Members of the New Orleans Film Society have spoken and have named the ten best films of 2017. Surveys were sent by email earlier this month, and after tallying ballots, here is a list of the best films of the year.  

1.The Florida Project. Topping the list was the opening night film from the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival from director Sean Baker (Tangerine). As NOFS member Paula Flynn stated in her ballot:  “One of the most important roles of cinema is to tell the stories of those whose stories most people don’t want to hear—and it was sheer entertainment as well, with great performances by both Willem Dafoe and Bria Vinaite, not to mention little Brooklyn Prince. A big thank you to Sean Baker, who continues to deliver as he delves into the alternative side of the U.S.”

2. Get Out. Coming in a close second was the Jordan Peele-helmed Get Out. Here is NOFS member Paris Woods’ comments on the film: “I loved everything about this film–content, characters, storyline. The film was funny and scary at the same time (in the most outlandish and yet realistic way), and I could relate to the underlying themes. Jordan Peele did an excellent job tackling tough societal issues in a way that wasn’t overbearing or preachy, and in a format folks from any perspective would be able to digest. There was something in this movie for everyone, and I don’t often feel like parts of movies were written just for me.”

3. Lady Bird. Third place was Lady Bird from director Greta Gerwig. NOFS member Marion Forbes had this to say about that film: “Perfectly imperfect, the film beautifully depicted a relationship between a mother and daughter. I identified on many levels with Lady Bird and her mother and I believe the specificity and care Greta Gerwig took when writing and directing the film makes it one of the best and most universal films from 2017.”

4. Three Billboards of Ebbing, Missouri. About this fourth-place film, NOFS member Diana Smith had this to say: “Three Billboards is a comedy about tragedy and is so ‘of the moment’ in American society. Every actor was excellent. The story and direction were witty and original. What to do with grief is a time-immemorial human dilemma, and this film explored it flawlessly.”

5. The Shape of Water. Rounding out the top five was Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water. In her ballot, NOFS member Michele Smith put it this way: “It’s classic del Toro. A mix of romance and fantasy with some humor. Sally Hawkins’ performance was the best by a female lead this year.”

The remaining top ten-ranked films were as follows:

6. The Big Sick (“So funny and dramatic.” -NOFS member Rick Davis)
7. Call Me By Your Name (“Truly captured feelings of first love, the complexity of coming of age and the benefit of a close, accepting family.” -NOFS member Jeannie McKeogh)
8. Wind River (“It was so well crafted and felt very human to me. The story was intense and the anticipation was built so well.” -NOFS member Lucia Bellanger)
9. Dunkirk (“The acting is amazing, especially Tom Ford who acts with only his eyes for such a long intense time.” -NOFS member Diana Smith)
10. Molly’s Game (“Loved the actors in this film and the narration.” -Renee Spratt)