2017 in Films


I don’t think 2017 was a great year for films. The beginning of the year was clogged up with a lot of stodgy, overly long Oscar contenders, (Silence, Jackie, La La Land – clasps head in horror, remembering all those people dancing on top of cars in Benetton coloured dresses) There were far too many superhero movies. Kristen Stewart seemed to be in everything and there were a lot of very earnest movies about the War. I also watched nine musicals. This is approximately nine times as many musicals as I’ll usually watch in any given year. It is nine times more musicals than I had any desire to watch in 2017. BUT, (and it’s a very big but, and I still maintain that Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of the worst things my eyes have ever looked upon), several of the musicals did not cause me to to scream, “stop singing, just say it,”out loud, in the cinema,  and a couple were actually pretty good, (but only the ones where the singing and dancing people were playing characters who are meant to be singers and dancers- clearly I have problems with the suspension of disbelief).

This was also the year that John Cusack came to visit us in Belfast. I will always remember Cusack’s visit to Belfast as I have a lovely copy of his book signed to Janice, (which is not what my name’s short for, or even close). John Cusack will always remember his visit to Belfast because he was driven all over the city for two straight days and then marvellously interviewed by Hugh Odling-Smee, (and nobody forgets meeting Hugh). 2017 was the year we started our Dementia Friendly Screenings at the QFT and while they have been mostly musical based, they have been an absolute joy and triumph, and quite frankly a bit of a cinematic education for me. I’m delighted that we’re going to be able to continue these screenings in 2018. Check out the QFT website for details. Everyone’s welcome, so long as you like classic cinema and custard creams.

I managed to watch 100 films in 2017. Around a dozen of these were long haul flight movies most of which were utter drivel, (Table 19, being the chief offender- what were you thinking Stephen Merchant? Clearly you weren’t thinking at all). I’ve picked my Top Ten here plus a stand out Number One which I’m pretty sure most people missed. Do your best to track it down, (as legally as possible). It’s one of the most stunning war movies I’ve ever seen. It will leave you exhausted in a good way. All the movies on my list are up there because they stuck with me long after I left the cinema. Some of them aren’t the easiest watches, or the most assured scripts, but they are, for the most part interesting and challenging and not starring Kristen Stewart.

I’ve left out some noteworthy films, (Loving, Prevenge, The Fits, Logan, the very beautifully shot, Frantz and the Disaster Artist), which are definitely also worth a look and, this year having been dominated by old movies, I’ve added a new list of top 5 classics I finally got round to watching in 2017. To be really honest if Being There had been released in 2017 it would have been my favourite movie of the year. It’s such a delight from start to finish. Here’s my lists and my annual plea to support your local, (only), independent arthouse cinema by getting yourself a QFT card, and becoming lovely, regular patrons of this esteemed venue. Here’s to 2018 and a, (hopefully), less stodgy run of Oscar contenders.

Jan’s Movie of the Year

Land of Mines

Top Ten New Releases (In no particular order)

  1. 20th Century Women
  2. Get Out
  3. Manchester by the Sea
  4. Lady Macbeth
  5. Dunkirk
  6. I am not your Negro
  7. Wind River
  8. God’s Own Country
  9. Paddington2
  10. The Florida Project

Top Five Classic Movies (Shame on me for only seeing these now)

  1. Being There
  2. Night of the Hunter
  3. Iris
  4. The Straight Story
  5. White Christmas


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