Every year there are numerous films that don't quite make the Best of the Year list but still require note at the year end. These are the film finds.
MOON OF THE SLEEPLESS NIGHT- Charming stop motion film about a boy and squirrel freeing the moon from a tree. A glorious stop motion animated film that really needs to be seen by everyone
4.1 MILES- crushing film about Greek sailors saving drowning refugees. It will stick in your heart and your throat.
RICHARD TWICE- stunning bio film of one of the members of the group Richard Twice that had me falling in love with some music I had never heard before and emailing to interviewing the director
JONATHAN- moving family drama about a young man who has the love of his life re-enter his life just as his father gets sick. A must see.
MAY IT LAST- a super documentary on the Avett Brothers that will make you a fan if you aren't already
THE VAULT- killer caper film with a supernatural twist and a really good cast (including James Franco) who sell the don't think about it plot.
BESIDE BOWIE- wonderful portrait of Mick Ronson that highlights a great musician and shows a side of Bowie we would never see otherwise.
DARK MERIDIAN- one of 2017's best crime films has a crooked police detective getting in over his head. Its a film that proves film noir isn't dead when it's put on screen by talented filmmakers
SAVAGE DOG- Awesome action film of the sort Cannon used to make. Forget the plot it's all motion.
SAVING SALLY- mix of animation and live action is a winning film that delighted everyone who saw it at NYAFF
MAUDIE- Sally Hawkins deserves an Oscar for this tough but touching film about an artist and the man who loved her. And if we're talking Oscars Ethan Hawke should get one too
LOST IN PARIS- off kilter romance knows it's silly and works it so well you can't help but smile. A must see if for no other reason than the wonderful set pieces (especially the musical ones)
TATER TOT AND PATTON- wonderful character driven tale probably should be on the best of the year list (attention anyone from the film feel free to claim its there I'll swear to it) but I waffled at the last minute which kept it off.
HERBIE- fantastic character study with an Oscar worthy performance at its center
D-LOVE- The joy of unexpected meetings changing our worlds. Another film that I should movie to the Best of the Year list but I'm waffling so here it is instead.
THE EXCEPTION- Wonderful historical thriller of the sort they don't make any more with a great cast including Christopher Plummer. Its so good you'll want to know what happened to everyone next.
THE PILGRIMAGE- Bleak drama about moving a holy relic was despised by many critics because it didn't do what they wanted it to. However taken on its own terms its a punch in the face adventure and biting commentary on religious belief.
GREY STATE- sad tale of a conspiracy nut who went off the rails. It will break your heart
GET ME ROGER STONE- Chilling portrait of one of Trump's cronies will help explain how we ended up with Trump in the White House
SIDE A SIDE B- Romance told in song is just an awesome film and one of the best musicals of the last decade. If it didn't wobble at one point I would have put this on the best of the best
WEDDING PLAN- awesome quasi romance is really an exploration of what God wants for us.
RIVER BELOW- What would you do to save the thing you love? Its a tough question
SHIVA- wonderful short film about 20 somethings sitting shiva. A real joy.
ERIC CLAPTON:LIFE IN 12 BARS- excellent look at the man (though not so much the music)
SAVING BRINTON- If you love film you must see this. I'm keeping it off the best of the best only because we don't see enough of the collection
EXPERIMENTAL CITY- one of a kind look at a city of tomorrow that just delights
VIGILANTE- a look at Curtis Sliwa told by the man himself. Riveting from frame one
JESSZILLA- portrait of a young girl who loves to box.
IT'S NOT YET DARK- moving portrait of the late filmmaker Simon Fitzmaurice who said fuck you to death until the bitter end and raised a family and made films all while suffering from Motor Neuron Disease. He is a hero and we all should live life like this.
DON'T KILL IT- Dolph Lundgren finds the role of a lifetime as a weary demon hunter
THE BEANING ponders if the Yankees made a deal with the devil for success-and yes this is a documentary
THE TABLES- wonderful portrait of the ping pong tables in NYC's Bryant Park and the people who play on them.