A year ends come so fast and often we forget to pause and think back at the great movies we enjoyed. It is this thought that takes us back to the best film releases in 2017. Last year was one filled with great documentaries and outstanding blockbusters proving that producers find many new innovative ways to entertain moviegoers.
When it comes dramatic films about WWII, Dunkirk is the best as Christopher Nolan get moviegoers to relive the evacuation of France’s beaches back in 1941. Fissured between three interwoven perspectives air, sea and land and different time frames, shot in 70mm IMAX, it is the ideal format that offers every viewer an overwhelming experience. Nolan’s portrayal of the war gives little care to the detail of the contextual background or even the characters. Instead, he plunges filmgoers into the chaos submerging several infantrymen including Harry Styles and Fionn Whitehead. Tom Hardy led fighter pilots and commanders such as Kenneth Branagh as well as boatmen. All, of whose cowardice, selfishness and sacrifice, as well as heroism, are shattered into relief by Christopher Nolan’s grand set pieces. Through Dunkirk’s inventive structure, superb staging and towering scale the film melds the macro and micro with a formal daring that is breath-taking, along the way emphasizing the unmatched power of experiencing an epic film.
An adaptation of the 1865 novel by Nikolai Leskov, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and it is clear that “hell hath no fury like a woman beleaguered”. The coiled intensity and a breakout performance of ruthless cunningness, Katherine played by Florence Pugh, is a young woman forced into marriage with the older landlord. His nastiness is only exceeded by that of his authoritarian father played by Christopher Fairbank.
This unwanted union she finds herself in is ubiquitous with problems right from the start, and even though the film uses Shakespeare’s referencing title, its path is not only original but also horrifying. It is a twisted drama based on gender-warfare-issues, rooted in contentious racial issues, employing a meticulous formalism recounting the merciless tale of Katherine’s attempts to attain liberation. The film is refined and placid on the inside yet pitiless and ferocious on the inside.
Wormwood is Errol Morris’s revolutionary hybrid of fictional and non-fiction story-telling-modes, no matter how you look at it, classify it or categorise it, it is 2017s towering cinematic success. It is the second release of 2017 and follows the B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography, a film recounting the twisted Frank Olson saga in 1953. Out of a hotel room in New York City’s window, a biochemist’s death first seen as suicide becomes the side-effect of a mind control program of the CIA.
Wormwood is built out of a penetrating collage. It is a psychologically, hallucinatory, psychologically that plays like a damning indictment of malfeasance, a pulse-pounding thriller, and a chilling portrait of both elusiveness of the truth and a self-destructive obsession. Wormwood is a masterpiece breathing new life into documentaries while it also further confirms the superior greatness of Morris.