Eric Kohn introduces the results of IndieWire’s 2017 Critics Poll: “More than 200 critics and journalists from around the world participated in the eleventh edition of the poll, making it the largest international critics survey of its kind.” Jordan Peele’s Get Out has fared well in several categories; here’s the top scorer in each:
Best Picture: Get Out
Best Undistributed Film: Joseph Kahn’s Bodied
Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Best Actor: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Best Documentary: Agnès Varda and JR’s Faces Places
Best Debut Feature: Get Out
Best Screenplay: Jordan Peele, Get Out
Best Foreign Language Film: Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
Best Animated Film: Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina’s Coco
Best 2018 Movie Already Seen: Lucrecia Martel’s Zama
Six contributing writes at the A.V. Club have voted up a list of the top twenty films of the year. The top five:
1. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project
2. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird
3. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread
4. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk
5. Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama
And not only have A. A. Dowd, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Mike D’Angelo, Jesse Hassenger, Noel Murray, and Katie Rife posted their ballots, they’ve also each written about an “Outlier,” an “Overrated” film, an “Underrated” one, the “Biggest Disappointment, and “Most Pleasant Surprise.”
Lady Bird tops the list at Uproxx compiled by Vince Mancini, Mike Ryan, Amy Nicholson, and Keith Phipps.
Ostros Cines Europa has asked sixty-five directors who usually work in Spanish to write about a film that’s inspired them this year. For Pedro Almodóvar, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name is “the great revelation of the year.” Carla Simón (Summer 1993) goes for Valeska Grisebach’s Western, while J. A. Bayona (A Monster Calls) picks two, Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country and James Gray’s The Lost City of Z.
Writing for Out, Bret Easton Ellis agrees with Almodóvar. Call Me by Your Name is “the most romantic, swooniest movie of the year. It casts a complete and total spell.”
And from TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde: “James Ivory’s script (from the novel by André Aciman) and the two astonishing lead performances by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer make this a romance to remember.”
Also on board is Carmen Gray, writing about “Ten of the Best Arthouse Films of 2017. Call Me is “tenderly humorous and gorgeously sad in perfect measure.” #2: “Juliette Binoche has never been better than in Let the Sunshine In, a subtle, emotionally intelligent romance (or anti-romance) from French auteur Claire Denis.”
Vogue’s John Powers puts David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Return at the top of his list because “no other film this year was half so audacious or radical in its narrative (or non-narrative) style. None touched on so many themes—the nuclear age, the nature of evil, the fragmentation of the psyche—or had so many wild and wonderful scenes, be it a vision of apocalypse, a man sweeping the floor through the entirety of the song ‘Green Onions,’ or Agent Cooper (brilliantly played by Kyle MacLachlan) wrapping things up with the baffled question, ‘What year is this?’”
Nick Schager has been tinkering with his “Best Movies of 2017” list for Esquire practically all year, but now it’s set. #1: “Errol Morris’s Wormwood is a groundbreaking hybrid of non-fictional and fictional storytelling modes—although no matter how you classify it, it’s the year’s towering cinematic achievement.”
#1 for the Atlantic’s Christopher Orr is Get Out, “a triple hybrid—horror, comedy, social commentary—in which all the elements are in precise alignment from the first frame to the last. Very nearly a perfect movie.”
Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey writes about his top ten documentaries of the year. #1: The Work. “Twice a year, Folsom State Prison expands its weekly group therapy sessions into a four-day intensive session with therapists, convicts, and volunteers from the public. As one of those cons puts it, ‘For four days, let’s be what we could be.’ This extraordinary documentary by Jairus McLeary captures that process with strength and sensitivity, as guards are let down and tears are allowed to flow.”
#1 for TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde is Faces Places. “For me, no other film in 2017 called up as much emotion and delight.”
Screen’s critics each write about a favorite:
Fionnuala Halligan: Emer Reynolds’s The Farthest
Tim Grierson: The Work
Wendy Ide: Michael Glawogger and Monika Willi’s Untitled
Lisa Nesselson: Alexandre O Philippe’s 78/52
Lee Marshall: Barbet Schroeder’s The Venerable W.
Sarah Ward: Kitty Green’s Casting JonBenet
Kim Newman: Keith Maitland’s Tower
And Jonathan Romney, Allan Hunter, and Dan Fainaru all pick Faces Places.
At the Film Stage, the list of the twenty-one “Best Documentaries of 2017” is alphabetical.
“In 2017, keeping up with all of the notable Blu-ray and DVD premieres became a full-time job,” writes Clayton Dillard, introducing Slant’s smartly annotated list of the “20 Best DVDs and Blu-rays of 2017.”
For the TIFF Review, Craig Caron’s put together a dazzling gallery of the “25 Best Movie Posters of 2017.”
The Guardian’s Luke Buckmaster lists the top ten Australian films of the year. #1: Casting JonBenet. “The director Kitty Green’s extraordinary, convention-shattering documentary explores how real-life narratives are distorted into legends.”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri led the field as the London Film Critics’ Circle announced the nominees for their annual awards Tuesday morning,” reports Guy Lodge for Variety. “Martin McDonagh’s debate-stoking dark comedy scored seven nominations, including bids for Film, Director and Actress of the Year, and repeated its recent SAG double-dip in the supporting actor category. Close behind, with six nods apiece, were Paul Thomas Anderson’s late-breaking Phantom Thread and home-grown arthouse hit Lady Macbeth.”
Three Billboards has also scored well with the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, scoring Sierra Awards for Best Picture, Actress (Frances McDormand), Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell), Screenplay (McDonagh), and Ensemble.
Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione reports on the winners of the Black Film Critics Circle’s awards: “Dee Rees’s Mudbound leads the main pack of laureates with prizes for Best Film, Best Supporting Actress (Mary J Blige), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Ensemble. Jordan Peele’s Get Out also gets shout-outs in the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay categories.”
The St. Louis Film Critics Association likes Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, awarding it Best Film, Director, Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins), Original Screenplay (del Toro and Vanessa Williams), and Production Design (Paul D. Austerberry).
The Shape of Water also wins Best Picture, Actress (Sally Hawkins), Male Director, and Score (Alexandre Desplat) from the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society.
The Indiana Film Journalists Association favors Lady Bird, awarding it Best Film, Director and Original Screenplay (Greta Gerwig), Actress (Saoirse Ronan) and Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf). The Breakout of the Year award goes to Timothée Chalamet for his work in Lady Bird and Call Me by Your Name.
Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker’s television critic, doesn’t like lists. “Online, they work first as clickbait, then as groupthink. They force critics to rate radically dissimilar projects—the epic, the dramedy, the sleek time-killer, the ambitious game-changer that doesn’t quite cohere—so that algorithms can crunch out a blandly universal must-see selection. I don’t like math, and if I knew anything about how numbers worked I wouldn’t have gone into arts criticism. Plus, I haven’t seen all the TV, and neither have you.” That said, here she goes. “I knew what my No. 1 was. But the rest are jumbled together, so don’t you dare think they’re in order.” That #1: The Leftovers.
Jim Hemphill’s list at the Talkhouse is in alphabetical order.
Also . . .
“Music videos can often serve as a barometer of the times, and the way that they’re consumed today—largely shared among like-minded friends on social media alongside news and other commentary—has rendered the medium an ideal vessel for socio-political missives and observations.” Sal Cinquemani introduces Slant’s annotated list of the “25 Best Music Videos of 2017.”
More from Creative Review’s Eliza Williams, who has the magazine’s “list of the most creative, visually stunning and all-round brilliant vids of 2017.” Williams also presents Creative Review’s “Ads of the Year 2017”: “In a climate that can be increasingly bland and conformist, they demonstrate that the brands that go bold will shine brightest.”
Staffers at magCulture pick their favorite magazines of the year.
Longreads writers and editors link to and write about the best in “Arts & Culture Writing.”
Cillian Murphy (Dunkirk, Peaky Blinders) tells One Grand Books about his ten favorites of all time.
And finally for now, as it does every year, the London Review of Books presents Alan Bennett’s diary, a personal record from the playwright, screenwriter, actor and author.
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