The GILM Awards 2017 Favorite Movie


#1

Favorite Movie

It’s time to get out your list of the best movies of 2017 and Peele back the layers, telling everyone why you think they qualify!

We want to make a quick note that if a movie was released just this year in your region, though it was first released in another year, it can be eligible for nomination in this category. If this applies to your nomination, please include information on its release situation as you make your case.

All right, you’ve got the keys! Make sure to bold the title of the movies you’re giving two thumbs up.


Q&A

Q: Uhhh, sorry to ask, but... what are the GILM Awards?

A: Nothing to apologise for! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the awards here.

Q: How do I nominate something?

A: To nominate something, you have to write it in your post and bold it, ideally at the top of your post. If we don’t know what you’re picking, we can’t count it. You get one (1) nomination. For a game to be eligible for the voting phase, it must have two nominations.

Nomination: X)
(Rest of Post, full of lists and good takes)

You can make a list as long as your arm, just be clear. We welcome thoughtful posts about how you made your decision and discussion, as long as we keep it positive and respectful.

Q: I disagree with someone else's choice!

A: As per our Code of Conduct, be considerate about other people’s perspectives. There’s no need to puff out someone else’s candle to make yours a little brighter. Negativity is only going to hurt your case for what you love. What’s said in the thread stays in the thread. The mod team frown deeply on people taking disagreements thread-to-thread, like bringing up a user’s nomination in a previous category in a case against the present one.

Q: Someone already nominated what I wanted to, what do I do?

A: We still want to hear your thoughts! Be mindful of what has already been nominated, but as always, this topic is a conversation, so feel free to share your thoughts on what has been nominated.

Q: When does the nomination process end?

A: The period of time to make your nominations will end 12/10/2017.


#2

Nomination: The Red Turtle

This category is a difficult one for me. While I launched (and have, in November, kinda neglected) my film-watching thread, I did manage to make it out to the cinema a fair number of times.

This film comes down to two relatively niche films for me. Niche by genre and by the fact that I don’t think either are U.S. releases this year. The two are The Death of Stalin and The Red Turtle. By the rules, I’ve led with my final decision, but let me walk through it.

I was, and am, deeply mixed on The Death of Stalin. I am a fan of Armando Ianucci’s style of work and this film brings it to a new level. If The Thick of It shows the casual shittiness of people working together in a workplace, The Death of Stalin transplants that onto the ruling caste of a world superpower. There is slapstick, there is bumbling, there are middle-aged men shouting at each other. The comedy works and works well.

However, what truly brings The Death of Stalin at a cut above Iannuci’s other work is that it is a film with a pitch-black interior. It is aware of the gravity of its subject matter, particularly the film’s antagonist, Lavrentii Beria. It doesn’t shy away from depicting abhorrent people honestly. It cuts no quibbles and minces no words with depicting true evil as just that.

It also made me ask difficult questions about the world outside. When Jason Isaacs’ character, Georgy Zhukov, strides in with a late introductory card and immediately seizes the show, the allure of military power and authoritarianism is never more real. Zhukov cuts through the bullshit of Soviet civilian politics and changes the balance of power in a heartbeat. It is almost unnerving, particularly as it, too, juggles comedy with the darkness the film deals with.

My issues are minor (the Great Terror was a specific two-year period and not a twenty-year status quo, despite what the subtitles say), but it just isn’t my favourite film this year.

That has to go to The Red Turtle, which won my heart directly and honestly. It is, for all intents and purposes, a silent film. There is about as much spoken dialogue as there is in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, with wordless yells being the closest it gets to it. However, the beautifully haunting visual design sucks the viewer in and keeps them held tight, their eyes flitting about the screen like a mosquito. You drink in the detail with a hard-to-understand fervour.

The story that it tells is simple enough to communicate in words, yet shot through with visuals that verge on the truly inspired. Looking at a scene and immediately unpicking its meaning in my head, while the next scene played and my eyes kept drinking, was an unbelievably sublime cinematic experience. No other film reached that for me this year.

Its silence also invited me to think a lot about the film. One of my favourite film critics, Mark Kermode, spoke eloquently on his BBC Radio 5 show about how silent cinema could be, to an extent, wide-reaching by the fact of its silence. In his words:

To explain more would spoil the experience of this magical realist fable for readers, a discovery that needs no words, just the finely observed gestures and crisp visual storytelling that defined the golden age of silent cinema.

For Kermode, the addition of language to a film constrained its horizons. Language created new brands of cinema that conformed to the language barriers that rose up. English audiences began to watch French films less; the Netherlands and Japan grew further away from another overnight. As for The Red Turtle, I’ll close with another Kermode rejoinder which summarised my thoughts exactly.

I could say more, but this is a film that respects the sound of silence. It is a work of art which transcends boundaries of language, culture, geography and age. It is simply magnificent.


#3

Good lord this is hard this year. From Get Out, to GotG2, to Baby Driver, to Atomic Blonde, to Blade Runner 2049, to The Death of Stalin, all the way through to Thor: Ragnarok a few weeks ago.

I’m going to metaphorically close my eyes and slam the button that feels right today, which is Get Out.


#4

I walked out of the cinema and yelled “That was AMAZING!” at my friends after Blade Runner 2049, meaning it has to be my film of the year. It’s also the only one I wish I could wipe my brain clean of and watch fresh again.


#5

I second and agree that Get Out was my favorite release this year.

Good horror movies explore societal fears and anxieties through exaggeration and literal interpretations of metaphors. When done well, it can be one of the most powerful tools for articulating abstract concepts like dread, infection, waste, or in this case, the terrifying racism crouching behind so many smiling faces.

Get Out probed the veneer of the White LiberalTM by linking them directly with the appropriation and consumption of black bodies. It was so horrifically literal that misunderstanding the “message” would take some serious mental gymnastics. And I haven’t seen or heard of a better movie for 2017.

Also it had the best ending of any movie I’ve seen in a long time.


#7

As Get Out has already received two nominations, I will nominate Blade Runner 2049.

I have a laundry list of issues with the film, particularly to do with its representation (or lack thereof) of minorities, but it has been a long time since I was as captivated seeing a film in cinemas. The visuals are stunning, the music is overpowering, the cinematography is unforgettable, and despite it being damn near 3 hours long, I was at the edge of my seat the whole time. I desperately want to watch it again when it comes to blu-ray.

Also honorable mention goes to the Black Out 2022 short that accompanied Blade Runner 2049, which is a beautifully animated short film that explores some of the world we don’t explicitly see in the film.

Also Get Out is extremely good and one of my all-time favourite horror films.


#8

I’m not sure how I feel deciding on this before I see del Toro’s Sexy Fish Man Movie, but I’ll say Dunkirk for being one of the few reasons to see a film in IMAX.


#9

Seconding Dunkirk. I can’t remember the last time I was so thoroughly stressed and on-edge during a movie. The tension just never lets up.


#10

The Florida Project

This one definitely flew under the radar but in a year of great movies it has to be my favorite. It’s the story of a woman and her child living in a motel right outside Disney World. The movie really gets at unbridled childhood joy in a way that deeply affected me. If it’s playing near you I can’t recommend it enough.


#11

Atomic Blonde

Listen, I am a messed up piece of human that grew up idolizing and still idolize James Bond despite all the character’s many and deep flaws for my own amazingly twisted web of reasons, so take this nomination knowing it comes from someone who loves spy fiction. Now, Atomic Blonde does everything you could like in an action heavy spy thriller and does them better, cooler, and with a soundtrack greater than just an intro theme. James McAvoy’s character’s death monologue reminded me no matter how much the trade is nothing like how any media has shown it to be, I still really deep down want to be a spy.

And Danielle, I expect you to back me up on this nomination with all your own praise of Atomic Blonde as said on Waypoint Radio.

That all said, shout out to Blade Runner 2049 for showing us that Dave Bautista is one pair of small circular glasses away from being America’s answer to Jean Reno.


#12

The Fate of the Furious, idgaf. The plane scene with Jason Statham is hella good.

But if we’re being honest, there’s a greater than 98% chance I will come back here in two weeks’ time and ask to have my nomination changed to The Shape of Water. It’s a mix of just about everything I adore, with one of my favourite directors at the helm. Odds are high it might be one of my favourite films regardless of the year.

Until then, though, I am gonna stan for la familia.


#13

Nomination: Your Name

It came out in Japan in 2016, but it was given a North American release with theatrical run in 2017 so I’m going to nominate it anyway.

Now, I’m not saying it’s the best movie of the year, but it’s certainly the best one that I’ve seen that hasn’t been nominated yet. I mean, at the end of the day it’s just a cool romance movie about appreciating the differences between the lives of two young people and how they must carry themselves to fit societal norms, but with a freaky friday style sci-fi twist, but it still ended up affecting me way more than I ever expected it to.


#14

Of the films I’ve seen this year, I think Moonlight is probably my absolute favourite. It’s absolutely sublime. I saw it in a sold-out theatre in south London, the audience was totally enraptured, and I listened to the soundtrack for days. Alas, it’s a 2016 film that only made it to the UK in the new year (or at least, to my local cheap cinema…)

Of 2017 releases, it’s probably between 3 films: Call Me By Your Name, After the Storm and On Body and Soul.

Aesthetically, these films share a lot in common; they’re mostly quiet, focused on a small collection of characters, with a strong emphasis on the surrounds as much as the words being spoken. This is especially true of On Body and Soul and Call me By Your Name, which have long lingering shots of the environments as much as they sit in uncomfortable silences between characters. After the Storm, by comparison, feels a lot more… domestic in its scope, with a slightly more blue and faded colour pallet.

Picking a single title is incredibly hard. The final choice for me really comes down to After the Storm and On Body and Soul, and the latter just edges it out by virtue of a quiet aesthetic that I find really hard to shake from my memory.

After The Storm is fantastic. This is now the third film I’ve seen by Hirokazue Kore-eda, and they’re all what I like to call ‘nothing films’; there isn’t necessarily much action or much resolution, just a small part of a story ticking along, but this is by far my favourite of his I’ve watched. The film follows a deadbeat dad, a once successful author with a gambling habit working as a sleazy private detective ostensibly to research his next novel. Almost every scene in this film is a joy, in the simplest little ways. Bickering, jokes, double-crossing, honest moments…

The same is true of On Body and Soul, which just edges out After the Storm by virtue of being somehow even more quiet and understated. This film is slow, ponderous and at times excruciating to watch. It’s about complete and utter failures in communication, about ways people can be cruel to each other, but also about ways those gaps can be bridged. The premise involves two characters (who work in an abattoir, so CW for quite a bit of meat/viscera during the film) who share dreams each night. It’s clever, but never overstays its welcome; its purely a vehicle for exploring connection.


#15

It’s been an amazing year for film, and I would say Raw, Get Out, The Red Turtle, Dunkirk and Bladerunner 2049 are all up there, but I have to second The Florida Project.

Saw it last week and was utterly charmed by it. As Disney goes on to monopolise all entertainment, it’s always worth thinking about the darker side of the corporation. The kids at the centre of the movie live in the shadow of the Disney resorts in Florida, not that they let that get them down. I don’t know how the director managed to capture such natural performances from the kid actors (it’s probably something as annoyingly simple as just let them play and be kids and hitting record on a camera). Always great to see Willem Dafoe as a ‘nice’ character as the would-be sheriff of the motel, tirelessly working to keep the motel ticking.

It’s a small movie, but it’s shot so beautifully, taking in the gaudy and tacky side of peripheral Florida without making it look too seedy. It’s just really funny too, as well as heartbreaking!


#16

I’d like to nominate Brigsby Bear. It is far and away my favorite movie I’ve seen this year. It’s a story that’s so unique and tragic, but amazingly sweet, honest, and hopeful. I honestly can’t imagine anybody other than Kyle Mooney telling this story. You could try to just chart up his performance as the normal “odd ball” schtick he does on SNL and his old YouTube shorts, but that would be doing it such an injustice. His fish-out-of-water character is as funny as you’d expect, but he’s able to convey this deep-rooted discomfort and sadness in his performance in a way that’s completely baffling to me. It’s not what you’d normally see on the roster, but I really think he deserves an Oscar nod for it.

Not to mention a Mark Hamill performance that I believe will give The Last Jedi a run for it’s money.

It wasn’t widely seen, so I don’t expect it to make it through Phase 1, but I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight it. It’s story about how media can touch and inspire us on an emotional level hit me in a way few other movies have.


#17

I’ll second Atomic Blonde

John Wick 2 was hot, but Atomic Blond was explosive


#18

Nomination: mother!

I hadn’t seen any films that made me feel the absolute adrenaline and sensory overload that you might get from a theme park ride until I saw mother! The film is a mish-mash of theming which ranges from overwrought to genuinely insightful. It’s a story we’ve seen plenty of times, but never like this. Aronofsky continues his streak of excellence in this beautifully “messy” production. Stars Lawrence and Bardem are given blank slates to work with, and they test the limits of their characters exceptionally well. It’s always a good sign when you can’t stop talking about a film hours after you leave the theater, and that’s exactly what mother! did for me.


#19

Nomination: Good Time
I really dig how frantic this movie is. The story takes so many amazing twists and all the character deal with them in the worst ways possible, creating an incredible momentum to the movie. Oneohtrix Point Never’s score really adds to the brutal chaos of the plot. All the performances are great. The movie does a great job of keeping a pretty despicable Robert Pattinson likeable throughout the movie by keeping his hands tied and through the chaotic pacing. I’m really excited to see the next thing the Safdie Bros are working on.


#20

Call Me By Your Name

not sure if 100% eligible bc i’m not sure its out everywhere yet? but its beautiful, expertly crafted and made with love, armie hammer is fantastic, timothee chalamet is my hopeful for all the acting awards, it was just delightful and sad and languishing and just gorgeous.


#21

A Ghost Story

I’ve never been moved by a film as much as this, and I still think about it every couple of days since I first saw it.