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Friday, 29 December 2017

Review of 2017: The third annual 'Resties'

The Death Of Stalin is my favourite comedy of the year

The As Human As The Rest Of Us film blog is three years old this week, and it's therefore time to dish out some awards in 2017's annual 'Resties', which reflect my favourite and least favourite movie moments from the past 12 months. Please note: Only films released in the UK - on any format - between January 1 and December 31 were eligible for inclusion. In other words, there's no point looking for The Shape Of Water, Three Billboards or The Post because they haven't opened here yet...


BEST ACTING PERFORMANCE (FEMALE): Isabelle Huppert (Elle) Honourable mentions: Kristin Stewart (Personal Shopper and Certain Women), Alexandra Borbély (On Body And Soul), Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane), Lily Gladstone (Certain Women), Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann), Jennifer Lawrence (mother!), Bria Vinaite (The Florida Project)

BEST ACTING PERFORMANCE (MALE): Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea) Honourable mentions: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Jason Mitchell (Mudbound), Jonathan Banks (Mudbound), Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats), Adam Sandler (The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)), Robert Pattinson (Good Time)



BEST CHILD ACTOR: Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project) Honourable mentions: Maggie Mulubwa (I Am Not A Witch), McKenna Grace (Gifted), Alex Hibbert (Moonlight)

BEST DIRECTOR: Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden) Honourable mentions: Martin Scorsese (Silence), Paul Verhoeven (Elle), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women), Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper), Dee Rees (Mudbound), Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Park Chan-wook's The Handmaiden is a sensual delight, packed full of twists

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Blade Runner 2049 might have been a total snorefest but Roger Deakins' camerawork is, as ever, second to none Honourable mentions: Dunkirk (Hoyte Van Hoytema), The Florida Project (Alexis Zabe), Call Me By Your Name (Sayombhu Mukdeeprom), The Handmaiden (Chung Chung-hoon), mother! (Matthew Libatique)

BEST SCREENPLAY: Get Out Honourable mentions: The Death Of Stalin, Manchester By The Sea, Elle, mother!, The Big Sick

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Honourable mentions: Blade Runner 2049, War For The Planet Of The Apes, Kong: Skull Island, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

BEST SCORE: Félicité Honourable mentions: Blade Runner 2049, Prevenge, Dunkirk, Baby Driver, Good Time, The Bad Batch, War For The Planet Of The Apes

BEST TRAILER: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Honourable mentions: Dunkirk, Logan, Thor: Ragnarok, The Death Of Stalin

BEST SCREEN VILLAIN: Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in Star Wars: The Last Jedi Honourable mentions: Jennifer (Jennifer Fraser) in Capture Kill Release, The Armitage Family (Bradley Whitford et al) in Get Out, Count Fujiwara (Jung-woo Ha) in The Handmaiden, Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale) in The Death Of Stalin

WORST SCREEN VILLAIN: It's a tie between Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) in Justice League and Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) in Blade Runner 2049

BEST BRITISH FILM: I Am Not A Witch Honourable mentions: God's Own Country, The Levelling, Lady Macbeth, Prevenge

Elle Honourable mentions: Raw, The Villainess, On Body And Soul, In Between

BEST BLOCKBUSTER: War For The Planet Of The Apes Honourable mentions: Kong: Skull Island, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnarok

BEST ANIMATION: My Life As A Courgette Honourable mentions: The Red Turtle, The Lego Batman Movie, Your Name

My Life As A Courgette shone brightest in a strong year for animation

BEST DOCUMENTARY: I Am Not Your Negro Honourable mentions: City Of Ghosts, Strong Island, I Called Him Morgan, The Work, David Lynch: The Art Life

BEST HORROR: Get Out Honourable mentions: You Better Watch Out, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe, It Comes At Night, Hounds Of Love, Capture Kill Release

BEST COMEDY: The Death Of Stalin Honourable mentions: Prevenge, The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected), The Disaster Artist, Mindhorn, Paddington 2, The Big Sick

BEST DVD/BLU-RAY: Cult Films' swanky new 40th anniversary, 4k restoration of Dario Argento's horror classic Suspiria Honourable mentions: The Lure (Criterion), The Thing (Arrow), The Louis Malle Collection (Curzon Artificial Eye)

HIDDEN GEM OF THE YEAR: Maysaloun Hamoud's In Between Honourable mentions: Land Of Mine, Tramps, The Age Of Shadows, On Body And Soul

TIP FOR THE TOP (FEMALE): Julia Ducournau (writer/director, Raw) Honourable mentions: Samara Weaving (actress, The Babysitter), Florence Pugh (actress, Lady Macbeth), Rungano Nyoni (writer/director, I Am Not A Witch), Grace Van Patten (actor, Tramps, The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)), Anna Asensio (actor/writer/director, Most Beautiful Island)

TIP FOR THE TOP (MALE): Harris Dickinson (actor, Beach Rats) Honourable mentions: Josh O'Connor (actor, God's Own Country), Francis Lee (writer/director, God's Own Country), Algee Smith (actor, Detroit), Trevante Rhodes (actor, Moonlight), Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer)

Dario Argento's Suspiria: Still crazy after all these years


BEST FILM MAGAZINE: Sight & Sound Honourable mentions: Film Comment, Little White Lies

BEST FILM WEBSITE: Indiewire Honourable mentions: The Skinny, The Playlist

BEST FILM CRITIC: Whether writing in The Daily Telegraph or sitting in for Mark Kermode on the radio, Robbie Collin has been an essential read/listen this year Honourable mentions: Wendy Ide, Nick Pinkerton, Ashley Clark

WORST FILM CRITIC: Camilla Long's liberal-baiting review of Moonlight in the Sunday Times was lazy and ill-informed. Dissenting voices are essential in film criticism but cynical controversialists should be given short shrift

BEST FILM PODCAST: A lot of movie podcasts are little more than low-grade radio shows or feature obnoxious nerds yelling at each other about Zack Snyder. The Film Comment pod, on the other hand, always comes across like a group of friends continuing a lively conversation from the pub or restaurant. Its contributors are not only knowledgeable - my personal dream team consists of host Violet Lucca, Ashley Clarke, Nick Pinkerton, and Eliza Ma - but frequently witty and laugh-out-loud funny too. Their discussion of Terrence Mallick back in April was the best pod episode I heard all year. Honourable mention: Truth & Movies: A Little White Lies Podcast

BEST STREAMING SERVICE: I've discovered so many films, actors and directors new to me through MUBI this year I've lost count

BEST ONLINE CONTENT: Kermode Uncut Honourable mention: Honest Trailers

BEST TV: Twin Peaks: The Return was, simply put, the most extraordinary television event of my lifetime Honourable mentions: The Handmaid's Tale, Big Little Lies, Mindhunter

MOST AMUSING COCK-UP: It's impossible to look any further than that extraordinary La La Land-Moonlight Oscars faux pas. 

And the winner is... total chaos and embarrassment for the Academy

MOST VERY ANNOYING THING #1: Trailers giving away plot twists are the bane of the modern film industry. Kingsman: The Golden Circle was rubbish but I might have enjoyed it more had its trailer not contained a massive spoiler.

MOST VERY ANNOYING THING #2: Trailers that bear little resemblance to the film. George Clooney's Suburbicon sold itself as a crazy black comedy very much in the vein of the Coen Brothers script it started life as. Funny how its trailer neglected to mention that half the film was taken up with a bleak drama focused on racism.

MOST VERY ANNOYING THING #3: Fan "theories". Andy from Toy Story grows up to be The Joker... Travis Bickle's cat is Scrappy Doo in disguise... I live in my mum's basement and my life is an empty, sucking void...

MOST HORRIFYING FANDOM #1: Thor: Ragnarok was enormous fun. Rather less jolly, though, were the Marvel fanboys abusing journalists who'd given Taika Waititi's film negative reviews, thus dragging its Rotten Tomatoes score down to - gasp! - a humbling 92 per cent. It seems it's no longer enough for some people that nerd-centric films clean up at the box office and are garlanded in mostly positive reviews. You have to like them now... or else.

MOST HORRIFYING FANDOM #2: Those Star Wars fans who created a petition to have Rian Johnson's thoroughly enjoyable The Last Jedi expunged from the long-running space opera's canon. Twits.

Thor: Ragnarok: Nice film... shame about some of its fans


FILM I LIKED BUT EVERYONE ELSE HATED #1: Ben Affleck's overlong but absorbing crime epic Live By Night

FILM I LIKED BUT EVERYONE ELSE HATED #2: Ghost In The Shell was flawed on so many levels I lost count... BUT when it was good it was, well, not bad actually

FILM I LIKED BUT EVERYONE ELSE HATED #3: Denise Di Novi brought back the much-maligned '80s "bunny-boiler" sub-genre with a vengeance in Unforgettable

MOST OVERRATED FILM: I liked Luca Guadagnino's long, slow and luscious Call Me By Your Name, but remain baffled why so many have hailed it a masterpiece. It was even #1 in The Guardian's Best of 2017 top 50 list

MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE: Gifted Honourable mentions: The Great Wall, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

MOST FRUSTRATING FILM: Maren Ade's German black comedy Toni Erdmann boasts great performances and some terrific scenes, but could comfortably lose half-an-hour from its flabby middle section

I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING... OF THE YEAR: In Manchester By The Sea, Randi (Michelle Williams) and Lee (Casey Affleck) bump into each other in the street and engage in what is perhaps the most genuinely upsetting on-screen conversation I've ever seen. Makes me sob like a baby every single time. I only have to see a bit of it in the trailer and I tear up. Honourable mention: The finale of Lion

The crying game: Manchester By The Sea's most heartbreaking moment

QUOTE OF THE YEAR #1: "If I could, I would have voted for Obama for a third term." - Get Out's Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford)

QUOTE OF THE YEAR #2: "I’m the peacemaker and I’ll fuck over anyone who gets in my way." - The Death Of Stalin's Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi)

QUOTE OF THE YEAR #3: "I went to fight for my country to come back and find it hadn’t changed a bit." - Mudbound's Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell)

QUOTE OF THE YEAR #4: "I'm not a feminist or I wouldn't tolerate guys like you." - Toni Erdmann's Ines (Sandra Hüller)

QUOTE OF THE YEAR #5: "I don't hang with the Avengers any more. It all got too corporate." - Thor: Ragnarok's Thor (Chris Hemsworth) 

QUOTE OF THE YEAR #6: "I should fuckin' burn in hell for what I said to you." - Manchester By The Sea's Randi (Michelle Williams)

BEST SCENE OF THE YEAR: The 'finger eating' bit in Raw Honourable mentions: Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) visits The Sunken Place in Get Out; The extended action/fight sequence in Atomic Blonde; The brutal car/bus battle in The Villainess; That baby scene from Darren Aronofsky's mother!; Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) makes a startling revelation over dinner in Elle; Ines (Sandra Hüller) belts out The Greatest Love Of All in Toni Erdmann; Randi (Michelle Williams) and Lee's (Casey Affleck) heart-shattering conversation in Manchester By The Sea

Finger-lickin' good: Garance Marillier develops a taste for human flesh in Raw

WORST SCENE OF THE YEAR: Niander Wallace (Jared Wallace) murders a naked female replicant in Blade Runner 2049 Dishonourable mention: Volmer (Jason Isaacs) sexually assaults Hannah (Mia Goth) in A Cure For Wellness... then sniffs his fingers. Horrible.

MOST INSUFFERABLY OVER-THE-TOP PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR #1: Matthew McConaughey has more ham than a pig farm in Gold

MOST INSUFFERABLY OVER-THE-TOP PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR #2: Juliette Binoche gurns her way through the wretchedly unfunny Slack Bay

MOST ENJOYABLY OVER-THE-TOP PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR #1: Hugh Grant steals the show in Paddington 2 as a villainous thesp

MOST ENJOYABLY OVER-THE-TOP PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR #2: Katherine Heigl turns it up to 11 in the ridiculously entertaining Unforgettable

BEST PLOT TWIST: The Villainess Honourable mentions: Atomic Blonde, The Limehouse Golem, The Handmaiden, Get Out, The Babysitter

WORST PLOT TWIST: From The Land Of The Moon 

BEST ON-SCREEN COUPLE: Johnny (Josh O'Connor) and Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) in God's Own Country Honourable mentions: Danny (Callum Turner) and Ellie (Grace Van Patten) in Tramps, Cyd (Jessie Pinnick) and Katie (Malic White) in Princess Cyd

MOST PUNCHABLE CHARACTER: Alex Sharp's insufferable Luke in To The Bone Dishonourable mention: Jake Gyllenhaal's celebrity wildlife wrangler in Okja


BEST PUNCH-UP: Sook-hee's (Ok-bin Kim) final showdown in The Villainess (I won't mention with who as it involves a huge spoiler) Honourable mentions: Sandra Oh and Anne Heche pound the snot out of each other in Catfight; Bradley (Vince Vaughn) finally gets his hands on the men threatening his wife and unborn child in Brawl In Cell Block 99; Thor and Hulk get gladiatorial in Thor: Ragnarok ("He's a friend from work!")

BEST SEQUEL OR PREQUEL: T2 Trainspotting Honourable mentions: War For The Planet Of The Apes, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

WORST SEQUEL OR PREQUEL: Kingsman: The Golden Circle Dishonourable mentions: Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049

Kingsman: The Golden Circle proved to be a disappointing sequel

ACTORS MOST IN NEED OF BETTER ROLES: Adam Scott (Little Evil), Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Golden Circle)

CATCHPHRASE OF THE YEAR: "Here we are again!" (The Limehouse Golem)

INSULT OF THE YEAR: "Jesus Christ, did Coco Chanel take a shit on your head?" -
Georgy Zhukov (Jason Isaacs) isn't impressed with Georgy Malenkov's (Jeffrey Tambor) new haircut in The Death Of Stalin

GAFFE OF THE YEAR: Bringing in Joss Whedon to finish Zack Snyder's Justice League, resulting in an uneven shambles that somehow failed to play to the strengths of either filmmaker

ON SECOND THOUGHTS... OF THE YEAR: Casting Kevin Spacey in your movie. Too late for Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, but Ridley Scott digitally replaced the disgraced actor with Christopher Plummer in scenes for All The Money In The World (out in the UK next week)


*Up next: My favourite films of 2017 #30-21*

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