Five 2017 films that reflect our current climate  

Although the Oscars have come and gone – with all the big awards like Best Motion Picture and Best Original Screenplay getting great fanfare – there are five films that definitely deserve an award for accurately reflecting the society we live in today and the current state of the country.

The Charlottesville car attack, “Me Too” movement, Hollywood sexual allegations and the constant talk of “fake news” are all familiar topics of conversation.

Many of these social issues have inspired beautiful films in the last year that go beyond watching the news and create a captivating display of today’s many injustices.

“Get Out” (Jordan Peele)

 

 

Writer and director Jordan Peele, best known for his sketch television series “Key and Peele,” created a thrilling masterpiece that blends horror, race and comedy all into one.

Earning a much deserved 99 percent on rotten tomatoes, the film follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) as he meets his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) family for the first time.

There is a clear tension in the film due to the couple’s interracial relationship. As the weekend progresses, however, Chris discovers the family’s true intentions.

This racially driven thriller makes you leave the theater feeling shocked and slightly more “woke” than when you arrived.

While parts of the story were comedic, the film reflects a greater issue of race in this country and how there is still much progress to be made.

As we saw with Charlottesville, there is still so much racial injustice in this country.

 

“The Florida Project” (Sean Baker)

The Florida Project follows the life of a 6-year-old girl and her group of curious friends during their summer break in a small Florida town on the outskirts of Disney World.

While the children explore the motel they call home, the adults in the film struggle with money, relationships and love.

Aside from Bobby’s character, played by Willem Dafoe, most of the actors were fresh faces, new to the big screen.

Before playing the role of 6-year-old Moonee, first-time actress Brooklynn Prince had only modeled and performed in a few commercials.

Hits of Italian Neorealism influence can be seen throughout the film with the use of non-professional actors and the clear display of real-life struggles among the characters.

Director Sean Baker beautifully displays the life of single mothers and the constant struggle many women face everyday in the country.

“The Post” (Steven Spielberg)

Steven Spielberg’s historical drama tells the story of the 1970s publication of the Pentagon Papers and two journalists’ efforts to expose the truth.

This film displays a time in history when journalism got it right, and it highlights a profession that much of the country distrusts.

During a time of “fake news” – both real and imagined –  “The Post” arrives right on time with its beautiful display of investigative journalism and the change good reporting can induce.

The news story that ended Nixon’s presidency was led by editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) – and both actors delivered excellent performances.  

“Okja” (Bong Joon-ho)

This Netflix original is one of those films that could cause someone to cut down on their daily meat consumption in a week.

Bong Joon-ho’s “genre-defying” new film tells the story of a young girl named Mija (An Seo Hyun) and her super pig, Okja.

Much like Charlotte’s Web, the enemy in the film is the meat industry and the young heroine must save her best friend from becoming food.

There is a very clear anti-corporate message in the film that is very relevant today, as more and more people become vegetarian and vegan and conscious eating is now a part of popular culture.

“Wonder Woman” (Patty Jenkins)

This movie has been a long time coming, and it’s not everyday a superhero film is centered around a strong female lead.

Gal Gadot, playing Diana (Wonder Woman), delivers a powerful performance and what better time than now?

With more and more women coming forward in Hollywood and sharing their personal stories of sexual assault, “Wonder Woman” is an exciting landmark for ladies everywhere.

The film is also a victory for female director Patty Jenkins, who is working in a male-dominated industry.

The movie was awarded a 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and rightfully so!

 

by Hannah Terry

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