Alexander Payne’s film addresses one of the weightiest subjects there is, that of humanity's long-term viability on the planet, and does so as a humane comedy-drama without an ounce of pretension.” The other critics’ top tens are titles-only. Jon Frosch, David Rooney, Sheri Linden, and Michael Rechtshaffen all have Call Me by Your Name in the #1 slot, while Stephen Farber goes for Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Frank Scheck for Dunkirk.

“My top pick was an easy one,” writes Christy Lemire at her site. “Call Me by Your Name absolutely wrecked me.”

Mallory Andrews’s top three: David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Return,Call Me by Your Name, and Phantom Thread.

More Movies

Every December, the Library of Congress selects twenty-five films slated for preservation in its National Film Registry, and this year’s round brings the grand total to 725—so far. “The library said in a news release that it had chosen these films after conferring with members of the National Film Preservation Board and other experts, and considering some 5,200 nominations submitted by the public,” notes Dave Itzkoff in the New York Times. The new additions:

Ace in the Hole (aka Big Carnival) (1951), directed by Billy Wilder and starring Kirk Douglas
Boulevard Nights (1979), a film about gang wars in Los Angeles directed by Michael Pressman
Die Hard (1988), John McTiernan’s Christmas classic with Bruce Willis
Dumbo (1941), one of Disney's shortest animated features
Field of Dreams (1989), directed by Phil Alden Robinson and starring Kevin Costner
4 Little Girls (1997), Spike Lee’s documentary about the murder of four African-American girls in Alabama in 1963
Fuentes Family Home Movies Collection (1920s and 1930s), chronicling life in in Corpus Christi, Texas
Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), an exposé on anti-Semitism directed by Elia Kazan
The Goonies (1985), directed by Richard Donner; story by Steven Spielberg
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn
He Who Gets Slapped (1924), directed by Victor Sjöström and starring Lon Chaney
Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905), directed by G. W. Bitzer
La Bamba (1987), directed by Luis Valdez and starring Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie Valens
Lives of Performers (1972), directed by Yvonne Rainer
Memento (2000), Christopher Nolan’s puzzler
Only Angels Have Wings (1939), directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Rita Hayworth
The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918), Winsor McCay’s silent animated short
Spartacus (1960), directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Dalton Trumbo, and starring Kirk Douglas
Superman (1978), directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve
Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988), the documentary directed by Charlotte Zwerin
Time and Dreams (1976), Mort Jordan’s portrait of an African-American community in Alabama
Titanic (1997), James Cameron’s blockbuster
To Sleep with Anger (1990), directed by Charles Burnett and starring Danny Glover
Wanda (1971), starring and written and directed by Barbara Loden
With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain (1937), a document of a group of volunteers who aided the Republicans in their battle against fascism

And by the way, you can watch dozens of films that have been added to the Registry over the years.

“Each year, nearly 300 movie-industry executives vote to determine the most buzz-worthy scripts that have yet to be made into films, or at least have not started principal photography,” writes Jordan Crucchiola at Vulture. “The finalists become the Black List, which, if you’re a screenwriter, is a distinction you definitely want to achieve. The Post was near the top of last year’s Black List, and is now a Steven Spielberg movie.”

Deadline’s Patrick Hipes has the full list of seventy-six screenplays, with notes and rankings, and points out that “Matthew Firpo and Ryan Firpo’s script Ruin received the most votes this year for their story of a nameless ex-Nazi captain who must navigate the ruins of post-World War II Germany and atone for his crimes during the war by hunting down and killing the surviving members of his former SS death squad.” In second place is Let Her Speak, “the biopic about Texas state senator Wendy Davis about her fight to protect abortion rights in part by singlehandedly staging a thirteen-hour filibuster in the Texas House. Sandra Bullock is attached to play Davis.” At TheWrap, Jeremy Fuster argues that “the big takeaway from this year’s list is that women are more present on the list then ever, both in the stories that are being told and the screenwriters who are telling them.”

Sight & Sound has asked thirty-nine critics and curators to list and write about the “best Blu-rays (and DVDs) of 2017.”

“A best-of list is celebratory, while a worst-of recap is cautionary and—okay—a little snide,” writes Chuck Bowen, introducing Slant’s annotated list of the “20 Worst Film Follies of 2017.” “For its discomfort, a worst-of list might be more revealing of the impulses that govern our reactions to art.”

Letterboxd has collected questions from its users to get Sean Baker talking about The Florida Project. “Baker also gave us three film lists to accompany this article,” and they are “Who Sean Baker Wants You to Watch Next,” “Neorealismo: Sean Baker’s Top 5 Neorealist Films,” and “Sean Baker’s Favorites.

Contributors to Vague Visages comment on “their favorite under the radar films of 2017.”

And here’s a silly but irresistible list from Jackson McHenry at Vulture: “The 10 Best Onscreen Coats of 2017.”


The A.V. Club writes about its “20 best TV shows of 2017.” Coming in at #1 is The Good Place: “Michael Schur’s phantasmagorical sitcom burst onto the scene in 2016 like a runaway column of shopping carts ready to carry a self-proclaimed selfish ass to her ultimate, unmerited reward.” And here are the contributors’ ballots.

“Even at twenty shows, and even with recent best-of staples like The Americans,Fargo, or Veep left off because their most recent seasons weren’t up to the level of previous ones, there’s just a lot of great TV out there at the moment, and tough calls have to be made,” writes Alan Sepinwall at Uproxx. #1: The Leftovers: “The eight-episode final season was a miracle from its beginning.”

It’s #1 for both Maureen Ryan and Sonia Saraiya at Variety, too.

Matt Zoller Seitz, who’s already named his favorite shows, focuses on individual episodes at Vulture. #1: Twin Peaks: The Return, “Part 8.”

Also . . .

Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” is “the most visually superior music video since ‘Formation,’” argues Dee Lockett at the top of her list of the “10 Best Music Videos of 2017” at Vulture. “Without ‘Formation’ (and ’99 Problems’ before it), ‘Humble’ is a treatment few directors likely would’ve envisioned. The legendary Dave Meyers and Kendrick’s own ‘little homies’ crew, however, met the challenge.”

Pitchfork presents its list of the “50 Best Albums of 2017,” and Spencer Kornhaber writes about his ten favorites for the Atlantic. Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is #1 on both lists.

Tailwhip’s “Men I Trust” tops Gorilla vs. Bear’s list of ninety “Songs of 2017.”

Novelist (and filmmaker) Dennis Cooper lists his “favorite fiction, poetry, non-fiction, film, art, and internet of 2017.”

Laura Miller writes about her “10 Favorite Books of 2017” at Slate and, by way of Vulture, here’s Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig on her favorite books ever, a list from One Grand Books.


The Screen Actors Guild has announced the nominations for its twenty-fourth annual awards, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri leads with four. Here’s the full list.

Another round from critics’ organizations, and we begin with the African American Film Critics Association:

Best Picture: Get Out
Best Director: Jordan Peele, Get Out
Best Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Best Actress: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actor: Laurence Fishburne, Last Flag Flying
Best Supporting Actress: Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
Best Comedy: Girls Trip
Best Ensemble: Detroit
Best Independent: Crown Heights
Best Animated: Coco
Best Documentary: Step
Best Foreign: The Wound
Best Screenplay: Get Out
Best Song: “It Ain’t Fair,” Detroit, The Roots featuring Bilal
Best New Media: Mudbound
Best TV Series (Comedy): Black-ish
Best TV series (Drama): Queen Sugar
Breakout: Lakeith Stanfield, Crown Heights

AAFCA top ten films of 2017:

Get Out
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Girls Trip
Call Me by Your Name
The Shape of Water
Crown Heights

The Chicago Film Critics Association:

Best Picture: Lady Bird
Best Director: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Best Actor: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Best Supporting Actress, Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Best Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele, Get Out
Best Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name
Best Foreign Language Film: The Square
Best Documentary: Jane
Best Animated Feature: Coco
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
Best Editing: Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss, Baby Driver
Best Art Direction: Blade Runner 2049
Best Original Score: Johnny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
Most Promising Performer: Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Most Promising Filmmaker: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

The San Diego Film Critics Society:

Best Picture: Get Out; runner-up: Lady Bird
Best Director: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird; runner-up: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Best Actor: James McAvoy, Split; runner-up: James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, Maudie; runner-up: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; runner-up: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Best Supporting Actress: Tie: Allison Janney I, Tonya, and Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Best Comedic Performance: Daniel Craig, Logan Lucky; runner-up: James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Best Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele, Get Out; runner-up: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Best Adapted Screenplay: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist; runner-up: Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound
Best Documentary: Jane; runner-up: The Work
Best Animated Film: My Life as a Zucchini; runner-up: The Boss Baby
Best Foreign Language Film: Thelma; runner-up: BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Best Editing: Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss, Baby Driver; runner-up: Lee Smith, Dunkirk
Best Cinematography: Hoyte Van Hoytema, Dunkirk; runner-up: Darius Khondji, The Lost City of Z
Best Production Design: Paul D. Austerberry, The Shape of Water; runner-up: Alessandora Querzola and Dennis Gassner, Blade Runner 2049
Best Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes; runner-up: Tie: Beauty and the Beast and Dunkirk
Best Costume Design: Tie: Jacqueline Durran, Beauty and the Beast, and Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread
Best Use of Music: Baby Driver; runner-up: Call Me by Your Name
Breakthrough Artist: Timothée Chalamet; runner-up: Barry Keoghan
Best Ensemble: Mudbound
Body of Work: Michael Stuhlbarg, The Post,Call Me by Your Name,The Shape of Water

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a shortlist of ten contenders for the Best Live Action Short Film Oscar.

The Directors Guild of America will present a DGA Honorary Life Member Award to past president Michael Apted, probably best known for his Up series.

Call Me by Your Name,Lady Bird, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri lead the nominations for the seventh AACTA International Awards presented by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, reports Anita Busch for Deadline.

And here are the nominations for the Austrian Film Awards.

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