I’m already pleased with 2017. Despite bad summer sales and some truly awful summer movies, the year has already produced some genuinely great films with BABY DRIVER, DUNKIRK, and GET OUT. I’m always a fan of the big holiday movies along with the small award darlings and November and December are the perfect times for movies in my wheelhouse. While I’m sure it will be included in the 2017 awards, Steven Spielberg’s THE POST is currently slated for a January opening, thus disqualifying it from the list. Regardless, with two months left of the year, I still have a solid list of 10 films to look forward to in 2017. As usual, my 10 goes to 11.
11. COCO (November 22) – Full confession, the previews to the colorful animation of COCO have not interested me at all. However, there is one detail that keeps popping out to me that makes COCO a full fledged contender in anticipation…Pixar. Pixar has earned the benefit of the doubt, consistently making top quality family friendly films. Sure some are less than others (CARS) but every now and again they make a film that ranks among the best of all time (INSIDE OUT, WALL-E, THE INCREDIBLES). Will they do it again? Probably not, but they have earned the possibility.
10. DARKEST HOUR (November 22) – Gary Oldman is guaranteed an Oscar nomination with high hopes for a win without even seeing the film. His transformation as Winston Churchill is almost unrecognizable, which means the make-up has another strong shot at an Oscar. Directed by Joe Wright (ATONEMENT, ANNA KARENINA), the film follows Churchill’s decision on how to handle Hitler during World War II.
9. THE SHAPE OF WATER (December 8) – I’ll admit, the hype from those who have seen early screenings is what has me excited for this film. A love story between a monster and lonely woman does not jump out to me as particularly interesting. However with the right care, guidance, and quirkiness that writer/director Guillermo del Toro (PACIFIC RIM, PAN’S LABYRINTH, HELL BOY) can bring to the project gives this strange fairy tale an opportunity to be really special.
8. LAST FLAG FLYING (November 3) – BOYHOOD and the BEFORE TRILOGY has earned writer/director Richard Linklater a place on my list of people whose work I will always watch. Even DAZED AND CONFUSED, BERNIE, and EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! shows the guy can do comedy. His next comedy drama follows Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne as old Vietnam buddies helping one of them bury his son killed in the Iraq War.