From: Bill Anderson <>
Subject: Re: My Top Ten Films of 2017
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NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2018 14:58:03 -0600
Subject: Re: My Top Ten Films of 2017
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From: Bill Anderson <>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2018 14:57:59 -0600
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On 1/2/2018 1:49 PM, moviePig wrote:
> On 1/2/2018 2:05 PM, Bill Anderson wrote:
>> On 1/2/2018 11:08 AM, Mark Leeper wrote:
>>>                       My Top Ten Films of 2017
>>>                 (film comments by Mark R. Leeper)
>>> Once again it is time to pick out what I consider the best of the
>>> best films I saw this year and I have to bemoan the fact that I am
>>> just not in a position to see all the films that deserve
>>> recommendations.  I should not call these the top ten films of
>>> 2017, but the top ten I have managed to see.  It also is not a good
>>> idea putting a bunch of these films together and rank ordering
>>> them.  Last year there were four or five good documentaries wholly
>>> or in part about police brutality, race relations, and riots.  This
>>> year there is at least that many.  It was a topic that was very
>>> much in the news in 2017.  If they were seen separately and months
>>> apart they would probably get high ratings.  But it is hard to see
>>> three in a week and not down-rate them for being so similar and not
>>> have that affect my opinion.
>>> Films are rated on a -4 to +4 scale.
>>> This film is based on a true story.  Molly Bloom wanted to be an
>>> Olympic skier and came very close to making it.  Then in an instant
>>> she had an accident, was washed out, and had to give up her Olympic
>>> dreams.  By chance she ended up inheriting the job of organizing the
>>> most exclusive weekly poker game in the world.  This task brought
>>> her some small fame and some major fortune in (honest) tips.
>>> MOLLY'S GAME is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin who wrote THE
>>> did much of the writing for "The West Wing".  I will be honest that
>>> sports films are not my thing, and poker films are not my thing
>>> either.  I started this film thinking it was not for me.  It took
>>> five minutes before I became fascinated by this film and by Molly.
>>> Jessica Chastain is captivating as Molly Bloom and Idris Elba is
>>> her lawyer.  When the two talk they are really convincing as being
>>> very, very smart.  Much of the film revolves around the fact that
>>> Molly has very high scruples.  The FBI did not believe that, but I
>>> do.  This film was a lot of enjoyment and it may well be the most
>>> fun I will have at the movies this year.  This is a major role for
>>> Chastain and I suspect that from now on she will be thought of as a
>>> glamorous actress.  Rating: +3
>>> Set in 1971, the owner of the Washington Post is faced with a
>>> Constitutional issue of whether to publish the contents of the
>>> Pentagon papers or to allow the government to gag her newspaper.
>>> Meanwhile as the first woman ever to own a newspaper she gets
>>> little respect from her own staff.  Steven Spielberg directs a good
>>> cast led by Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.  Hanks's character,
>>> Streep's editor-in-chief, is pushing for the newspaper to exercise
>>> the First Amendment right of the newspaper.  But that way leads to
>>> a lot of trouble.  Rating: +3
>>> JANE
>>> This biography of Jane Goodall shows us how by studying chimpanzees
>>> she has changed our definition of what is and is not human.  We
>>> see her in-depth (and continuing) study of chimpanzee behavior.  The
>>> film is a feast for the eye with its beautiful animal photography.
>>> Just how these images became part of the film is actually part of
>>> the story.  This is certainly one of the year's best documentaries.
>>> Rating: +3
>>> This is an epic yet personal story, a memoir of one very young
>>> girl.  Loung Ung, survived in Cambodia when the violently militant
>>> Khmer Rouge controlled much of the populace.  The narrative is just
>>> as vicious and painful as the title suggests it to be.  Angelina
>>> Jolie directs from a script by she co-authored with the real Loung
>>> Ung.  Rating: +3
>>> With an unusual stylistic approach, Christopher Nolan writes and
>>> directs his re-creation of one of the most heroic retreats in
>>> history.  400,000 British soldiers had been fighting in Europe and
>>> now were surrounded by Germans, stranded on the beaches of near the
>>> French town of Dunkirk where they were vulnerable to attack from
>>> the land, sea, and air.  At the same time as he is telling the
>>> story, Nolan does some strange experiments with cinematic time that
>>> the inattentive viewer (like me perhaps) might easily miss.  Rating:
>>> +3
>>> This is the story of the lives of a Hollywood couple, Lillian and
>>> Harold Michelson, who were the barely-sung heroes of the Hollywood
>>> film industry for six decades.  Harold had an instinct for how films
>>> should look and created pitch-perfect storyboards, often
>>> transforming the director's whole vision of the film being shot.
>>> Lillian had a huge and astutely collected research library to find
>>> authentic visions from around the world, from all of history, and
>>> into the future.  The story of their private lives is a love story
>>> of a perfect marriage.  Their visual style and knowledge shaped the
>>> look and feel of surprisingly many classic films.  This film was
>>> written, produced, and directed by Daniel Raim.  Rating: low +3
>>> This is based on a true story.  Stricken with polio and a prognosis
>>> of only three months to live, Robin Cavendish must first overcome
>>> his death wish.  He then attacks his problem that he must live in
>>> hospital with an immovable respirator.  With the help of friends he
>>> engineers a way to live at home and then to actually move around.
>>> His engineering solutions improved the lives of thousands of polio
>>> victims.  Andy Serkis's directorial debut is a moving paean to the
>>> human spirit and the possibilities of engineering.  Rating: high +2
>>> After thirty-five years the classic science fiction film BLADE
>>> RUNNER gets a sequel directed by Denis Villeneuve and based on a
>>> screenplay by Hampton Fancher among others.  The story concerns a
>>> search for the author of the false memories implanted in replicants.
>>> The film is a long 163 minutes starting at a contemplative (not to
>>> say "snail's") pace, yet is a little overstuffed with action later
>>> in the second half.  It is richer in ideas than is the original
>>> film, though it lacks the iconic visuals that that first film did
>>> so well.  Rating: high +2
>>> A police detective stalks a serial killer in Victorian London and
>>> tries to connect it to a recent killing.  The film feels as if it
>>> was dipped in "Victorian atmosphere concentrate." The movie takes
>>> itself very serious indeed, but the viewer can look between the
>>> lines to see it as something of a romp.  Peter Ackroyd's 1994 novel
>>> DAN LENO AND THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM is the basis of this dourly fun
>>> mystery with a popular London music hall as a background.  Juan
>>> Carlos Medina directs a screen adaptation by Jane Goldman.  The film
>>> features the never-fail actor Bill Nighy and Olivia Cooke.  The
>>> mystery is perhaps not enough mysterious, but the acting and the
>>> look and feel are worth the trip.  Incidentally, one disappointment
>>> is that the plot has virtually nothing to do with golems.  Rating:
>>> high +2
>>> Dr. Bassem Youssef was a heart surgeon in Cairo who was fascinated
>>> by "The Daily Show" and its host Jon Stewart.  He quit medicine and
>>> started his own satirical daily show, patterning himself after
>>> Stewart, but in a country where extremists can be deadly.  This
>>> documentary, heavily laced with humor and satire, tells the story
>>> of Youssef and his send-up show(s) under three dangerous and
>>> autocratic presidents of Egypt.  Rating: high +2
>>>                     Mark R. Leeper
>>>                     Copyright 2018 Mark R. Leeper
>> This year I am looking for A GHOST STORY to appear on the year-end 
>> best 10 lists.  I think those not including it are flawed.
> Came out in July.  Unpropitious...

And yet this guy at USA Today ranked it #1 for the year:

I also just noticed Leeper didn't include THREE BILLBOARDS either, so I 
suppose it's best to understand his list as "the best 10 movies I saw in 
2017" rather than "the best 10 of 2017."  Actually I really appreciate 
his list.  There are some movies on it that I really must make an effort 
to see.

Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog