Up to this point, 2017 has been a great year for film. From the great lineups from the biggest film festivals of the world showing new films from acclaimed directors, to the many filmmakers making their debut in feature films with great works, and even some brilliant filmmakers leaving us with a great goodbye film, this is surely an amazing year to be a film fan.
From filmmakers acclaimed worldwide, to a debut in feature film, and even a beautiful goodbye movie from one of cinema’s greatest masters, here is a selection of 10 films from 2017 that should definitely be seen. It is never too late to remember that if you think other films should be on the list, please leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Also, some of these films might have premiered in festivals in another specific year or might have even been distributed in other countries before – and probably will only premiere in other countries after – but the important thing is that they premiered or were shown in festivals in 2017 here in São Paulo, Brazil, the city where this article is being written.
So, here are a few movies from 2017 that you may have missed.
10. Frantz, directed by François Ozon
Acclaimed French filmmaker François Ozon, responsible for movies such as “8 Women” (2002) and “In the House” (2012), delivers a powerful drama surrounding the death of a soldier after World War I.
Starring Pierre Niney and Paula Beer, the movie shows an enigmatic Frenchman who is found laying flowers on a man’s grave by the fiancé of this deceased soldier. From that moment on, this mysterious man develops a relationship with this woman and the parents of the deceased man while hiding a grim secret.
Approaching grief and regret in a very poetical way and with beautiful black-and-white cinematography, “Frantz” is another great film from Ozon in this decade and a film that should definitely be checked out.
9. Argentina, directed by Carlos Saura
Directed by one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of Spain, “Argentina” is a beautiful documentary that approaches Argentine folklore, the music and the artists from this South American country.
With an amazing set design and a great use of Argentinean music, this film from Carlos Saura, who directed a great documentary called “Flamenco” more than 20 years ago as well as brilliant films such as “Cria Cuervos” (1976) and “Carmen” (1983), is one that must be seen by any cinephile.
Using an atmosphere and sets that emulate a theater, and with great choreography and music, “Argentina” is one of the greatest documentaries of the year.
8. Okja, directed by Joon-ho Bong
From the exhibition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival to its worldwide premiere on Netflix, “Okja” is not only a good movie but also one of the responsibles for lighting a good debate about how movies are consumed nowadays.
This Netflix production directed by Joon-ho Bong, a filmmaker responsible for movies like “The Host” (2006) and “Mother” (2009), follows the story of a little girl, Mija, who is friends with a sweet and gigantic animal called Okja, a “superpig” that belongs to a multinational conglomerate called Mirando Corporation. One day, this corporation takes Okja to New York with somber plans in mind, and Mija goes after her friend.
With great performances by Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano, “Okja” is a moving film that is surely among not only the best original productions by Netflix, but also in directors Bong’s career. Definitely worth checking out.
7. Joaquim, directed by Marcelo Gomes
At the 2017 Berlin Film Festival, acclaimed Brazilian director Marcelo Gomes, mostly known for his films “Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures” (2005) and “I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You” (2009), premiered his new film “Joaquim”, which approaches the story of a national hero from Brazil.
The lead character, Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, was a dentist who became the only member of an insurgency against the Portuguese exploration of gold in Brazil to be executed.
Telling this real story with touches of fiction, even though the film has a bit of a problem with its rhythm, “Joaquim” is definitely among the best Brazilian movies from 2017 and is a great piece of work that approaches greed and social injustice in a very particular way.
Being another good work from Gomes, “Joaquim” is one of the greatest South American movies from 2017 and should without a doubt be seen by any cinephile.
6. Lady Macbeth, directed by William Oldroyd
Marking the debut of director William Oldroyd in feature films, “Lady Macbeth” is a movie adapted by Alice Birch from the novel “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”, written by Russian author Nikolai Leskov.
Following the story of Katherine (Florence Pugh), a woman living a loveless marriage to a man much older than her who has an affair with a worker from her property, “Lady Macbeth” has one of the most intriguing female characters from 2017.
The great production design of the film allied with the great choice of shots punctuate this film where every dialogue seems to be a dreadful battle for Katherine. The film also has a great use of its landscapes that give the film a more exquisite look.
With an amazing performance by Pugh, “Lady Macbeth” is a great film about power and desire that should definitely be watched for its great leading character and impressive story adapted from the work of one of Russia’s greatest authors.