If you count only the new to me classic films I watched this year, I have seen just over 100 film titles. But once you add in foreign films, documentaries and new feature films, that number increases quite a bit. I marvel that I had enough time to watch so many movies! (Click on movie links for my reviews of these films.)
As mentioned I watched over 100 new classic films this year and that doesn’t include those which I have already seen more than once. Clearly, I love classic cinema. In 2017 I worked on filling in the gaps in filmography for Eleanor Parker, Rod Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock. I also managed to catch some of Carole Lombard and Audrey Hepburn’s earliest titles as well as watching several of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s movies together.
I finally got around to watching Singin’ in the Rain for the first time as well as the original Oceans 11.
Also I had the immense pleasure of watching some personal favorites on the big screen thanks to Fathom Events screenings. These include; An Affair to Remember, North by Northwest, The Princess Bride, Casablanca and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy seeing classic films in a theater for the full immersive experience. I always end up catching little details I’ve never noticed before no matter how many times I’ve seen them.
Some of my favorite classics this year are:
- Light in the Piazza -by far my favorite discovery this year.
- What’s Up Doc? -what took me so long to watch this? Screwball comedy is my jam!
- Pillow to Post -a lesser known comedy title starring Ida Lupino and Sydney Greenstreet. It’s a lighthearted gem.
- Lost Angel -Margaret O’Brien has to be the best child actress ever. And this film is one of her best in my opinion.
- Voice in the Wind -a darker, more somber Casablanca starring Frances Lederer. It’s painful to watch, but has stuck with me all year.
- Midnight Lace -this is the first time I’ve seen Doris Day play suspense and I loved seeing Myrna Loy in color!
- The Lady Vanishes -I finally understand why everyone raves about this Hitchcock film.
Foreign Films and Documentaries:
This is also the year I started watching foreign films and series. I feel like the whole world has opened up to me! I was under the very mistaken impression that only Hollywood could produce good movies, and boy, was I wrong. I’ve seen films/series from all over the world including; Australia, Sweden, Turkey, Japan, China, India, Russia, Germany, South Korea, France, South Africa, Israel, Spain and Italy. In fact some a few of my favorite cinematic stories this year were produced in other countries. Among these are:
- Sadece Sen -aTurkish film which is going on my top ten list of all time favorites. It’s gritty and romantic, which is a unique combo.
- Departures -I loved this Japanese film which explores the value of life through death.
- Mr. and Mrs. Murder -If you’re a Nick and Nora fan, than this modern Australian mystery series features a similar type couple.
- The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared -I laughed my head off over this adaptation of the Swedish novel.
- Il Paradiso delle Signore -my sister and I were obsessed with this Italian version of Emile Zola’s novel which also inspired BBC’s The Paradise.
- Ekaterina -I’m totally obsessed with Russian history and this series was so lush and beautiful.
- I totally fell in love with K-dramas thanks to My Love Eun-dong and It’s Okay, It’s Love
I also watched several biographical documentaries in 2017 on stars like James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Steve McQueen and Leslie Caron. But my very favorite was Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story. I was fascinated by the behind the scenes view provided by their roles in the film industry. It’s definitely been one of my favorite films of the year.
As is becoming the case, I am seeing fewer and fewer films in the theater. There just aren’t that many that interest me enough to spend the time and money. However, there are a few I really did want to see that I wasn’t able to unfortunately. A couple of them I was able to catch when they were released through Amazon or Netflix. So this list is rather short compared to my other two.
- Rogue One -I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this Star Wars film.
- La La Land -I wanted to love this one more than I did.
- Beauty and the Beast -a no-brainer. Love these new Disney adaptations.
- The Promise -I fell in love with this film about the Armenian genocide
- The Shack -bawled my eyes out.
- Wonder Woman -perfect film to watch with my sister. Girl power!
- Dunkirk -what an experience.
- Same Kind of Different as Me -bawled my eyes out again. So good!
- Gifted -I like Chris Evans in these quieter films.
- Everything, Everything -appreciated the quirky humor and unique story.
- The Zookeeper’s Wife -gorgeously filmed. I’ve watched A LOT of WWII films this year and appreciated the unique setting of this one.
- Murder on the Orient Express -a stunning, but slow moving mystery. I’m adding more Kenneth Branaugh films to my watch list
- The Man Who Invented Christmas -loved the unique story-telling of this film about Dickens creation of A Christmas Carol.
- The Greatest Showman -loved, loved, loved it. Bought the soundtrack and paid to see it twice!
So, that’s it for 2017. What are some of your favorite film discoveries of the year?