The MacGuffin’s Top 10 Films of 2017
One of the nicest things about writing for The MacGuffin is that all the film reviewers on this site have such varied tastes. Since we do not all live around the Los Angeles and New York City areas, the films that receive awards buzz may not reach us in our individual cities until January (or even February). We all tried to cram as many films in this year as we could, and these are the films that we loved the most.
1. Get Out
“Jordan Peele – best known as a member of the sketch comedy shows MADtv and Key and Peele – has delivered one of the most suspenseful, insightful, and downright entertaining horror films of the year. Correction: this isn’t just a good horror film – this is a good film, period. Made of his own design (he wrote the script and makes his directorial debut), Peele satirizes racial stereotypes in equally scary and hilarious ways. He makes no wrong moves: every stylistic choice, camera angle, and character motivation is right on the money. Even when things delve further into morbid and disturbing areas, the narrative flows so easily that we find ourselves laughing one minute and then on the edge of our seats in the very next scene.” Review by Allen Almachar
2. The Florida Project
“Cinematographer Alexis Zabe shoots the movie low to the ground, keeping our view mostly in sync with Mooney’s. It is a gimmick, but coupled with a Neo-Realist style of cinéma vérité and long takes, we spend practically all our time with Mooney. For the most part, precocious children are obnoxious, annoying and usually just pandering to a certain esthetic of cuteness that betrays honesty. Prince’s performance as Mooney is certainly portions of that, however Baker’s sense of direction grounds a lot of it with a depressingly tragic tale of life on the fringe of the American Dream. The upside to that is the movie rarely feels as tragic as what its presenting is and Mooney is thoroughly captivating to watch.” Review by Benjamin Nason
3. Lady Bird
“Another thing I love about this movie is its kindness (there’s that word again) to its female characters. Even the popular rich girl is more rounded out than usual. She’s still kind of horrible, but when she does sort of turn on Lady Bird, she has a good reason for it. All the women in this film are lovingly portrayed, and all of them are given more depth than I expected to see. Lady Bird, like all teenagers, is kind of a dumbass, but she’s a dumbass with a lot of potential. Also, and this is important, the working class people in this movie live in realistic houses and apartments, and the film does not shy away from portraying class distinctions. It’s not really part of the plot, but it does matter within the context of the story. (Its still super white, so it’s not getting off scot free from criticism, but it does treat its few characters of color well.)” Review by Adelaide Blair