2017 was a year when I didn’t see as many movies as the previous years. There are some great films that I missed, but of all the ones that I saw, these are my Top-5 movies for 2017. As I was away for most of the first half of the year, I missed the Alliance Française French Film Festival in 2017. I also missed the Lavazza Italian Film Festival, as none of the films really ‘spoke’ to me. I did see five movies from the Adelaide Film Festival as well as two Nordic Film Festival movies, and two films from the Cunard British Film Festival, so here they are without further ado!
Despite the cynicism that I brought with me into the theatre, Sunny Pawar‘s acting as a boy who was separated from his family in India won me over. The scenes are beautifully framed and captured – you can sense a true labour of love as you watch the story unfolds.
I read Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach years ago. When I found out that the story had been made into a film, I was very excited to see it in the line-up for the 2017 Cunard British Film Festival. The art direction of the movie is top notch – the atmosphere, the colour, the dreariness of Chesil Beach serve as the perfect background to the struggle between the two main characters. It’s Dominic Cooke’s directorial debut, and I look forward to see his future films. On Chesil Beach is La La Land for grown-ups – sans dancing and coreography – on the powerful topic of reminiscing and what could’ve happened to the relationship that we lost.
#3 Human Flow
Human Flow is not a feel-good documentary. Ai Wei Wei‘s film forces you to confront the reality out there that millions of people are displaced and are forced to move elsewhere for a safe and better life. This film also forced me to confront the prejudice that I didn’t know I had. Why shouldn’t those refugees have mobile phones and take selfies at the boat? Why do I think that that they don’t have a right to smile and to laugh? It’s not a comfortable viewing but I seriously think that Human Flow is a must-see film.
#2 La La Land
La La Land is a masterpiece – it brilliantly captures the magic of the cinema and the art of story-telling. Pairing Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling together in this doomed love story, along with Damien Chazelle’s skillful direction makes this film one of my highlights of 2017. The soundtrack to this movie was pretty much a fixture throughout most of 2017 in my playlist as well!
This movie covers what may have happened to Van Gogh when he died in 1890. Loving Vincent immerses you into his art, being the first film entirely captured – scene by scene through oil painting. It’s not a perfect movie, but somehow it makes it all the more endearing to me. Van Gogh was far from being a perfect man, and yet he produced such beautiful works of art. Like me, you may find yourself teary eyed as the credits roll up. Totally brilliant.