Monday, 18 December 2017

2017: Film Favourites

Admittedly I entered this year with a lot more hope for my cinematic-viewings than I'm ending 2017 with. I love film. I really love film. But more often than not, I struggle to find the time to hit the play button and get the screen rolling. Of course, as a first year undergraduate student, there is screen time, oh trust me, there is screen time. When I've done my work for the day and 11 PM rolls around and I can't sleep, Netflix is right there, as is my Amazon Student Prime subscription (which should probably be made the most of given there's only four months left on it. Anyway, I digress..); However, if it's that time of night and it's between a film on my "To-watch" list or yet another rewatch of Gilmore Girls, then the latter, my comfort watch, is probably going to be the winner. Despite all this though, I entered 2017 with the intention of broadening the genres of film I consume, and have come away from the bulk of this year having seen some incredible films, and I've finally watched the films that I'd been meaning to jump into for years. So without further ado, here are my favourite films of 2017. (Disclaimer: these haven't all been released in 2017, but were watched for the first time in this year).

Wonder Woman
Honestly, I am proud to say that it took me 18 years and six months to actually watch a superhero film. Maybe it's an awful thing to say, but it's true: this film made me feel empowered beyond belief. I've never seen anything quite like Wonder Woman and probably never will again. Within a week, I went back again with my friend Lottie to see it all over again, and it was still just as incredible as the first time around. Gal Gadot is fierce and brilliant as was everything about this film, right down to the cinematography and the music. This certainly took me by surprise, but I couldn't love it more if I tried. Watched in July

La La Land
I should stress: I hate musicals. I don't know why, but something about them just doesn't sit right with me, ironically a former long-term dancer. But La La Land did something to me that I'll never truly be able to explain. I don't know why it was or how it was, but La La Land spoke to me at a time when I needed to here about the struggling artist wanting to achieve their dreams, even if they knew those dreams were far fetched. It isn't a flawless film, and I do have my problems with it, but everything down to the exact note and semibreve was perfect and delightfully moving. You can probably rightly imagine that I spent months afterwards listening to the soundtrack on loop and learning the piano versions myself. Watched in January

Hidden Figures
Again, rather like Wonder Woman, I never expected to quite like this one anywhere near as much as I did, and now I'd very contently say that it's in my top five favourite films ever. Hidden Figures is (again, for lack of a better alternative word) empowering and glorious and whilst I may be dire when it comes to mathematics and physics and anything science-based, I like any other female can appreciate the genius that is within this story, and watch it again and again with intense admiration. (Also, Taraji P. Henson was astounding as Katherine Johnson and didn't get nearly enough praise for said role.) Watched in February

Stranger Than Fiction
Absurd and ridiculous, but utterly endearing. Leena of Just Kiss My Frog had recommended this god knows how long ago as a film worth watching for writers, as it grapples with a writer dealing with intense writer's block. It's an insane comedy but knows when it needs to be serious or romantic or hard-hitting, and packs all of those punches in exactly the right places. It is like I said totally bizzare, but simulataneously definitely worth a watch. Watched in August

Remember when I briefly joined the film society at University? Yeah... that was a brief, brief stint in which my friend and I watched one film and then realised it clashed with the Writer's Guild (which turned out to be hugely pivotal in how my life is now), so... priorities. I don't know if, had it not been a free screening at University, if I would've ever actively chosen to watch Birdman, but my god I love it. It's ambiguous and weird and crazy as hell, but the way this was crafted is something that I couldn't not love. If you've watched this, then you'll know I'm talking about that constantly travelling camera. So! Good! Watched in September

Dead Poets Society
Frankly I'm not 100% certain that I want to place Dead Poets Society on my list of favourites for 2017, because often there were moments where I felt strong dislike for this entire production. However, whilst I stand by that, let's consider this to be my honourary mention, as this was a film that I'd been wanting to watch for years, and even though it wasn't everything I expected and hoped for, the acting was outstanding and it certainly hit my feelings hard. Watched in November

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy
Above all else, this predominantely exists on this list for sentimental value, as these are the first films I watched with my boyfriend. I'm not entirely sure as to what happened in any of these films, because we spent the majority of each one talking, but from the general gist I got, these were fantastic... especially the final one in the trilogy. Though I may not totally understand yet what was going on, it was enough for me to go and buy my own copies of the trilogy to rewatch and learn, and enough that I'm genuinely invested enough to want to watch The Force Awakens and then, hopefully, The Last Jedi. All watched in November

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