2017 Year in Movies

By Steve Warren

It's enough to make you believe in coincidence. Wonder, Wonderstruck, Wonder Wheel and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women all opened last fall within a 50-day period, less than six months after Wonder Woman.
2017 was also the year that gave us Logan, Lucky and Logan Lucky. American Assassin and American Made both opened in September, attempting to make "American" great again.

In December there was more sign language in Wonderstruck and The Shape of Water than in all the movies released in the average year. Also that month, Matt Damon in Downsizing and Armie Hammer in Call Me by Your Name demonstrated therapeutic massage skills.

While one juvenile performer (Jacob Tremblay in Room, Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild) may make a strong impression some years, I lost count of the little movie-stealers in 2017. After seeing Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project, An Sea Hyun in Okja, Sareum Srey Moch in First They Killed My Father and Dafne Keen in Logan, among others, I can only echo Maurice Chevalier and Roy Moore: "Thank Heaven for Little Girls!"
The Atlanta Film Critics Circle formed this year and joined the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) in giving out awards. With a lot of overlap in membership, though SEFCA has twice as many, it's not surprising that eight films appear in both of their Ten Best lists.

2017 SEFCA TOP 10
1. Get Out
2. The Shape of Water
3. Dunkirk
4. Lady Bird
5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
6. The Post
7. The Florida Project
8. Call Me by Your Name
9. Darkest Hour
10. The Disaster Artist

2017 ATLANTA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE TOP 10
1. Get Out
2. Dunkirk
3. Lady Bird
4. The Shape of Water
5. Call Me by Your Name
6. The Florida Project
7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8. The Big Sick
9. Baby Driver
10. The Post

Though I'm a member of both groups, my tastes don't always coincide with everyone else's, and few if any other critics saw some of the films that made my list this year:

2016 INSITE TOP TEN
1. Brigsby Bear
2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
3. Okja
4. The Big Sick
5. The Post
6. I Dream in Another Language
7. Frantz
8. The Shape of Water
9. Get Out
10. Lady Bird

SECOND TEN (listed alphabetically)
Atomic Blonde, Baby Driver, Coco, Detroit, Dunkirk, First They Killed My Father; I, Tonya; Kedi, The Other Side of Hope, The Square

BEST ACTOR
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Runners-Up: James McAvoy, Split; Sam Elliott, The Hero

BEST ACTRESS
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Runners-Up: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water; Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Runners-Up: Steve Coogan, The Dinner; Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Michelle Pfeiffer, mother! and Murder on the Orient Express (NOTE: Pfeiffer was by far the best thing about both of these films, one of which was dreadful and the other meh.)
Runners-Up: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird; Allison Janney, I, Tonya

BEST ENSEMBLE
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Runners-Up: Get Out, Detroit

BEST DIRECTOR
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Runners-Up: Steven Spielberg, The Post; Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Martin McDonagh
Runners-Up: Brigsby Bear: Kevin Costello & Kyle Mooney; The Big Sick: Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Mudbound: Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
Runners-Up: First They Killed My Father: Angelina Jolie & Loung Ung; Frantz: François Ozon

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Kedi
Runners-Up: Dolores; Jane

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
I Dream in Another Language
Runners-Up: Frantz; First They Killed My Father

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Coco
Runners-Up: Loving Vincent; Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Dunkirk: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Runners-Up: Blade Runner 2049: Roger Deakins; The Shape of Water: Dan Laustsen

WORST PICTURE OF THE YEAR
Although I spared myself a few stinkers, I certainly saw enough bad movies to make a Bottom Ten list; but one led the pack by so much it deserves to have the field to itself. Darren Aronofsky, come claim your prize for: mother!

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