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2017's Best Films

Musings on the Best 30 Films of 2017
by Bob Devine, Pocatello Film Society Coordinator.

10. Tie - "The Greatest Showman" - Reminiscent of "Moulin Rouge," "The Greatest Showman" combines pop lyricism with an age old tale of those living on the margins of society banding together as a collective to become more than their individual parts. A guilty pleasure, but a delight nonetheless. I could easily have put "Wind River" here also, which is another stellar movie about a murder mystery on the Wind River Indian Reservation, so I guess I will call this a tie in afterthought, because I like both movies so well.

9. "Some Freaks" - If you have to pick a young adult film, this is the one. "Lady Bird" left me wanting more, and "Patti Cake$" was surprisingly good, but this small budget indie movie, touching on bullying and relationships, has such authenticity. More people should see it.

8. "Get Out" - Jordan Peele's film is a new classic social commentary film, both comedic and horrifying in turns, as a young black man follows his girlfriend to white suburbia only to find that his unease is not misplaced.

7. "Darkest Hour" - Gary Oldman transforms into Winston Churchill whose shaky rise to power in Britain comes just as Europe is descending into war. "Dunkirk" was a good war film also, but too scattered. The better film touching on the events at Dunkirk is “Darkest Hour.”

6. "The Shape of Water" - A parable of sorts about humanity and inhumanity, using an alien creature in captivity to show what humans are capable of, both good and bad.

5. "Logan" - Though it probably suffered because of lack of respect for the genre, both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart deserved Oscar consideration for their final turns as the X-Men characters Wolverine and Dr. Xavier who must rescue and protect a young girl who holds the keys to the future.

4. "The Big Sick" - Based on a true story, this insightful comedy/drama looks at relationships through the eyes of a Pakistani comic who must develop a relationship with his girlfriend's parents when she takes ill and falls into a coma.

3. "War for the Planet of the Apes" - Not since the "Lord of the Rings" has there been such a cohesive and well told trilogy, as Caesar leads the battle for the apes survival.

2. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri" - Frances McDormand is magnificent as a grieving mom who tries to find justice for her daughter. If not for an ending that begs a sequel, this may have been the best movie of the year.

1. Tie: "Maudie" and "Detroit" - Both overlooked by the Academy, these starkly different stories are the best of the year. I can't decide which is better. The story of Maud Lewis whose stunning art out of a small home in the middle of nowhere Nova Scotia while battling crippling arthritis is a completely satisfying, artistic and reflective tale. "Detroit," on the other hand is a haunting, chaotic, and uncomfortable true story of the social struggle in inner city Detroit during the riots of 1967. It highlights the racial distrust that exists to this day between the black community and law enforcement agencies throughout our country.

The Best of the Rest: (In no particular order)

Wind River
Call Me By Your Name
Victoria and Abdul
Phantom Thread
An Inconvenient Sequel
Okja (Netflix)
Jane (Documentary)
Mudbound (Netflix)
Coco (Animated)
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Post
Wonder Woman
The Glass Castle
Patti Cake$
The Florida Project