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Stowe Story Labs exists to help emerging screenwriters, filmmakers and creative producers get work made and seen.

Melody Cooper - Top Ten Films of 2017

(in no particular order)


PHANTOM THREAD – Yes, it’s a masterpiece: of sight and sound, of light and dark, about love, relationship, obsession and the creative process. And there’s Daniel Day-Lewis. I will not say a word more and PLEASE don’t read any reviews. This film is best served with few expectations. Just see and enjoy.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT – Mastery of perspective that unflinchingly draws us into a color drenched world of marginalized Americans through keen observation and deep compassion.

GET OUT – Although many say it’s more a thriller than a horror film, as current events show us, Horror can take different forms. The film’s fresh take, brilliant perspective, great story structure and on point execution won us all over.

THE SHAPE OF WATER – Glorious modern fable that shows us how love can conquer the divide, brutality and injustice. Led by the luminous Sally Hawkins under Guillermo del Toro’s soaring direction that steeps us in one of the most richly detailed worlds of the year.

MUDBOUND – Gorgeous cinematography frames an important American story of what we bury as individuals and a society, what must be nurtured, what should be unearthed and what needs to be driven deep into the ground forever.

DUNKIRK – Via clever time structure, this was a stunning aerial 360 view of a battle and the soldiers and civilians who fought it. Totally engaging from beginning to end. And I cared what happened.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME - I loved Luca Guadagnino’s I AM LOVED, and this film also delivers a beautiful, intimate, sensual and emotional ache, especially in the performance of Timothee Chalamet. (And it made me want to spend the summer in Italy.)

THREE BILLBOARDS – Frances McDormand gives a searing powerhouse performance that lets us see the pain and vulnerability underneath the fearless anger of a mother.

LADY BIRD – Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf bring us real, funny, moving writing, directing and acting that illuminates self-discovery and the Mother/Daughter dance so many of us know so well.

I, TONYA – Devastating AND devastatingly funny, the f*#cking true story about a certain figure skater. Margot Robbie and Allison Janey perfectly execute their roles as supremely dysfunctional Mother and Daughter.

And a few more Melody just couldn’t not mention:

WONDER WOMAN – Almost made the list for its two-kick ass set pieces and because 1) it finally happened; 2) It’s a ground breaker that turned the film industry on its ear and is helping to open doors for women in a genre I work in; and 3) Ms. Jenkins made it (and is making the sequel, which I hope is written by a woman and is a stronger film).

LOGAN- Superhero Western, gritty, violent, touching, visceral, passionate, painful.

GOOD TIME – Electric performance from Robert Pattison

PERSONAL SHOPPER – Literally haunting. Pay attention to everything.

WIND RIVER – Taylor Sheridan delivers a riveting murder mystery that moves and surprises. Renner and Olsen dig in with no nonsense, honest performances.

LOST CITY OF Z – Magnificent Obsession: the relentless passion and devotion to discover what doesn’t want to be found. Exceptional production design and some extraordinary moments.

Movie I didn’t get to (mea culpa): THE POST

Melody 2017.jpeg

Melody is a writer/director and the 2017 Tangerine Entertainment Fellow. She is a 2018 Athena List Finalist, is attached to direct a film for Tandem Pictures, and is very excited to be developing a film and TV series during a month-long writer's residency in the south of France this Spring.