The Best of 2017 and What 2018 Has in Store

Welcome to 2018! While I’ll look back on the crazy year 2017 was and all the movies that were released in the past 365 days, I had a terrible realization–I did not see as many movies as I should have. There are so many films I still need to see from the previous year that I can’t even wrap my brain around the movies being released in this new year. That being said, I still had my favorites.

Get Out

This is quite possibly the best film title of all time. I can’t even count the number of times I literally screamed “GET OUT!” at the screen while watching Jordan Peele’s game-changing directorial debut for the first time. Written and directed by one half of the comedy duo, Key and Peele, Get Out portrays a black man meeting his white girlfriend’s family for the first time and the terror that ensues. It’s like a terrifying, modern version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?. The film so cleverly illustrates strained race relations in America and how many minorities feel when not entirely comfortable in certain environments. To be honest, the trailer made it seem like it’s a typical horror film, the genre I like the least, so I waited till it was on DVD to avoid screaming in the theater. But waiting made it more exciting since I could actually scream at the screen! If you haven’t seen it yet, put it on your list because I see this outstandingly brilliant film becoming an American classic.

Where to watch for free: HBOGo

Wonder Woman

How could anyone not love Wonder Woman? As someone who didn’t know much about the iconic character before seeing the movie (twice), it was nice to go into the theater without any real idea of what I would be seeing. Origin stories can often fall flat, but Wonder Woman was not one of those films. What I loved the most about the film is that it allowed Diana to struggle with what she so strongly believed and see how she had to work through what she believed to be morally and ethically just before truly becoming Wonder Woman. The full development was even more satisfying knowing that a female director was at the helm. Patty Jenkins, the great director of one of 2017’s top films, breaking records and being recognized not only for being a successful female director but as a director who made great work, in general, is nothing short of inspiring for a film student like myself. Let’s not forget about how visually amazing the movie was, as well! If you somehow didn’t like the storyline, at least it was visually fun to watch.

Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

The Big Sick

What an all-around great film! Many romcoms unsuccessfully attempt to be funny and emotional at the same time, but The Big Sick does this like few have done before. Based on the writers’ real-life love story, The Big Sick tells the story of a couple falling in love and the obstacles they face as his family, Pakistani immigrants, disapprove of his love interest and career aspirations and she falls into a coma. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s words describe the difficulty of love, with and without outside circumstances that might prevent a relationship from working. Because this isn’t just a film about an immigrant struggling to tell his family news they will disapprove of. It’s also about the struggle they both have in fully letting themselves fall for each other. Not to mention it’s hilarious. This is a must-see!

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Girls Trip

Okay, this movie is HI-LAR-I-OUS! Yes, it’s so funny I had to separate hilarious into syllables. I’ve been a fan of Regina Hall for a long time and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t love Queen Latifah (assuming that that person doesn’t exist) but Tiffany Haddish! I don’t think I can describe how unbelievably and outrageously amusing she is in this movie. Hilarious isn’t a strong enough word for how daringly funny and ridiculous Haddish is as Dina, the crazy friend everyone is lucky to have but is full of trouble. Girls Trip is the perfect girls-night-out film that shows how crazy some nights can be with your closest girlfriends but also how the sisterhood can remain intact even with separation and hard times. I saw it with my best friend before we left for school, and it was the perfect way to say goodbye. And, can I say that it felt like a breath of fresh air to see an all-black female cast on screen and see it deservingly become such a hit.

Where to watch: iTunes, Amazon

Call Me By Your Name

This might be the most beautiful film I’ve seen, literally and figuratively. Visually, the film’s Italian setting looks so real and fluid on film it almost looks fake. You’re pulled into the film’s universe just in the opening credits. This is a film where not a lot happens, per say, but so much is happening with the characters internally that it asks a lot of the actors. But, boy, does this small cast do so so masterfully, particular its lead, Timothee Chalamet. The impact of Luca Guadagnino’s latest work relies almost entirely on Chalamet’s performance and it does not disappoint. Much like my next pick, Call Me By Your Name is a film that I have not gotten out of my head since I saw it in theaters, and I have a feeling that anyone who sees it will feel the same.

Where to watch: In theaters now

Lady Bird (DUH)

As of today, I have seen Lady Bird 3 times and plan to see it, at least, one more time while I’m back in Sacramento. My friend and I joke about how we’ve probably been great free publicity for this film, and, honestly, it’s true. I don’t think I’ve ever so shamelessly talked about and annoyed people about a film like I have Lady Bird and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Everyone needs to know how special and amazing and smart and real this beautiful, mother-daughter film is! Greta Gerwig’s fantastic solo-debut is one of the only, if not the first, coming of age films that justly illustrates a young girl’s journey to womanhood, specifically in her senior year of high school. If it’s not clear how much I love Lady Bird and Greta Gerwig, the only thing I wanted for Christmas was the Girls on Top Greta Gerwig t-shirt on Etsy. Yes, my mom got it for me.

Where to watch: In theaters now

I still have a lot of 2017 movies to watch, but I am so excited for what 2018 has to offer. The new year brings two of the most anticipated Marvel movies to theaters: Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. It’s still months before their respective releases, but I’m expecting for my mind to be blown. Much like the rest of the world, I can’t wait to watch Oprah tell me to “Be A Warrior” when A Wrinkle in Time comes out this March and be even more inspired by the phenomenal director, Ava DuVernay. The film that has most of my attention, though, is Ocean’s Eight, the all-female remake of the Ocean’s Eleven movies. It’s literally three of my favorite things–Mindy Kaling, female empowerment, and Ocean’s Eleven. What more could I ask for? 2017 was an electrifying year for the film industry, good and bad, but things can only get better in 2018. And we all know what a new year means–awards season!

Through my eyes,

Sydney ❤

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