‘Aren’t you excited? This is so much better than TV!’ – Halley, The Florida Project
The Florida Project (2017)
Every year there are a few total gems that get forgotten during awards season and don’t get the attention they deserve. This was on that list in 2017. An achingly poignant look at poverty and childhood over the course of one summer, in a motel just a few roads away from Disney World. Willem Dafoe gives a career best performance as the curmudgeonous yet caring motel manager.
Hell Or High Water (2016)
It may have arrived quietly, with little fanfare, but it certainly didn’t leave that way. This may just be one of the greatest crime dramas of the 21st century. Chris Pine and Ben Foster play brothers who plan a series of bank heists to create a better future. Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham are the cops tasked with finding them. A modern day western that is sympathetic in its handling of the lawlessness.
Everyone knows about that moment at the Oscars when La La Land was accidentally revealed to be the winner of best picture, before Moonlight was confirmed to be the actually winner. It’s highly likely that only a few have actually seen it. Moonlight is a breathtaking and dishearteningly poignant reflection on masculinity, love and community. Graceful and monumental in equal measure.
Lean On Pete (2017)
An American road trip move about a boy and his horse, that isn’t really just a road trip movie about a boy and his horse. A traumatic as it is beautiful, this coming of age movie unfolds slowly, carefully and bitter-sweetly.
We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
This year’s awards season has seen little mention of You Were Never Really Here, a film listed my many critics in the higher part of their end of year lists. Director Lynne Ramsay deserves to be a household name, such is the extent of her talent and skill. This, the film that introduced us to Ezra Miller, reminded us of how good of a dramatic actor John C. Reilly is and reinforced the brilliance of Tilda Swindon, is a total must-see. Parenthood has never seemed this scary.