After all the blood, sweat and tears (thank Mama Coco for the latter) I experienced screening 221 movies this year, here is a look at my favorites.
Editor's Note: This article was updated Jan. 11, 2018 to include Phantom Thread, which the studio did not screen before deadline.
Honorable Mention: My Happy Family (dirs. Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß)
This masterfully paced, ironically titled, foreign-language family drama follows Manana Mkheidze (Ia Shugliashvili), a 52-year-old school teacher who is living uncomfortably with her elderly parents, husband and grown children in one house when she decides she would much rather live alone in her own apartment. In a move that is considered shameful in their Eurasian country of Georgia, some of Manana’s family push back but to no avail. Through simple and genuine storytelling and wonderfully chaotic scenes of domestic disputes and disorder, Manana is the heroine of her own adventure because she refuses to settle for the status quo and is courageous enough to ignore criticism and embrace change.
- A24 Films
10. Good Time (dirs. Ben and Josh Safdie)
An unconventional crime thriller that feels like it was plucked straight from the 1980s, filmmaking duo the Safdie brothers pump the adrenaline up to full capacity as we watch small-time criminal Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) desperately try to get his mentally disabled brother Nick (Ben Safdie) out of prison before something bad happens to him. Set up almost like a modern-day version of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men — if all the characters in the classic novel were tripping on acid — the Safdies know exactly what they are going for when it comes to style and tone and succeed enough to anticipate what’s next for them.