Films in 2017: December

Happy New Year! 2017 was one for the books, especially in movie-watching (more on that later in the week when I recap all I saw). As for December, I saw a good number of movies and revisited several others, including a few new releases I had seen within the last couple of months. But for today, let’s take a look at the new-to-me films I watched in the last 31 days of 2017.

New-to-Me: 28

Re-Watched: 7

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 5
  • 1940s – 2
  • 1950s – 3
  • 1960s – 2
  • 1970s – 0
  • 1980s – 6
  • 1990s – 3
  • 2000s – 2
  • 2010s – 5

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Howards End (1992)
  2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
  3. Forever Amber (1947)
  4. Cold Mountain (2003)
  5. Pushover (1954)
  6. Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
  7. City Girl (1930)
  8. The Room (2003)
  9. The Disaster Artist (2017)
  10. They Won’t Forget (1937)
  11. Hiroshima mon amour (1959)
  12. Desert Hearts (1985)
  13. Morocco (1930)
  14. Tender Mercies (1983)
  15. In Which We Serve (1942)
  16. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
  17. Maurice (1987)
  18. Confidentially Yours (1983)
  19. In the Name of the Father (1993)
  20. Anna Christie (1930)
  21. Monte Carlo (1930)
  22. Doctor Dolittle (1967)
  23. Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)
  24. Topaz (1969)
  25. The World of Jacques Demy (1995)
  26. The Shape of Water (2017)
  27. Frances Ha (2012)
  28. Wings of Desire (1987)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Desert Hearts (1985)

Desert Hearts (1985), directed by Donna Deitch

This was a film that wasn’t on my radar until the Criterion Collection added it to its library a couple of months ago. And fortunately soon after its new home release, the movie began streaming on FilmStruck, so there was no excuse for me to not check it out. Director Donna Deitch does a wonderful job crafting a tender love story between two women set in the 1950s with Desert Hearts, bringing out good performances between leads Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau, who share great chemistry on screen. It also boasts some beautiful cinematography and a very catchy soundtrack.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), directed by Rian Johnson

I’ve mentioned previously how I’m a big Star Wars fan, so of course, the latest installment in the saga was my most anticipated film of the month. While there seem to be some mixed reactions among fans on how The Last Jedi played out, I personally enjoyed it a lot and can’t wait to see where the characters head next. I thought everyone was great across the board, from new faces to the franchise like Kelly Marie Tran and Laura Dern, returning players like Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and John Boyega, to old favorites like Mark Hamill, who fortunately had much more to do here than he did in The Force Awakens. And I have to say, Hamill gives my favorite performance in the movie as a weathered Luke Skywalker. I also must mention the great Carrie Fisher, who gives her final screen performance as Leia; while it wasn’t intended to be this way, the movie ends up being a nice send-off for her, and I’ll very much miss her presence in Episode IX.

The Shape of Water (2017)

The Shape of Water (2017), directed by Guillermo del Toro

This was another one of my most anticipated films of 2017, and I had a feeling I would enjoy it as I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Guillermo del Toro so far. As many reviews have stated, it’s a sort of fairy tale for adults, with a mute woman named Elisa (Sally Hawkins) falling in love with an amphibian man (Doug Jones) being held captive at the lab where she works as a janitor. The Shape of Water is a visual treat, not only with great effects in bringing the creature to life but also in its gorgeous cinematography and predominant sea-green palette. But what I felt really brought the film to a higher level is the cast as a whole, but especially Hawkins, who’s phenomenal as the story’s emotional center.

Frances Ha (2012)

Frances Ha (2012), directed by Noah Baumbach

Frances Ha is a movie I had long been meaning to watch for some time. And after watching Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut Lady Bird again in the past month, I thought it was finally time to see her breakout role as the title character. Gerwig is really an endearing presence in her movies, but from what I’ve seen of her so far, she’s at her most charming here, albeit playing a young woman still figuring her life out. While this is my first time seeing one of Noah Baumbach’s films, I could recognize what Gerwig added to the screenplay (which she co-wrote with the director), so it was neat to see a bit of how she’s progressed since Frances Ha was released leading up to Lady Bird (one of my favorite releases of 2017).

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