Rachel Wiederhoeft - Movies of 2017
2017 MOVIES BLURB:
by Rachel Wiederhoeft
I came into 2017 with quite an impassioned energy for cinema. Cinema in 2016 had jolted me awake with one marvelous movie after another. But when I was asked to write this, I balked. Nothing immediately came to mind, not one movie stuck out in my mind as a part of peak cinema. But after a refresher on IMDB, I remembered that there were indeed a lot of great films last year. There was just so much else going on, I'd forgotten about everything I loved.
My top films for 2017 are (in no particular order):
Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, Get Out, Wonder Woman, Atomic Blonde, Wind River, Stronger, The Dark Tower and Girl's Trip.
When I look over this list, I realize they all have a few things in common. To start, they are either original, stand alone films (except for Blade Runner 2049*) or in the case of three (The Dark Tower, Wonder Woman and Get Out), the first in a series, which to me counts as original content. Sequels flopping is a hot topic in Hollywood right now and I'm definitely in the "I want original stories" camp. I did not like any of the big sequels such as The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnarok, or Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last year.
But back to my Best Of list... These movies vary in their budget size, but the production teams did the most with what they had. The script, the direction, the acting, the production design, the cinematography - every department did their best work and it shows in a complete story from beginning to end. Do these movies have their weak spots? Sure. The Dark Tower was too short and lacked real story or character development. It's obviously just a set up for the rest of the series. But I will definitely see the next film, so it's still on my list. Many people found Blade Runner 2049 too long. I was too lost in the visuals to care. Same for Dunkirk. In each of these, the story was there for us to see and feel, if we only looked in the right place.
From what I gather, a lot of these movies were passion projects; especially Atomic Blonde and Get Out. It shows. People dedicated their lives to making these films. These are the movies dreams are made of. They gave me goosebumps (Atomic Blonde), they took my breath away (Dunkirk), they made me cry (Stronger), they taught me something (Get Out) and they entertained me. I'm noting all of them down for myself to re-watch this year when I'm feeling a bit of writer's block. Here's hoping 2018 will produce just as wonderful projects, even if I forget them too.
*I consider Blade Runner 2049 capable of standing alone without knowledge of the first (in my opinion rather dull) film, and therefore is barely a sequel.
MY COMPLETE, COMMENTARY FREE 2017 LIST:
Blade Runner 2049
The Dark Tower
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
What Happened to Monday?
Pitch Perfect 3
The Zookeeper's Wife
WISH I HAD SEEN:
Call Me By Your Name
Battle of the Sexes
The Florida Project
In The Fade
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Ingrid Goes West
Beatriz at Dinner
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
SAW HALF, NEVER FINISHED:
First They Killed My Father
Rachel Wiederhoeft lives in Los Angeles and is a Local 600 Camera Assistant by day. She is a screenwriter by 'whenever she can fit it in.' She enjoys every work day on set; watching and learning from some of the very best in their respective jobs. When she's not on set, Rachel likes all the usual hobbies like splashing her dog with the garden hose, holding her cat upside down, and planning vacations that she and her wife will never take because they're always working.