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Jose Solís’ Top 10 Films of 2017

Written by on January 3, 2018 

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In 2017 many of us went to the movies to try and find what we feared we would lose in real life. I found myself particularly drawn to films led by women and people of color that would reassure me that there was something worth staying alive and fighting for when it seemed the world was on fire. By the third time I found myself sitting down to watch Wonder Woman on the big screen, popcorn and candy in hand, I realized I kept coming back because its powerful message compelled me to return. When Amazon princess Diana explains, “Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give,” it was as if the movies were giving me a mission: go out and be the best person you can be, help others, and come back to us when you need to refuel. So, here’s what I found in my ten favorite films of the year:

Honorable Mentions

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10. 4 Days in France (Jérôme Reybaud)

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The G in GPS stands for Grindr in director Jérôme Reybaud’s confident film debut, which follows a conflicted man (Pascal Cervo) trying to find himself by escaping his lover (Arthur Igual). Equal parts travelogue and dream journal, the film explored the notion of French masculinity while allowing breathing room for its characters and audience. A vacation it wasn’t, but it was certainly a trip worth taking.

9. Princess Cyd (Stephen Cone)

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Master humanist Stephen Cone returned with a story of two women of very different generations bonding over a languorous summer where they help each other discover new passions while challenging their own worldviews. Rebecca Spence’s warmth contrasted to Jessie Pinnick’s air of self-conscious carelessness would’ve made Jane Austen swoon.

8. Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz)

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While many films in 2017 dealt with grief, few did it with the grace, humor, and straightforwardness of Samuel Maoz’s masterfully structured work. Lior Ashkenazi delivered one of the greatest performances of his career as a father dealing with guilt he didn’t even know he was carrying. As for the meaning of the title, it was one of the year’s most gratifying surprises.

7. A Ghost Story (David Lowery)

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Ask anyone to describe David Lowery’s latest film and they will mostly say: Rooney Mara ate a pie and Casey Affleck spent most of his time under a white sheet. And yet, this is a film where everything happens. It’s a history of humanity, an essay on literal soul searching, and one of the most romantic works of the past few decades. At the risk of making the cheapest of puns, it will haunt you forever.

6. Dawson City: Frozen Time (Bill Morrison)

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Bill Morrison’s incredible documentary felt like the most fascinating game of “six degrees of separation” to be put on film, as he traced several key moments in film, and world history back to a little town in the Yukon. To say more would be a disservice to a film that asks to have its many layers delicately unfolded and thoroughly enjoyed.

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