Here is a list of what I believe to be the best films of 2017; or, more specifically, the first half of my list of best films from 2017 along with one honorable mention for a grand total of 51 films. A mix of features and shorts, theatrical and online releases, anywhere from Mubi, Festival Scope, NoBudge, Vimeo, Flix Premiere, Topic, or Refinery29 (including one from our own website). Streaming links provided in some instances.
Yesterday saw the publication of what I believed to be the standout male performances from 2017 while today’s list is a rundown of the most impressive female performances of the year. And, much like yesterday’s list, this overview will also feature a number of omissions for various reasons, mainly my inability to see certain films. Cynthia Nixon in Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion comes to mind and one that I have seen show up on several lists.
As always, I’m sure there are a number of performances missing from my list due to the simple fact that I have yet to see them, performances such as Timothée Chalamet’s role in Call Me by Your Name or Gary Oldham’s portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. I’m sure that these two specific performances, along with others not mentioned here, will be discussed and praised sufficiently that their lack of inclusion will be overlooked.
Film Comment has released their top films of 2017, with Josh and Benny Safdie‘s Good Time taking the number one spot. The number two and three spots went to Terence Davies‘ A Quiet Passion and Olivier Assayas‘ Personal Shopper respectively.
Alex Huston Fischer and Rachel Wolther‘s delightfully odd musical comedy Snowy Bing Bongs Across The North Star Combat Zone is now available to stream for free via: Topic. The film stars The Cocoon Central Dance Team (Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani)
Tension abounds in writer/director Theodore Collatos’s latest feature, Tormenting the Hen, as nearly every discussion and/or interaction is laced with potential avenues providing offense and/or judgments, even the more inconspicuous and trivial subjects up for discussion harbor the possibility of illuminating surprising truths and viewpoints. With his script, Collatos has crafted a proverbial minefield for his characters to navigate, one that is laden with opportunities to weaponize any and all words and the hazards of crafting conclusions about others with incomplete information.
In his debut, Cameron Bruce Nelson has managed to present an effective portrait of humility in slow burn, a case study on the matter of adaptability as the nature of Sal’s situation remains in a constant state of flux, trying in earnest to readjust until finally realizing that he may not belong or be able to make do as nature decisively states its dominance emphatically. A bittersweet tale occupying the margins of the in between, in between the dusk of unrealized, cast off dreams and the threshold of promise and new beginnings.
Having recently screened at this year’s New York Film Festival, John Wilson‘s latest short form documentary, The Road to Magnasanti is available to stream through his Vimeo channel. If you’re familiar with Wilson’s work you’ll have an idea of what to expect