AFI Names Their Top 10 Films of 2017


The American Film Institute announced its annual list of the Top 10 American-made movies of the year. All of the films on the list have been in the Oscar conversation one way or another.


The AFI has a strong track record at showing us what the Best Picture line-up at the Oscars might look like. Since 2009, the AFI has chosen 58 of the 65 nominees. That’s 90%!

This puts Wonder Woman officially on the list of possible Best Picture nominees.

The AFI Top 10 List:

Get Out
Call Be By Your Name
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Lady Bird
The Florida Project
The Big Sick
Wonder Woman





Review of Call Me by Your Name


Call Me By Your Name is not only a coming-of-age story, but also a love story. Adapted  from André Aciman’s novel and brilliantly directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film is set in northern Italy in the summer of 1984. Elio played by Timothée Chalamet is a 17-year-old aspiring pianist who develops a bond with the slightly older Oliver played by Armie Hammer. Oliver has been invited by Elio’s father to be his archeologist research assistant for the Summer. Elio begins to fall for Oliver who appears conceited and completely uninterested. Until he isn’t. He begins to share some of the same interests as Elio and starts to pay more attention. Elio cant help himself but to fall madly in love during his lonely Summer in Italy. Its that painful kind of love that will Elio forever changed.


Chalamet brings an intensity and authenticity to this role that no other actor could. He met Hammer for the first time right before shooting the film. The chemistry between the two actors is something that directors spend their life looking for and Guadagnino found it without ever testing the two together.

Guadagnino shows us Italy in a way that makes you want to jump on a plane and go there immediately.  The setting is a character all its own. Hidden ponds, cute towns, and a rustic villa.


Michael Stuhlbarg plays Elio’s father. He gives his the realization about not being the person you think you are, how terrifying love can be and better to loose it then have never had it at all is one of the best monologues ever put to film. This is Stuhlbarg at his best.


Call Me By Your Name takes you places you don’t expect to go with great looking food, beautiful scenery and music.  Back to a time and place before everything changed. This the best film of 2017 if not the best film in the last 10 years. When you see a lot of movies, this is what you wait for. When everything is perfect. Acting, directing, screenplay, music, beginning, end and middle. Call Me by Your Name is a superb film in every way.

My Grade: A+

2018 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

Nominations for the 33rd annual Independent Spirit Awards were announced today.  Call Me by Your Name leads with six nominations. Good Time and Get Out both earned five.

The Best Picture nominations include a few strong Oscar contenders. Call Me by Your Name, The Florida Project, Get Out and Lady Bird are all on the short list of possible Best Picture nominees at the Oscars.

For the last 4 years, the Best Picture winner at the Spirit Awards on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

2013-12 Years a Slave

To be eligible to compete in the Spirit Awards the film has to have a budget no more than $20 million and has to be an American film. The nominees are determined by 3 committees of around 10 people each. The winner is determined by all members of Film Independent. Anyone can become a member for $100 so they have thousands people choosing the winners.

The Indie Spirit Awards will be handed out the day before the Oscars March 3rd in a giant tent on the Santa Monica Beach. It will air live on IFC.

Full list of nominees:

Call Me By Your Name
Get Out
The Florida Project
Lady Bird
The Rider

Ingrid Goes West
Oh Lucy
Patty Cake$

A Ghost Story
Life and Nothing
Most Beautiful Island

Sean Baker – The Florida Project
Jonas Carpignano- A Ciambra
Luca Gudagnino – Call Me By Your Name
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Benny Safdie/Joshua Safdie – Good Time
Chloé Zhao – The Rider

Salma Hayek – Beatriz at Dinner
Francis McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
Saiorse Ronin – Lady Bird
Shinobu Terajima – Oh Lucy
Regina Williams – Life And Nothing

Timothee Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name
Harris Dickinson – Beach Rats
James Franco – The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
Robert Pattinson – Good Time

Holly Hunter – The Big Sick
Alison Janney – I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Lois Smith – Marjorie Prime
Talia Webster – Good Time

Nnamdi Asomugha – Crown Heights
Armie Hammer -Call Me By Your Name
Barry Keoghan – Killing of a Sacred Deer
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Ben Safdie – Good Time

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Azazel Jacobs – The Lovers
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Mike White – Beatriz At Dinner

Donald Cried
The Big Sick
Woman Who Kill
Ingrid Goes West

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Beach Rats
Call Me By Your Name
The Rider

Good Time
Call Me By Your Name
The Rider
Get Out
I, Tonya

The Departure
Faces Places
Last Men in Aleppo

A Fantastic Woman
Lady Macbeth
Not A Witch


First Look at Best Picture 2017

Last year at this time La La Land was the frontrunner for Best Picture. Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea were close behind, but it was still all about La La Land. As soon as a film is labeled a front runner the take down begins. As the season went on people noticed that La La Land had some issues. A white guy inventing jazz, Ryan Gosling couldn’t sing, Emma Stone’s character had it way too easy before becoming a successful actress and that ending.

This year in October we have no real frontrunner. It’s very unusual to not have a movie that most of, if not all of the Oscar bloggers are predicting to win Best Picture. The closest we have is Dunkirk. It appears to have the most buzz surrounding it right now. We also have Call Me by Your Name (my personal favorite) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Shape of Water, The Florida Project and Darkest Hour. A few of these are bound to get a nomination, but we are still waiting to see a few other like The Post and Phantom Thread.

Will the 4 Gotham Awards nominations for Get Out push it into the Oscar race? Can Wonder Woman get a nomination? Is Battle of the Sexes out of the race? What about the Big Sick? Basically, we don’t know anything at this point. We can only guess what films the Academy might go for. We will know a little more once some of the critics awards are announced beginning at the end of November. It will really start to come together when the major guilds like the PGA, DGA, SAG and ACE announce their nominations. A consensus will build and everything will come into focus.

Here is my first pass at which films could get a Best Picture nomination:

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water
The Florida Project
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Lady Bird
Get Out
The Post
I, Tonya

Battle of the Sexes
Phantom Thread
Wonder Woman
Molly’s Game
The Big Sick

55th New York Film Festival Line-Up


The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the full list of playing at the 55th annual The New York Film Festival.

The Main Slate consists of some of the favorites so far this year including, the AIDS drama BPM (Beats Per Minute), Call Me by Your Name and The Florida Project. The festival will open with Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying. The Centerpiece is Todd Hayne’s Wonderstruck and Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel on closing night.

In past years the NYFF was known for showing more international and small obscure films. In more recent years they have shown more accessible films and have been a springboard to awards season.

The 55th annual New York Film Festival runs September 28th-October 15th. The full 2017 line-up is below.


Last Flag Flying
Dir. Richard Linklater

Dir. Todd Haynes

Wonder Wheel
Dir. Woody Allen

Before We Vanish
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

BPM (Beats Per Minute)/120 battements par minute
Dir. Robin Campillo

Bright Sunshine In/Un beau soleil intérieur
Dir. Claire Denis

Call Me by Your Name
Dir. Luca Guadagnino

The Day After
Dir. Hong Sang-soo

Faces Places/Visages villages
Dir. Agnès Varda & JR

Dir. Alain Gomis

The Florida Project
Dir. Sean Baker

Ismael’s Ghosts/Les fantômes d’Ismaël
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin

Lady Bird
Dir. Greta Gerwig

Lover for a Day/L’Amant d’un jour
Dir. Philippe Garrel

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Dir. Noah Baumbach

Mrs. Hyde/Madame Hyde
Dir. Serge Bozon

Dir. Dee Rees

On the Beach at Night Alone
Dir. Hong Sang-soo

The Other Side of Hope/Toivon tuolla puolen
Dir. Aki Kaurismäki

The Rider
Dir. Chloé Zhao

Dir. Agnieszka Holland, in cooperation with Kasia Adamik

The Square
Dir. Ruben Östlund

Dir. Joachim Trier

Dir. Valeska Grisebach

Dir. Lucrecia Martel


Call Me by Your Name Gets a Trailer


Sony Pictures Classics has released the first trailer for director Luca Guadagnino’s critically acclaimed Call Me by Your Name. Based on a novel by André Aciman, the film takes place in 1983 and stars Timothée Chalamet as 17-year-old American-Italian boy who is on on summer vacation with his family in Italy.  Ann American played by Armie Hammer comes to work with the boy’s father, when a summer romance begins.

Call Me by Your Name first premiered at Sundance where many were already predicting a shot at Best Picture. It will play at Toronto next month.

It opens in theaters on November 24th.