2017 Screenflowers

2017 Screenflowers

Written by dorrk
25 February 2018

Overlooked, uninvited and underappreciated movies of 2017.

With the Oscars approaching to distribute awards for the “best” movies of 2017, there are invariably many fine movies from the past year which have been excluded. Some of these movies were too weird for a mainstream awards gala; some were too small to get noticed; some were misunderstood or overshadowed. I call these kinds of movies “Screenflowers,” just like the shy or misfit kids that don’t get asked to dance. As usual, I took a few liberties by including a couple of movies that are getting a little bit of attention from the Oscars, but maybe not as much as I expected or as much as they deserved.

This is not a complaint about the movies from 2017 that are being lavished with praise during awards season. I like most of 2017’s heralded films, notably Get Out, Phantom Thread, and Lady Bird. It was a strong year about which I have few complaints. The movies in this list, however, are the ones that I think also belong in the conversation about which movies mattered or tried something meaningful during 2017.

Screenflowers 2017: Twitter Moment

This series was posted on Twitter. Excerpts:

With Oscars coming up soon, this week I'll draw attention to 2017's #Screenflowers : overlooked and obscure movies from last year that I think haven't and aren't getting the attention they deserve.

#01 - Columbus (2017)

Dir.: Kogonada
#1 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #Columbus (2017) the feature debut of #Kogonada starring #HaleyLuRichardson #JohnCho #MichelleForbes #RoryCulkin and #ParkerPosey - a small, intimate, careful drama w/a breakout performance.

#02: On Body and Soul (2017)

Dir.: Ildik Enyedi
#2 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is Hungarian drama #OnBodyAndSoul (2017) aka #TestrolEsIelekrol by #IldikEnyedi starring #AlexandraBorbely and #MorcsanyiGeza - it's a #BestForeignFilm nominee but likely to remain obscure. #HungarianCinema

#03: Nocturama (2016)

Dir.: Bertrand Bonello
#3 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is terrorism drama #Nocturama (2016) by #BertrandBonello - a chilling and timely study of casual youthful embrace of destructive violence and radical politics.

#04: Graduation (2016)

Dir.: Cristian Mungiu
#4 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is Romanian drama #Graduation aka #Bacalaureat (2016) by #CristianMungiu starring #AdrianTitieni and #MariaDragus - Another #RomanianNewWave indictment of Eastern Bloc dysfunction. #RomanianCinema

#05: Thelma (2017)

Dir.: Joachim Trier
#5 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is Norwegian coming-of-age thriller #Thelma (2017) by #JoachimTrier starring #EiliHarboe - an overused metaphor refreshed and pulsating with intensity.

#06: The Lost City of Z (2016)

Dir.: James Gray
#6 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #TheLostCityOfZ (2016) by #JamesGray starring #CharlieHunnam #RobertPattinson #SiennaMiller #TomHolland #AngusMacfadyen and #FrancoNero - a fascinating & beautiful inward-focused jungle obsession adventure.

#07: Brad's Status (2017)

Dir.: Mike White

#7 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #BradsStatus (2017) by #MikeWhite starring #BenStiller and #AustinAbrams - a small comedy/drama about adult angst within a currently ridiculed upper middle class white milieu, but sharp and thoughtful.

#08: The Lure (2015)

Dir.: Agnieszka Smoczynska
#8 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is striking Polish mermaid horror musical #TheLure (2015) by #AgnieszkaSmoczynska starring #MartaMazurek #MichalinaOlszańska and #KingaPreis #PolishCinema

#09: A Ghost Story (2017)

Dir.: David Lowery

#9 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #AGhostStory (2017) by #DavidLowery starring #CaseyAffleck and #RooneyMara - a seemingly absurd concept turned into a fascinating reverie on loss from a ghost’s point-of-view.

#10: Wonder Wheel (2017)

Dir.: Woody Allen
#10 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #WonderWheel (2017) by #WoodyAllen starring #KateWinslet #JunoTemple #JustinTimberlake and #JimBelushi - Allen may be sidelined by other issues but I thought this was his best movie since #HusbandsAndWives in the early 1990s.

#11: Lucky (2017)

Dir.: John Carroll Lynch

#11 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #Lucky (2017) dir. by #JohnCarrollLynch and starring the great #HarryDeanStanton - a small but perfect finale to the long career of this ubiquitous character actor.

#12: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Dir.: Yorgos Lanthimos

#12 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #TheKillingOfASacredDeer (2017) by #YorgosLanthimos and starring #ColinFarrell #NicoleKidman #BarryKeoghan #RaffeyCassidy #SunnySuljic & #AliciaSilverstone - Maybe also only half-eligible due to stars & wide release, but difficult & underrated.

#13: The Florida Project (2017)

Dir.: Sean Baker

#13 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #TheFloridaProject (2017) by #SeanBaker - I thought this could be a surprise winner for Best Picture but its only nomination is for #WillemDafoe as Best Supporting Actor.

This series was posted on Twitter. Excerpts:

With Oscars coming up soon, this week I'll draw attention to 2017's #Screenflowers : overlooked and obscure movies from last year that I think haven't and aren't getting the attention they deserve.

#01 - Columbus (2017)

Dir.: Kogonada
#1 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #Columbus (2017) the feature debut of #Kogonada starring #HaleyLuRichardson #JohnCho #MichelleForbes #RoryCulkin and #ParkerPosey - a small, intimate, careful drama w/a breakout performance.

#02: On Body and Soul (2017)

Dir.: Ildik Enyedi
#2 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is Hungarian drama #OnBodyAndSoul (2017) aka #TestrolEsIelekrol by #IldikEnyedi starring #AlexandraBorbely and #MorcsanyiGeza - it's a #BestForeignFilm nominee but likely to remain obscure. #HungarianCinema

#03: Nocturama (2016)

Dir.: Bertrand Bonello
#3 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is terrorism drama #Nocturama (2016) by #BertrandBonello - a chilling and timely study of casual youthful embrace of destructive violence and radical politics.

#04: Graduation (2016)

Dir.: Cristian Mungiu
#4 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is Romanian drama #Graduation aka #Bacalaureat (2016) by #CristianMungiu starring #AdrianTitieni and #MariaDragus - Another #RomanianNewWave indictment of Eastern Bloc dysfunction. #RomanianCinema

#05: Thelma (2017)

Dir.: Joachim Trier
#5 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is Norwegian coming-of-age thriller #Thelma (2017) by #JoachimTrier starring #EiliHarboe - an overused metaphor refreshed and pulsating with intensity.

#06: The Lost City of Z (2016)

Dir.: James Gray
#6 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #TheLostCityOfZ (2016) by #JamesGray starring #CharlieHunnam #RobertPattinson #SiennaMiller #TomHolland #AngusMacfadyen and #FrancoNero - a fascinating & beautiful inward-focused jungle obsession adventure.

#07: Brad's Status (2017)

Dir.: Mike White

#7 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #BradsStatus (2017) by #MikeWhite starring #BenStiller and #AustinAbrams - a small comedy/drama about adult angst within a currently ridiculed upper middle class white milieu, but sharp and thoughtful.

#08: The Lure (2015)

Dir.: Agnieszka Smoczynska
#8 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is striking Polish mermaid horror musical #TheLure (2015) by #AgnieszkaSmoczynska starring #MartaMazurek #MichalinaOlszańska and #KingaPreis #PolishCinema

#09: A Ghost Story (2017)

Dir.: David Lowery

#9 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #AGhostStory (2017) by #DavidLowery starring #CaseyAffleck and #RooneyMara - a seemingly absurd concept turned into a fascinating reverie on loss from a ghost’s point-of-view.

#10: Wonder Wheel (2017)

Dir.: Woody Allen
#10 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #WonderWheel (2017) by #WoodyAllen starring #KateWinslet #JunoTemple #JustinTimberlake and #JimBelushi - Allen may be sidelined by other issues but I thought this was his best movie since #HusbandsAndWives in the early 1990s.

#11: Lucky (2017)

Dir.: John Carroll Lynch

#11 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #Lucky (2017) dir. by #JohnCarrollLynch and starring the great #HarryDeanStanton - a small but perfect finale to the long career of this ubiquitous character actor.

#12: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Dir.: Yorgos Lanthimos

#12 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #TheKillingOfASacredDeer (2017) by #YorgosLanthimos and starring #ColinFarrell #NicoleKidman #BarryKeoghan #RaffeyCassidy #SunnySuljic & #AliciaSilverstone - Maybe also only half-eligible due to stars & wide release, but difficult & underrated.

#13: The Florida Project (2017)

Dir.: Sean Baker

#13 of my #ScreenflowersOf2017 is #TheFloridaProject (2017) by #SeanBaker - I thought this could be a surprise winner for Best Picture but its only nomination is for #WillemDafoe as Best Supporting Actor.

Here is my complete list of favorites from 2017, including all of those movies you're already tired of hearing about:

  1. Columbus
  2. Get Out
  3. Phantom Thread
  4. On Body and Soul
  5. Lady Bird
  6. Nocturama
  7. Blade Runner 2049
  8. Graduation
  9. Thelma
  10. The Lost City of Z
  11. Brad's Status
  12. I, Tonya
  13. Mother!
  14. The Lure
  15. A Ghost Story
  16. Wonder Wheel
  17. Lucky
  18. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  19. Brigsby Bear
  20. The Shape of Water
  21. Good Time
  22. It
  23. Wonderstruck
  24. The Disaster Artist
  25. The Florida Project