Blog | The Best of 2017
The Best of 2017
January 04, 2018
By: Movie Critic Dave
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With over 100 new films in the bag throughout 2017, I always spend early January reflecting on the performances, stories and directors that made the best of the best possible. It's always important to preface with the films I didnt get the chance to see, for one reason or another. In 2017 the notable titles I failed to watch include Roman J. Israel, Esq., Victoria & Abdul, Hostiles, Detroit and Coco. Therefore, don't expect to see anything from those films to appear on my lists below, otherwise here's my best of film for 2017:

Best Adapted Screenplay

Honorable Mention: Blade Runner 2049Call Me by Your NameThe Disaster Artist and Wonder Woman

#5. War for the Planet of the Apes

#4. Molly's Game

#3. T2 Trainspotting

#2. Stronger

And the winner is ...

#1. Last Flag Flying

In an uncharacteristically weak year for adapted screenplays Richard Linklater's Last Flag Flying takes the top honors by a sizable margin. The film manages to deliver hilarious highs and heart-breaking lows with a well-balanced and carefully constructed script.

Best Orginal Screenplay

Honorable Mention: Lady BirdPhantom ThreadPrincess Cyd and Wind River

#5. I, Tonya

#4. The Big Sick

#3. The Shape of Water

#2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

And the winner is ...

#1. Get Out

Jordan Peele's intellectual and masterful screenplay for Get Out is beyond exceptional. Brewed with dark humor and insanely deep ideas, even when someone feels like they know what's going on, the truth is they couldn't predict the magnitude of the film's mystery.

Best Supporting Actress

Honorable Mention: Hong Chau (Downsizing), Claire Foy (Breathe), Holly Hunter (The Big Sick) and Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)

#5. Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread)

#4. Rebecca Spence (Princess Cyd)

#3. Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)

#2. Tatiana Maslany (Stronger)

And the winner is ... 

#1. Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

While there aren't many hearty onscreen moments from Allison Janney, who plays the role of Tonya Harding's tough-love mother, she creates an everlasting impression with profane wit that straddles the unimaginable line of deplorable and charming depending upon the moment. It's a rare fate that Janney accomplishes remarkably well.

Best Supporting Actor

Honorable Mention: Steve Carell (Battle of the Sexes), Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Sebastian Stan (I, Tonya) and Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me by Your Name)

#5. Jason Mitchell (Mudbound)

#4. Bryan Cranston (Last Flag Flying)

#3. Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)

#2. Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water)

And the winner is ...

#1. Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

As a devout fan of Rockwell's onscreen career he finally delivers a role that the Academy may have a hard time deviating from. Rockwell stars as a police officer known around the small town Ebbing, Missouri for his disgusting actions that somehow get swept under the rug. Yet, when a hard-nosed woman calls out the entire police force, could such a moment of enlightment transform him into a dutiful officer? You'll have to see for yourself.

Best Actress

Honorable Mention: Jessica Chastain (Molly's Game), Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes), Meryl Streep (The Post) and Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World)

#5. Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread)

#4. Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)

#3. Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

#2. Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)

And the winner is ...

#1. Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)

In what's indisputably my favorite performance of the entire year, Sally Hawkins is absolutely brilliant and she does it without hardly uttering a word. As a lovable mute cleaning lady at a top secret government facility during the 1960s Cold War, her life will never be the same when she befriend a non-human creature that's facing harsh abuse from government agents. Hawkins' work is sweet, delicate and completely illuminating.

Best Actor

Honorable Mention: Steve Carell (Last Flag Flying), Tom Hanks (The Post), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick)

#5. Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name)

#4. Andrew Garfield (Breathe)

#3. Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)

#2. Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger)

And the winner is ...

#1. Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

In a rather tempered year for the Best Actor category, the legendary Gary Oldman should be able to capture his first Oscar statue with a transformative portrayal of the iconic Winston Churchill. And even as Darkest Hour runs dull with its heavy dialgue and action-less plot, Oldman shines through delivering the goods scene after scene, enough to muscle you through this otherwise middling effort.

Best Director

Honorable Mention: Sean Baker (The Florida Project), Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Jordan Peele (Get Out)

#5. Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)

#4. Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

#3. Steven Spielberg (The Post)

#2. Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)

And the winner is ...

#1. Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

While rivals Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg both offer exceptional direction that would easily stand out more in any other year, it's The Shape of Water's Guillermo del Toro who completely overshadows the competition. His visual mastery is on full display with an exquisitely shot and beautifully framed compilation of brilliant scenes that come together wonderfully in this timeless romance. 

Best Picture

Honorable Mention: DunkirkLady BirdLast Flag Flying and Stronger

#5. I, Tonya

#4. The Big Sick

#3. Get Out

#2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

And the winner is ...

#1. The Shape of Water

With all of the adoration I've been throwing its way, needless to say The Shape of Water tops my annual list of films. Guillermo del Toro's daring love story bridges classic romance with new-age direction and visuals that make for a truly special experience. Despite the film's immensely black and white characters lacking in moral complexity (the good are good, and the bad are bad), remarkably crafted elements of heart, humor and sheer art come together effortlessly, making The Shape of Water 2017's finest cinematic achievement.