Missed Movies of 2017!
While I've already dived into some of my favorite films of 2017, from horror satires like Get Out to superhero send-offs like Logan, there remain a number of smaller movies that slipped through my fingers last year. Whether they evaded me in their limited time at the theater or they simply ran under the radar and made their way to a hasty home release, here are just nine of the films -- independent, obscure, or otherwise -- that escaped me in 2017:
Columbus - From renowned video-essayist-turned-director Kogonada, comes perhaps the first drama centered around the subject of architecture that has ever captured my attention. A rare breed of film indeed, fictional stories that delve into the aesthetic -- and thematic -- qualities of architecture seem to come around only a few times a decade. So when Columbus popped up on my radar, it attracted me not only with its setting, in the modernist cornucopia of Columbia, Indiana, but also with its exceptional cast. Centered around the son of an architect (John Cho) who falls for a young architecture enthusiast (Haley Lu Richardson) after getting stranded in Indiana, Columbus looks to be a unique parable on how culture can unite people like nothing else.
Patti Cake$ - While 2002's 8 Mile explored the origins of acclaimed rapper Eminem, in his fictional form as Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith, Jr., 2017 sought to spin a similar underdog tale with the far-more fictional Patty Cake$. Moving from the streets of Detroit to the suburbs of New Jersey, the ambitious debut of director Geremy Jasper worked to not only tell a clever story of an aspiring hip-hop artist, but introduce the world to Australian actress Danielle Macdonald. While I might not have grappled onto this indie feature from the start, it remains a compelling underdog story I'm dying to see.
The Lost City of Z - Usually when it comes to expansive dramas that dive into the depths of historical explorations, a few manage to spark my interest with the aid of a riveting subject and a viable cast. A few, however, manage to fall into nothingness, their subject matter too dull or their cast not recognizable to warrant a larger audience. While The Lost City of Z might have slipped under its expected box-office performance after its April release, the tale of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) still lurked in the back of my mind as an intriguing historical adventure worth seeing. With Hunnam leading the show in his somewhat entertaining King Arthur adaptation from director Guy Richie, his turn as Fawcett, alongside stars Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson, still makes me want to dive into this one.
Personal Shopper - Much like David Lowery's supernatural romance A Ghost Story fleshed out a spiritually-fueled drama between a couple who face a life-altering tragedy, the latest from French director Olivier Assayas in March's Personal Shopper also set out to deliver a tale centered on the psychological and spiritual. With actress Kristen Stewart heading up the cast, which tells of a woman who soon gets entranced by spiritualism as she works as a personal shopper for a celebrity, Personal Shopper might have never completely hooked my attention, but I am still intrigued to see Stewart broaden her acting skills beyond that of Twilight fame.
Free Fire - After crafting a clever and claustrophobic dystopian thriller in 2016's High-Rise, director Ben Wheatley caught my attention yet again in 2017 with his Tarantino-esque shoot-em-up Free Fire. Boasting a similarly attractive cast as High-Rise, including the likes of Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Sharlto Copley, Wheatley's latest set its sights on revamping the spirit of no-holds-barred 1970s B-movies and painting a fast-paced plot of violent outcomes. Spinning a witty premise of a black-market deal gone wrong, Free Fire looks like the perfect filler as we await director Quentin Tarantino's next feature.
Brigsby Bear - Definitely one of the more obscure indie flicks to pique my interest last year, Brigsby Bear had the essence of an extended Saturday Night Live skit, mixed with the potential to surely become one of my favorite films of the year. With a leading man in SNL's Kyle Mooney and a premise full of '80s nostalgia and pure optimism, the Lonely Island-produced feature grabbed my attention far beyond its television origins. With Mooney making for an awkwardly-charismatic pick for a leading man, and the likes of Mark Hamill popping up in the film as well, Brigsby Bear remains a small-town project I'm anxious to see from some of the brightest people over at SNL.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women - While DC's Wonder Woman might have stolen the year with its compelling portrait of one of the most influential female heroes of comic-book lore, another feature set out to show another side of the iconic heroine. With Angela Robinson's earnest tale delving into the creation of Wonder Woman, from the American psychologist who penned the name to the two women who heavily influenced her inception, this biographical counterpart to Patty Jenkins' dynamic entry was a late discovery for me in 2017. Still vastly intriguing, especially after Jenkins' film reassured me of the character's radiant impact within the comic-book realm, I'm eager to see how this well-casted drama furthers my interest in the Amazon warrior.
Hostiles - After American Psycho and The Dark Knight trilogy gave me a brief glimpse at the work of Christian Bale, I've been captivated for the past few years by the English actor and his eagerness to jump from blockbuster features like Batman to smaller, art house films. Even as he remains one of my favorite actors working today, his transformative method making every one of his roles a sight to see, I've regrettably missed out on a number of his more recent endeavors. With his latest, from Black Mass director Scott Cooper, evoking the likes of 3:10 to Yuma in its gritty western atmospherics and giving Bale a proper role to kick off the new year, Hostiles looks like an emotional tale of unforgiving trauma on the frontier.
Loving Vincent - While I had a number of opportunities to see this film last year, the Vincent van Gogh biopic composed entirely of animated paintings depicting the artist's life managed to evade me throughout its theatrical release. While I've yet to see the unique feature play out on the big screen, it remains one of the most ambitious biographical projects I've ever seen. Anxious to see how nearly 65,000 painted frames combine to depict the life and death of one of history's most renowned artist, Loving Vincent is still at the top of my list to witness on the silver screen.
With that, what films did you miss out on in 2017? Were they smaller, independent features like many of these, or major blockbusters that evaded you at the theater? Let me know the top films you missed out on last year in the comments below!