From Paradise to Shot Caller: top 10 best films of 2017

10 films of this year that you may have missed but definitely should watch according to a film critic from Kazan, Russia

Renat Khabibullin, a film director from Kazan and columnist for Realnoe Vremya, has prepared a review of the best, in his view, films of 2017. In his newspaper column the film critic presents the top ten films that could go unnoticed. The list includes Russian works as well as masterpieces of the Hollywood film industry.

The year 2017 is coming to an end, it has given us not so many high-profile films of the level of La La Land, however, there have been more than enough blockbusters this year. But, as it often happens, the most interesting remains behind the scenes. In this article I would like to look back and briefly tell you about the ten most interesting films of 2017, which you may have missed.

1. Paradise by Andrei Konchalovsky

The classic of Soviet cinema again hastened to make his presence felt, no matter what spiteful critics would tell, who after disastrous The Nutcracker, it seemed, were far from the truth regarding the competency of the master, Paradise has turned out to be above all praise. The unpopularity of Paradise among Russian audience is largely caused by the fact that the film is not coloured, and in general it's like a weird art film. Andron Sergeyevich won the Golden Lion in Venice for best director and continues not to notice all accusations in his address.

2. Silence by Martin Scorsese

This time with his 'brainchild' it is another classic who for the second time after The Last Temptation of Christ takes on the religious theme. This time it is a story of Jesuit priests, in search of their mentor, who, according to rumours, denied the faith, travel around Japan. Scorsese takes on a very complex topic, examining the question: ''Why God is silent seeing the suffering of people?'' The main role was played by Andrew Garfield, whose career went up rapidly after the nomination for Oscar for the film Hacksaw Ridge.

3. The Red Turtle by Michael Dudok de Wit

After the Oscar winner film The Artist (2011), The Red Turtle became the second mute work widely released in Russia. The external simplicity of the animation adds incredible depth to the whole event series. The Red Turtle in many respects is similar to the silent Japanese film The Naked Island (1960), which in its time left an indelible mark in the history of the Cinema. The Red Turtle by its aesthetics (albeit animated) brings us back to the era when the most important art could not speak but conveyed to the viewer by looks and gestures much more than by thousand words of the modern cinema.

4. Gold by Stephen Gaghan

The story of unlucky gold digger Kenny Wells performed by Matthew McConaughey will leave indifferent hardly anyone. McConaughey once again reincarnated and gained for the role more than 20 kilos. In general, the career of the actor after the series True Detective (2014) is experiencing a renaissance, and almost every role causes a wild excitement.

5. T2 Trainspotting by Danny Boyle

The continuation of the cult picture by Danny Boyle Trainspotting (1995) tells the story of the characters after their 'breakup'. The film received a lot of positive feedback, though it is inferior by the degree of intensity and thrash. Over the years of work, the director has not lost a single drop of his temperament but become noticeably older, and that means that no one will dive into the toilet (as it was in the first part with the main character). For a deeper understanding of the sequel I recommend to review the first part.

6. Split by M. Night Shyamalan

For most part of the audience the film has remained beyond their attention. James McAvoy and his 23 roles will definitely satisfy both fans of the genre and its opponents.

7. Get Out by Jordan Peele

Another low-budget (by the standards of Hollywood) thriller that made a splash in the cinema world. The scared black guy on the poster is unlikely to be able to make the Russian audience to stand in queue for the premiere, but $1.8 million of box office in Russia — not a weak result. I highly recommended to watch alone in the dark!

8. It Comes at Night by Trey Edward Shults

While the audience was scared by the evil clown, born of the fevered mind of Stephen King, next to it there went quietly another picture of the novice director, Trey Edward Shults. It Comes at Night is a vivid example of how to do an atmospheric drama on almost empty place and keep the viewer in suspense from the first to the last frame.

9. Wind River by Taylor Sheridan

The screen writer of great movies Hell or High Water (2016) and Sicario (2015) sat in the director's chair and did strong work about the Indian reservation, for which he won the award in Cannes for directorial work. The film stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen. If we hardly ever doubted the acting talent and ability of the first to play any part, blonde Elizabeth surprised for real. Bundle up in warm blankets, brew tea with oregano and enjoy a thoughtful and slow film made in the best traditions of the genre.

10. Shot Caller by Ric Roman Waugh

The director, Ric Roman Waugh, not for the first time addresses the issue of detention, but probably after this, without doubt, exhaustive, he will have to find new topics for conversation with the viewer. The main role is brilliantly performed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. He did it so convincingly so that when watching the film you constantly returning to the question: is it one and the same actor who plays the main role? Reversing the focus of the attention to the most hidden side of human nature, the director explores the animal in the man, asking the question: how do opposing instincts live in people, sometimes contrary to the very logic of life?

By Renat Khabibullin