Don’t overlook these amazing 2017 indie films
There’s little doubt about it: 2017 was packed full of blockbusters and tentpole flicks, from Disney’s epic Star Wars: The Last Jedi to Wonder Woman, the trailblazing superhero flick from Patty Jenkins. But a fair few breakout indie treats made it through too, such as Oscar-nominees Get Out and Dunkirk. However, there’s likely a ton of indie films that slipped beneath your radar – understandable with so much content to devour on an annual basis.
This utterly beautiful film charts the most compelling element of human nature: the evolution of the heart. Call Me by Your Name is a soul-incising masterpiece filled with breathtaking cinematography and emotion permeates the entire piece. Timothée Chalamet delivers a stunning performance, both touching and devastatingly moving. The gorgeous Armie Hammer looks marble-chiseled, while a monologue by Michael Stuhlbarg will make you weep.
Featuring Casey Affleck as a bedsheet, Rooney Mara stars in this story about a young woman caught up in rapturous agony. While some consider it a bit too long to love, we’re big fans of this exploratory flick that delves into the aftermath of grief. That weird transitory time in which things can become whole again, as painful as the process might be.
It’s a big shame, but this feature failed to capture the right audience when it dropped. Anne Hathaway stars in this film with a riveting performance, as a young woman going through the tides and tribulations of a relationship, while having her actions mimicked by a giant rampaging monster. It’s a real left-field story that goes into some uncanny, and pretty quirky territory – it’s unmistakably worth a watch.
Why this dark comedy from Netflix didn’t grab enough attention is an utter mystery. Macon Blair’s comedy of errors sees Melanie Lynskey take on the role of a nurse who teams up with Elijah Wood in a romp that includes a bit of accidental crime. Very much in the same vein as The End of the F**king World, this wonderfully dark-hearted feature, with a dash of vigilantism thrown in, deserves to be watched.
Julia Ducournau’s debut is a total surreal masterpiece, blending a coming-of-age theme with a cheeky bit of cannibalism. There’s some of the off-kilter logic, and a real beauty in just how utterly grotesque it manages to get. A little bloody for some tastes, Raw is one of the starkest and boldest debuts in recent memory.
For all the library science nerds out there, Ex Libris is an astonishing feat of a documentary. Frederick Wiseman, now 87 years old, delivers a three-and-a-half-hour-long magical testament to the New York Public Library. There are no talking heads or voice-overs, as the documentarian weaves between board meetings and speaking engagements in this exploration of how far the roots of the library extends into the life of everyday New Yorkers. It might sound like the most boring film in the world, but engage your brain, and you’ll be carried full-throttle into one of New York’s longest standing institutions.
Why on earth did Good Time not reap awards season? That question will be the mystery of our time for the foreseeable future. Robert Pattinson turns in a career-defining performance as a rugged ball of fury who is charged with aiding his brother in peril. Watch this now!
What we assumed was a contender for Best Documentary at the Oscars has instead been overlooked by practically every establishment. Released by the National Geographic channel, this film centers itself on the life and work of Jane Goodall – a primatologist who advanced study-in-the-field with some incredible discoveries, offering insight into the life and challenges that chimpanzees face. It’s a beautiful film that charts one of our evolutionary uncles, and there’s a real sweetness to how it handles the personal life of Jane, and the sacrifices she makes in service to science.