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How was 2017 for you?

So how was it for you? As we near the end of 2017 I find it irresistible to look back and think about my cinematic highlights!

The exuberant La La Land was the perfect antidote to a grey January, a kaleidoscopic musical for people who don’t like musicals. I’ve certainly been humming the tunes all year. A Monster Calls was another of 2017’s early treats; although perhaps because of its unusual blend of serious drama and fantasy didn’t reach as big an audience as it deserved. It’s well worth seeking out.

Summer brought the usual mixed bag of blockbusters, the best of which by far was crime caper Baby Driver. It was probably the most fun I’ve had at the cinema all year; with its superb blend of action, snappy dialogue, music and humour. It certainly took the crown for best car chase of the year. In terms of spectacle it would be amiss not to mention Dunkirk, which did an incredible feat of putting you right into the heart of one of World War 2’s most heroic operations.

The Big Sick was that rare beast – an American comedy where the humour didn’t feel forced and was all the funnier for it. It was also very touching, charting the rocky road to love for its two protagonists, negotiating clashing cultures and (as the title suggests) sickness.

The autumn gave us God’s Own Country, which was easily my favourite British film. Its achingly beautiful story of unexpected love between a lonely Yorkshire farmer and a Romanian immigrant stayed with me for a long time.

Blade Runner 2049 made many fans of the original very nervous; with the expectation that at best it wouldn’t live up to the original and at worst would tarnish the reputation of its predecessor. They needn’t have worried – the sequel was a towering achievement of both intelligent storytelling and visual splendour. A bona-fide new science fiction classic that demanded to be seen on the biggest screen possible – it was, for my money, the film of the year.

By Tom Brookes

From our weekly column in the Oswestry Advertizer, published on 19th December 2017.

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