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Episode 136 - The Best of 2017


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Poll: Episode 136 - The Best of 2017 (73 member(s) have cast votes)

Which film, as the Best of 2017, should enter The Canon?

  1. The Florida Project (14 votes [19.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.18%

  2. Get Out (24 votes [32.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.88%

  3. Lady Bird (14 votes [19.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.18%

  4. mother! (15 votes [20.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.55%

  5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (6 votes [8.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.22%

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#21 bleary

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:00 PM

This is a tough one, down to between 3 films for me.

I'm not voting for mother!, my least favorite movie on this list and perhaps my least favorite of all films I saw in theaters this year. I know it's getting a bunch of votes here, but it's certainly not for me. Part of it is that I've never enjoyed goofy Aronosfky, when things get so absurd that they trend towards parody. I felt that way about the Ellen Burstyn plotline in Requiem for a Dream, and for short spurts in Black Swan. I generally think he's a very fine filmmaker other than this issue, as I greatly enjoy most of Black Swan, as well as The Wrestler and even The Fountain, which I think has unfairly gotten a bad rap over time. However, I feel like mother! sees him indulge his worst tendencies. On the surface, I really like the idea of the movie: exploring the relationship between God, the Earth, and humanity in the form of this marriage. (Also as an aside: really fantastic sound mixing in this movie. It won't get any nominations for sound mixing, but it totally deserves them in my opinion.) But when things go off the rails, it ventures firmly into parody for me, which leads to such a dissonance in tone. I mean, was I supposed to be laughing at this woman's baby being torn into pieces? Because I was, due to the absurdity of everything else! And to me, that undercuts any supposed deep allegorical meaning of the film, because no matter who/what Jennifer Lawrence's character represents, I don't think the intention is for the audience to laugh at her pain by the end. (Also, if, as some people have speculated, the story is partly about Aronofsky's relationship with Rachel Weisz, that means he's painting himself in the role of God, to which I say, eff that guy.)

I'm also not voting for Star Wars 8, although I did really enjoy it. It's getting underrated because it's more or less just another Star Wars movie. It's getting overrated because it ended up being the best Star Wars movie in 37 years. I think in time people will see it for what it is: a very fun movie that breathed new life into a 40 year old franchise, but also ultimately a blockbuster with some major screenplay problems. I find no joy in tearing it down though, so I'll move on.

This leaves Get Out, Lady Bird, and The Florida Project. Any of these would be a great addition to the Canon. Of these, Lady Bird is my favorite. The Florida Project is the film that blew me away and defied my expectations the most this year. But I think that Get Out is the one that will be most relevant and most remembered in the future, so that's what I'm going to vote for. Someone saw it as a retread of The Stepford Wives, but I see it more as a worthy companion to that and other classic psychological horror movies, while saying something new about 21st century racism in such a unique voice. As much as I love Lady Bird and The Florida Project, I foresee Get Out being the film I revisit and rewatch the most out of these.

#22 paulthecat

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:28 PM

Great show this week! This was a toss-up between Get Out and Ladybird for me, but in the end my vote goes to Get Out.
I definitely feel that it's cultural impact and relevance in today's racial climate are reason enough to secure it's place in the Canon, and placed next to the other films listed, I am confident that it is the correct choice.

Star Wars was fantastic, and to me, the best in the new series hands-down. That said, it's many glaring flaws in the script keep it far-far-away from being the "best of 2017"

Florida was wonderful. In all honesty though, it's difficult for me to vote for it as I was one of a whopping two people in the theater that day, and my own idea of the Canon includes movies that people have seen...

Lastly, mother! does not get my vote because, despite it's undeniably provocative nature, I simply do not care for it.

#23 Johnny Pomatto

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:02 PM

I'm relieved to say that I like all of these movies, but my favorite of the bunch was THE FLORIDA PROJECT. I've been such a fan of Sean Baker's since seeing STARLET and TANGERINE, and this film continues his trend of writing characters that I've never seen portrayed on screen before. I see them in life, but not in the movies, and I wish others would follow his example and open up our character roster a bit more. I first saw THE FLORIDA PROJECT at this year's New York Film Festival and I loved every second of it... right up until the end. Yes, the moment that virtually every critic has hailed as the most revelatory moment of the film, struck me as a bit of a misfire on first viewing. It was so jarring to suddenly hear the music and see the handheld camera work. And what I was taking as a moment of fantasy escapism in this otherwise very real film, felt a little false at the time. These girls are not going to get an easy escape from their circumstances, so why should the audience get the satisfaction of pretending that they could. I had to see the film again to be sure of how I felt about it. Watching with my wife a few weeks later, I was eager to study her own reaction to the film. As that final scene approached, even before it began, I started to openly weep along with young Brooklyn's tears. Seeing the escape to Disney World scene again, I suddenly was swept up with the kind of emotion that I expected to be the first time around. I'm not sure what kept me from giving myself over to it the first time, but it has me now, and I think it might be my favorite film of the year.

As for the rest, I'm not the world's biggest Star Wars fan. I think they're fun films, but it was never my religion. But I really enjoyed THE LAST JEDI, though would never place it too high on my list. THE WRESTLER, Darren's stylistically atypical film not withstanding, I think MOTHER! is the most successful film Aronofsky has made. He made a truly successful head trip that works both for me as allegorical and a literal thriller. This was the kind of insane film I had wanted BLACK SWAN to be, but that ultimately left me cold. I completely agree with Amy that while I really enjoyed GET OUT and am very very excited to see many more films from Jordan Peele, I think the ideas of this film were stronger than the finished product on the whole. I feel like the last act, even with some brilliant metaphors and ideas, is often in danger of losing its grasp and control of what it's attempting. I guess the explanation is never quite as satisfying as what one's mind might be building up when the mystery is first presented. I still like the movie a lot, just not my favorite. I was born in Sacramento, so LADYBIRD meant a lot to me. Everything about that film works. It fills me with so much joy and humor, but when it goes for the dramatic beats, it never feels false or cheap. Frankly, it's a very close runner up to THE FLORIDA PROJECT for me. I'm sorry I wasn't able to call in to the show to give my vote audibly. It was a busy afternoon that day and I couldn't get away. But I can't wait for another year of The Canon. Thanks for all you do, Amy.

#24 bluesheep4

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:55 PM

So this is a great list of movies (except for TLJ which I agree brought up good discussions but I'm not going to get into again lol) and this is extremely hard! I just saw the Florida Project and yoinks it was freaking amazing, and I'm a huge fan of the surrealist mother! and Lady Bird is also absolutely amazing, but come onnnnn, how can this year NOT belong to Get Out!?! It came out in theatres in February and as a horror movie it definitely raises a red flag coming out the beginning of the year, directed by a first time director (i mean it's Jordan Peele s he's obviously great, but still never before had he directed), and it was released in an intense political climate, a year where many higher-ups in the government are running blatantly racist campaigns, which only gave it more power and significance. This film has stayed in people's minds all year, which doesn't always happen, even some great movies get overshadowed purely due to release dates, and it's poignant and just amazing, I really don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said!

To just sum it up, Get Out really dominated this year, and deserves the win.
(also sorry I didn't call in, I had school, and tbh I wasn't sure who I was rooting for until after listening to the podcast but I'm here now lol)

#25 rickyssofake

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:35 PM

The Florida Project is clearly a very good movie, but I think it'd be interesting to open the discussion on "poverty porn." I remember the episode on City of God - both Amy and the guest knocked it as poverty porn. I'm wondering what people have to say about this label?

So what's the difference between The Florida Project and City of God? When you discuss The Florida Project, is its main feature not the poverty? Is your main thought something along the lines of "Wow, people live like this?" I just find it odd that I haven't seen much criticism on the topic, and I'm wondering if ten years from now people will say as much.

I'd welcome any comments.

Oh and while it has nothing to do with my post, I feel like Mother! is so groundbreaking it can't not win.

#26 Ryan L

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:06 AM

Not a comment in favor of or against any film in particular, but I hate that this is a 5-way versus because we’ll likely have a plurality winner for 2017 rather than a majority winner as we’ve had in every other poll. This should’ve been a traditional versus or a two-round poll. But then again, first-past-the-post voting is how we got into the mess of a year that was 2017...

#27 bleary

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:29 PM

View PostRyan L, on 13 January 2018 - 11:06 AM, said:

Not a comment in favor of or against any film in particular, but I hate that this is a 5-way versus because we’ll likely have a plurality winner for 2017 rather than a majority winner as we’ve had in every other poll. This should’ve been a traditional versus or a two-round poll. But then again, first-past-the-post voting is how we got into the mess of a year that was 2017...


Agreed, but there's no simple way to make this poll so that it isn't first-past-the-post. It would have been cool to see everyone rank their choices here in the forum, but a relatively small percentage of voters tend to leave comments.

#28 RachaelB

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:14 PM

Get out, in addition to being well-crafted and fulfilling it's genre duties as a horror movie, does a unique service to human culture:
It's akin to the vitamins blended into a finicky child's favorite but not-so-nutritious meal by a clever and concerned parent. (Important that it wasn't sneaky, but thoughtful.)

While many great movies have been, "Oh that race movie," folks like me go into those knowing we're going to hit our white-guilt button and come out feeling bad for having benefitted from a system that harmed others for no reason, and then feel we've done a good deed by agreeing to feel bad, just as a person feels accomplished for eating a salad, even after coating it with ranch, such as, "I'm not like that. I wouldn't do that."

But a horror movie tends to be sorted in our minds as a guilty pleasure, for seeing nudity and violence. I saw horror fans opt for this movie because it was faithful to its genre. They reached for a refrigerated thin-mint or a rich cheesecake, and got it, not knowing it was loaded with life-saving vitamins and maybe some medicine for illness most of us don't know we have.

Thanks. love the show.

P.S. "Black Museum" chomped quite a bit of "Get Out" flavor, and I still enjoyed it. I wanted more Get-Out-esque stuff the way I want some cheesecake now.

P.S. my canon is "Movies I would want kept in a safe in the bunker for dystopian humans to watch, movies to launch into space to show others what we're all about AND movies everyone should acknowledge and consider seeing."

#29 sycasey 2.0

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:36 PM

View Postbleary, on 13 January 2018 - 03:29 PM, said:


Agreed, but there's no simple way to make this poll so that it isn't first-past-the-post. It would have been cool to see everyone rank their choices here in the forum, but a relatively small percentage of voters tend to leave comments.


I suspect Get Out would also win a ranked-choice vote, possibly even easier than it's winning this vote.

I also suspect Last Jedi would be doing better and mother! would be doing worse.

#30 VikingMunky

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 08:09 AM

First time, long time. I vote for Mother! because it is the most unique and bold movie I think I've ever seen. I saw it months ago and still can't stop thinking about it and talking to people about it. It took me 3 days to even realize I liked/loved it. All of these movies were amazing in their own ways, but Mother! stood out to me.

#31 bleary

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:27 AM

View Postsycasey 2.0, on 13 January 2018 - 11:36 PM, said:


I suspect Get Out would also win a ranked-choice vote, possibly even easier than it's winning this vote.

I also suspect Last Jedi would be doing better and mother! would be doing worse.



In a Borda count system, I agree that Last Jedi would be doing better and mother! would be doing worse, but I also suspect that Lady Bird would have a decent shot at beating Get Out. If we used the system that the Oscars use for Best Picture (instant-runoff, which is essentially a single transferable vote system) I have a tougher time predicting it, since the current 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place films are so close together. It would largely come down to those voters who put Star Wars 8 as their #1, since that would decide which of the films in the middle got eliminated next. If those voters all put, say, Florida Project as their #2, then Lady Bird would get eliminated next (or vice versa, or insert mother! in a similar situation). And then once it's down to Get Out and another contender, Get Out would only need about 1/3 of the ballots that didn't vote it #1 to at least have placed above that other contender. But again, depending on what that contender ended up being, it could be interesting.

#32 mjwilson

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:14 PM

Lady Bird hasn't been released yet in my neck of the woods. From the remaining candidates I'll go for The Florida Project (but honestly if I voted on a different day I might have gone for Get Out).