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The Best Films of 2017, According to the Indie Film Community

We asked a range of influencers in the independent film world to share the very best of 2017.

Paul Davidson, EVP, Film & TV, The Orchard

10. “Logan”
Finally, a superhero film that exists in a real, grounded world.  Hugh Jackman as this character, in all his fatigue and elder-despair, is compelling and addictive to watch.

9. “Icarus”
A stunning achievement and an amazing unfolding of information in an entertaining and engrossing way. Icarus should be blowing people away daily.

8. “Foxtrot”
A brave film in its silent moments.  An exciting film in the risks it takes to play with structure and expectation.

7. “In the Fade”
Kruger is fantastic. Who doesn’t want to see her kick some major Nazi butt?

6. “Jim & Andy”
While I’m not totally convinced Jim and Andy Kaufman aren’t still screwing with us with this film, it’s still an endlessly fascinating look at an actor’s self-conscious existence and what it takes to truly disappear into a role. Carrey is fascinatingly zen in his interviews, but gloriously insane in the footage from back in the day. It’s the perfect companion to “Man in the Moon” in a very big way.

5. “The Big Sick”
It’s arguably one of, if not the best comedy of the year. The writing is stellar and real and doesn’t ever go the place lesser comedies regularly go. And it has a key character in a coma. It’s bucking all comedy tropes and it’s a testament to the writing of Kumail and Emily, and the directing styles of one Mr. Showalter.

4. “Call Me by Your Name”
We released a film by director Julia Hart two years ago called “Miss Stevens.”In it, Timothee Chalamet steals the show when her performs a scene from “Death of a Salesman.” It was that moment that convinced me he was going to be a star. This is the movie where he has become that. Everything else around him is stellar, from the visuals to the score to the original tunes from Sufjan Stevens. But every word Chalamet speaks, stutters, whispers — you know you’ve never seen better.

3. “Lady Bird”
Greta Gerwig’s confidence in her words and visuals seeps out of every seam of Lady Bird — a funny, heartwarming, indie success that is the kind of movie you hope for when the lights go down. There aren’t actors populating this story, but real, flesh and blood people, who pull you in and remind you of the similar moments you’ve experienced in your own life.

2. “The Shape of Water”
Guillermo Del Toro does what true auteur filmmakers do best — take audiences into a world they’ve never been before, then inspire them to change their own lives accordingly. This is a sweet, emotional, visually stunning bedtime story with the kind of kick only GDT can provide. An instant classic.

1. “Get Out”
Humor. Dread. Social commentary. A well written, deftly performed thriller that pulls you into the dark place along with its key protagonist. Now the industry is chasing social commentary-laden thrillers/horror movies but Get Out represents a shift in the genre space much like Scream did in the 90’s. Expect the copycats — hope for more originals.

Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name

“Call Me by Your Name”


Jeff DeutchmanVP of Content and Distribution, NEON

Here are my favorite motion pictures of the year, excluding the ones I worked on:

1. “The Square”
2. “Call Me by Your Name”
3. “Dunkirk”
4. “Twin Peaks: The Return”
5. “Faces Places”
6. “Lady Bird”
7. “Graduation”
8. “The Force”
9. “Last Men in Aleppo”
10. “Phantom Thread”

Honorable mentions: “The Beguiled,” “Donald Cried,” “Ex Libris: The New York Public Library,” “Foxtrot,” “A Ghost Story,” “Good Time,” “Jane,” “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” “Lady Macbeth,” “Logan,” “My Life as a Zucchini,” “Nathan For You” (“Finding Frances” episode), “Raw,” “The Red Turtle,” “Staying Vertical,” “The Work,” and “Wormwood.”

And special shout to my favorite audio of the year, “The Weeds.”

Tyler DiNapoliPresident, Marketing, Media and Outreach, Bleecker Street

Stepping into the Algonquin Round Table of IndieWire criticism and polling, a brief disclaimer for the below list. I’ve opted not to include any titles I’ve worked on during the past year, though there were certainly a few that would have made the cut below (I’m looking at you Logan Lucky). That said, here are some of the films and TV shows that excited, moved and spoke to me from 2017.

1. “Phantom Thread”
2. “Lady Bird”
3. “Dunkirk”
4. “Get Out”
5. “Call Me by Your Name”
6. “The Shape of Water”
7. “I, Tonya”
8. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
9. “The Florida Project”
10. “Wind River”

1. “The Handmaid’s Tale”
2. “Mindhunter”
3. “The Crown”
4. “Big Little Lies”
5. “The Young Pope”
6. “The Defiant Ones”
7. “Game of Thrones”
8. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
9. “The Vietnam War”
10. “Mr. Robot”

Sophie Gluck, Film Publicist, Sophie Gluck & Associates

“Call Me by Your Name”
Heartbreaking and gorgeous beyond words. Got the soundtrack on the same day I saw it. I still have images and music in my head.

“Call My Agent” (especially Season 2 episode 4 with Isabelle Adjani)
A guilty pleasure from France and hilarious satire of the Paris film world set in a talent agency. Lots of priceless cameos by the likes of Cécile De France, Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Lucchini and Isabelle Adjani.  Discovered actress Camille Cottin as the fearless and shameless star agent Andrea who loves directors more than actors.

“Faces Places” (disclaimer, I worked on it but could not leave it out of my favorite films of the year.)
Filled me with unadulterated joy.

“Felicite” (disclaimer, I worked on it.)
Parts of it are trance-like, like the scenes in the club where Félicité works, and left an indelible impression. And the non-professional orchestra playing Arvo Pärt… heaven… in Kinshasa.

“Get Out”
I was glued to the screen, both horrified and astonished.

A masterful exploration of morality. The father’s dilemma was portrayed with such subtlety. Love how Mungiu’s use of long takes makes the viewer pay attention to everything going on.

“The Handmaid’s Tale”
Horror has never felt so close to home.

“Master of None”
Brilliantly written, and so playful. Love all the cinematic references, from Vittorio de Sica to Wong Kar-wai. Hope there’s a another season.

Love everything by Todd Haynes. How great to go through the Museum of Natural History and the Queens Museum through his eyes. The scene taking place at the Queen’s Museum Panorama left me in tears.

“The Shape of Water”
Kept thinking about Jean Cocteau’s 1946 “Beauty and Beast.” Found this great trailer made by Cocteau himself, from Criterion:

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