10 movies of 2017 – and more: Part 1

Here are the first 5 movies in my list.

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1. Dunkirk

“Dunkirk”, an ambitious World War II movie directed by Christopher Nolan, instantly grabs us right from its first moment and then never loses its grip on us till the end credits. Although looking rather modest compared to Nolan’s previous works, the movie is equally bold and compelling in its attempt to present a big, vivid visual recreation of Dunkirk Evacuation, and it did a supreme job of taking us into that critical historical moment via first-rate filmmaking techniques and efficient storytelling. Considering its top-notch technical aspects, “Dunkirk” is definitely another grand achievement from Nolan, who confidently goes all the way for what he wants to achieve and accordingly gives us the best film of this year.

 

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2. Mudbound

Filled with so much of the sense of life and location, “Mudbound”, directed by Dee Rees, makes a vivid, powerful impression on us. Right from its very first scene, it transports us into its specific period background, and then it engages us via a bunch of distinctive characters, and then it moves us through their achingly human melodrama about love, hate, and resilience. Besides working well as a classic Southern family melodrama, it feels timeless in its contemporary perspective on race, gender, and history, and it goes without saying that the current situation of the American society makes the movie all the more relevant.

 

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3. Bad Genius

Bringing some fresh air into its genre conventions via its seemingly mundane story material, Thailand film “Bad Genius”, skillfully directed by Vasudhorn Piyaromna, is constantly electrifying as serving us a number of memorable moments to amuse and thrill us. It instantly grabbed my attention right from the beginning, it relentlessly dazzled me with its first-rate storytelling, and it totally satisfied me to the end. If you appreciate good thriller movies driven by story and character, you should not miss this hidden gem, and I guarantee that you will not regret at all once you watch it.
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4. Columbus

As leisurely rolling its simple romance tale in the foreground, Kogonada’s remarkable debut feature film “Columbus” focuses a number of distinctive works of architecture in the background, and how it subtly generates the emotional resonance between these two main elements of the film is more absorbing than expected. While there are many sublime visual moments to engage us, there are also little tender human moments to touch us, and the movie ultimately comes to us a heartfelt character drama to remember. I do not know when it will be officially released here in South Korea, but I really hope that I will be able to experience this stunning piece of work again as soon as possible.

 

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5. My Happy Family

Georgian film “My Happy Family”, directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß, is a small unexpected surprise which amused and touched me a lot. On one level, it is an intimate female drama about a woman who tries to reach for her own life and identity, and there are a number of nice sensitive moments which let us emphasize more with her complex conundrum. On the other level, it is a thoughtful family drama which cares about not only its heroine but also other family members around her, and there are several humorous moments as its heroine finds herself continuing to get involved with her family members even while she tries to walk away from them. I am glad that it is widely accessible via Netflix at present, and I urge you to watch this superlative work as soon as possible.

 

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