They bickered on amicably, the late night radio host and his regular guest – the film critic. They know each other well – they have been during this weekly encounter over the air waves for years. I know. I’ve been listening in. Just before Christmas they were discussing their respective top films of the year. When the radio guy cited his, his mate, the expert, claimed it was ineligible, being a nominee for the golden man for 2016. The host was outraged. Why, it hadn’t been released in Oz before this new year and that was when he had viewed it. The guest stuck to his guns, eventually forcing his mate, by asserting his expertise in the area, to make another selection. So, in my choice for my numero uno, I have failed to concede the point and you, dear reader, may take umbrage if you wish. So, with one of the first movies I viewed in 2017 atop, here are my favoured 10 for the last twelve months:-
1. ‘Manchester by the Sea’ (US) – the bleakest of films with the bleakest of men in the lead. But never, in my experience, has any lead been more deserving of an Oscar.
2. ‘A Country Doctor’ (France) – doing what the French do best – weaving their magic on all forms of love. Here I, like the lonely doctor, was smitten by the leading lady.
3. ‘A Man Called Ove’ (Sweden) – a Scandi-farce that tugs at the heartstrings.
4. ‘Rosalie Blum’ (France) – never has plain been so beautiful.
5. ‘The Big Sick’ (US) – cross-cultural love woven beautifully in a tender rom-com with depth and heart.
6. ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ (UK) – an Old Blighty weepie and so what if it’s not all strictly true to history.
7. ‘Jasper Jones’ (Australia) – home-grown and doing justice to Craig Silvey’s remarkable novel.
8. ‘Perfect Strangers’ (Italy) – a tale of a dinner party gone horribly wrong. For heaven’s sake hang on to your mobiles.
9. ‘Franz’ (France) – Ozon in top form in this post-war melodrama featuring possibly the word’s most gorgeous man.
10. ‘Denial’ (UK/USA) – mix a riveting courtroom drama, a holocaust naysayer, Rachel Weisz, Timothy Spall and Tom Wilkinson and we’re reminded what to never allow to happen again.
HMs – ‘Fences’, ‘ La La Land’, ‘My Cousin Rachel’
Turkey – ‘A Ghost Story’.
The Age critics top 10 films for 2017 – 1. ‘Moonlight’, 2. ‘Get Out’, 3. ‘Dunkirk’, 4. ‘Manchester by the Sea’, 5. ‘I Am Not Your Negro’, ‘Lady Macbeth’, ‘Toni Erdmann’ (three-way tie), 8. ‘A Ghost Story’, 9. ‘Land of Mine’, 10. ‘Colossal’.