Table of contents:
- Jackie, by Pablo Larraín
- Dunkirk, by Christopher Nolan
- Moonlight, by Barry Jenkins
- Arrival, by Denis Villeneuve
- The right to count, by Thodore Melfi
- La La Land, by Damien Chazelle
- Blade Runner 2049, by Denis Villeneuve
- Elle, by Paul Verhoeven
- Wonder Woman, by Patty Jenkins
- Love and underworld, by Manetti Bros
- The Big Sick, by Michael Showalter
- The Battle of the Sexes, by J. Dayton and V. Faris
- Seven Minutes After Midnight, by Juan Antonio Bayona
- Logan - The Wolverine, by James Mangold
- IT, by Andrés Muschietti
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, by James Gunn
- Borg McEnroe, by Janus Metz Pedersen
The best films released in cinemas in 2017? Here is our selection of socially engaged titles, visionary stories, amazing new characters and small masterpieces
2017 at the cinema it turned out to be a very interesting year from various points of view.
While we have seen important and socially engaged films such as Moonlight by Barry Jenkins or The Right to Count by Theodore Melfi, on the other hand, it is nice to observe the new gaze - still all in the making - that cinema is building on its female characters, starting for example from iconic figures such as the Jackie of Larrain or the Wonder Woman by Patty Jenkins.
Not only that: 2017 was also the scene of the enchanting La La Land of Chazelle and the visionary Arrival by Villeneuve.
At the end of the year, here is the best movies and those we have loved most in the room to date.
Jackie, by Pablo Larraín
Presented at the last edition of the Venice International Film Festival, Jackie tells the figure of Jacqueline Kennedy the days following the tragic murder of her husband, the American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in Dallas.
That of Pablo Larraín is an auteur film adapted to tell the woman and the role she played in building the myth around her husband.
The film, in fact, takes place precisely starting from a famous interview that Jackie released on December 6, 1963 to the magazine "Life": it was on that occasion that he gave the world the myth of Camelot, sitting in an armchair and telling his version of the story between one cigarette and the next.
Dunkirk, by Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan signs the film that should win the award for Best Director at the 2018 Academy Awards.
Second World War: 400,000 allied units, most of them English, gets stuck in Dunkirk, on the border between France and Belgium.
With no chance of being saved by land, the only hope for the soldiers massed on the shores of the Channel is that someone come and get them and to save from England.
Also known as Dynamo operation, the one told by the director of the Batman trilogy, is both an intense patriotic page in English history and a 'immersive experience in the madness of war.
Nolan doesn't just watch what happens to the soldiers and their desperate wait, but makes the viewer feel like one of them, perceive their fear, anxiety and lack of awareness of why they are there.
Moonlight, by Barry Jenkins
Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) signs the 2017 Academy Award for Best Film.
Set in the suburbs of Miami, Moonlight is divided into three acts - childhood, adolescence, adulthood - and follows the story of a black boy who grew up in the ghetto.
Chiron, this is his name, is not as aggressive as his peers, who too often take his lack of reaction such as weakness.
Friendship with an older man, which will help him in his difficult training path, and the discovery of first love, they will lead him to re-know himself and hidden aspects of his self.
Arrival, by Denis Villeneuve
Can the Earth and its lack of communication be rescued from extraterrestrials?
Said like this, it would seem a crazy story, as we are used to associating the figure of the alien with anything but precisely to the gift of the word.
Still, thanks to the character of a linguist who assumes the remains of a contemporary Madonna bearer of a future time (with the face of Amy Adams), Villeneuve tells an intimate and visually immense sci-fi that starts from afar to investigate the more human aspects of existence.
The right to count, by Thodore Melfi
The right to count is one of the biggest revelations of 2017.
The protagonists of this all-female story set in the segregationist Virginia of the sixties are three black women who, despite having all the skills to be the best in their respective fields, they do not have the same chance of ascent as whites, even better if men.
Will all this make them give up? Absolutely not.
Based on a real story, the film is a concentrate of optimism and charge to break down the obstacles of life, as well as a beautiful story.
La La Land, by Damien Chazelle
La La Land was a film about which there was a lot of discussion: there are those who loved him and those who hated him.
But this, if you think about it, happens to a lot of great auteur works.
Damien Chazelle's film is about romance, but the feeling between its two protagonists is just the excuse to stage the love of its creator for cinema.
Entertainment, enchantment and magic are at the center of this story set in Hollywood 'City of Stars' (as her soundtrack sings) where a young woman who dreams of becoming an actress and a romantic guy who wants to open a jazz club meet, support each other in achieving their mutual goals, only to discover that the tales of life are unfortunately more bitter of those of fiction.
Blade Runner 2049, by Denis Villeneuve
Even the idea seemed impossible to touch a cult like "Blade Runner" by Ridley Scott (1982) for a sequel, without making a mess of it.
Yet the talented Denis Villeneuve ("Arrival") succeeded in the extremely difficult feat of build a film faithful to the masterpiece of the past (the famous imaginary), but consistent with his very personal cinematic vision.
His "Blade Runner 2049" is a contemporary sci-fi whose story begins exactly thirty years after the events that occurred in the previous film: protagonist this time is Agent K (Ryan Gosling), who has taken over from Deckard (Harrison Ford) in the hunt for cyber creatures.
It is during an unmasking operation of an old Nexus, who K discovers something that could forever change his knowledge about replicants up to that point.
To understand it fully, however, she needs to find Deckard, now missing for years, and get some details from him.
Elle, by Paul Verhoeven
The extraordinary and icy Isabelle Huppert is the absolute protagonist of Elle, French-style drama by the director of Basic Instinct and Showgirls.
Michéle is one a cynical and independent career woman, but also extremely witty and ironic, which nothing seems to be able to upset.
Handles everything from work to feelings, without particular emotional transport.
Even the day he comes assaulted and raped in her home from a hooded man, it does not seem to report major traumas, but disturbing aspects related to his past and to the father figure, are ready to resurface in the form of a dangerous game executioner-victim.
Wonder Woman, by Patty Jenkins
Played by the beautiful Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman is one of the best surprises of this year.
Muscles, sensuality and grace are concentrated in a film that revisits one of the pop culture's most iconic female figures, even managing - which is no small feat - not to be 'yet another superhero film'.
Wonder Woman will please both generations grown up with his myth in comics format and television to both the little princesses of today and in her will find that courageous female positivity on which contemporary cinema - Disney first and foremost - is trying to work.
Love and underworld, by Manetti Bros
The Manetti Bros. return to Naples after "Song‘e Napule" (2013) for the film surprise of the Venice Film Festival 2017.
The pair of director brothers, in fact, ironically stages i clichés now abused on TV and in the cinema about the city and the underworld.
It does so by proposing a genre film, which rests its narrative structure on the Neapolitan drama, in which acting mixes with singing and dramatic monologues.
Ciro (Giampaolo Morelli) he is a hired assassin in the pay of Don Vincenzo (Carlo Buccirosso).
When the latter is persuaded by his wife Maria (Claudia Gerini), a great fan of espionage blockbusters, to disappear like a modern 007 to start a new existence far from Naples, unfortunately Ciro's life takes an unexpected turn.
The boy, in fact, comes instructed by the boss to kill a young girl who saw too much on the evening of his elusive escape.
Ciro, however, when he discovers that it is Fatima (Serena Rossi), his first great teenage love, can not help but spare it, triggering a chain of violence among the criminals.
Entertaining and directorial well orchestrated, also in the field of action, the Manetti Bros. give us the best Italian film of the year.
The Big Sick, by Michael Showalter
Portrayed by Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, «The Big Sick» tells the true love story between the famous stand-up comedian of Pakistani origins - who in the film plays the role of himself - and his wife Emily V. Gordon.
Produced by Jude Apatow, "The Big Sick" is a romantic comedy with a strong indie twist, which moves the narrative strands from the meeting of the two in Chicago, during a show that he is holding in a club.
What they both would like to be a one night stand, soon turns into a relationship.
To complicate matters, however, there are on the one hand his family, who would like to see him married to a girl of his origins, and on the other a sudden illness of her, which forces her into a coma in the hospital.
"The Big Sick" is about love, but also about integration, especially that of the second generations who in the America of a thousand opportunities find themselves in the balance between traditions not to be forgotten and new values to make room for in their lives.
The Battle of the Sexes, by J. Dayton and V. Faris
The directors of "Little Miss Sunshine" they return to the cinema with another little gem from a true story.
September 20, 1973: after a turbulent media battle, tennis player Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) challenge the former champion on the pitch Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell).
The first fights so that women, with equal roles, begin to receive the same salary as male colleagues.
The second does it to prove one supposed male superiority so this shouldn't happen.
The plot of the film unfolds on and off the playing fields, between public and private life, especially of King.
A film that, speaking of an event that happened 44 years ago, he faces very relevant issues of our present.
Seven Minutes After Midnight, by Juan Antonio Bayona
Unfortunately released quietly, the new film from the director of The Orphanage is one transposition of the homonymous book by Patrick Ness, as well as a dramatic fairytale with dark hues.
Conor O'Malley is a kid who lives a really difficult time of his life: while his mother is leaving him suffering from an incurable disease, he is forced to live with his grandmother who hates and comes constantly bullied from some schoolmates.
One night though, exactly seven minutes after midnight, the gigantic tree that dominates his garden comes to life in his dreams to lead him, through a series of fairy tales, to the awareness of himself and his history.
Don't be fooled by the animated parts: Seven minutes after midnight it is not a children's film.
Logan - The Wolverine, by James Mangold
The third installment of the saga named after the Marvel character interpreted - now iconographically - by Hugh Jackman, speaks of decay and then of rebirth.
It does so through the figures of its male protagonist and one mutant child that Wolverine saves from the clutches of the treacherous humans who created it.
It is a fate that repeats itself. Against the background of this spin-off of the X-Men, an apocalyptic landscape a la Mad Max makes the film much more comparable to a photographic plot western than a simple superheroes toy.
An episode of the saga made unique not by special effects, but by filmic authority.
IT, by Andrés Muschietti
Based on Stephen King's masterpiece, the "IT" of the almost unknown Andrés Muschietti expertly mixes more classic styles of the horror genre with a good dose of 'New Wave Eighties' post "Stranger Things" imagery.
Unlike its precursor, played by the iconic and very fearful Tim Curry in the nineties mini-TV series, the clown of the young Bill Skarsgård it is more childish and visually more theatrical, but for this very reason it is truly disturbing.
If so many 'children of the eighties' did not go to the cinema with the anguish of replicating a childhood trauma, in truth they have nothing to fear.
First of all because a sense of terror as strong as that experienced by children cannot be repeated as adults, but above all because the new "IT" is a really good friendship story and training built on fear (not vice-versa).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, by James Gunn
If what you need is a funny movie, immediately retrieve Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
The second episode of the saga with protagonists Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, presses the accelerator on the gags and special effects already on opening credits (one of the most beautiful things in the film), confirming the success of both his team of 'freaks' protagonist and the ability to expertly mix all the ingredients of a hit pop movie: from romantic history to irony, from adventure to drama.
Borg McEnroe, by Janus Metz Pedersen
2017 was the year of tennis at the cinema: after «The battle of the sexes» here is «Borg McEnroe», the film about one of the most famous and extraordinary rivalries in the history of this sport.
Wimbledon Tournament, Summer 1980. Bjorn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) he is Swedish, paranoid and vents his fears by tormenting himself internally. John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf) he is American, a hotheader and, during the matches, he discharges the tension by holding furious scenes about alleged arbitrage injustices, for which he is now detested by the stands around the world.
Director Janus Metz Pedersen talks about i two champions at the antipodes starting from the field on which they faced each other for the first time, in a grueling final which has been consumed from tie-break to tie-break, passing through the annals of tennis.
Despite the fact that the part of the game manages to perfectly entertain the viewer with fast pace of editing, sound and shots, the best aspect of the film remains its profound and moving investigation of the man behind sport, between limits to be overcome and expectations not to be disappointed.