Seems like the perfect timing for a light-hearted post related to two things that we love to celebrate — holidays and movies.
We ended October and ushered in November with a week of filming imbibing, courtesy of the Austin Film Festival. Even better, we enjoyed some of the flicks with friends! A writers’ festival, the AFF always serves as excellent motivation and inspiration – especially listening to the writers & directors panels.
The Festival also throws us into the path of the best random opportunities in Austin. My 2017 favorite randomness was trying to convince David Arquette to test drive a 2018 Lincoln Navigator that we sat in the 3rd-row backseat while he was in the driver’s chair. Another highlight was watching a tribute to “In Living Color”, which broke ground during my coming of age in the 90’s, with the up close and personal Q&A with Keenan Ivory Wayans at the Hideout Theater.
First I’ll list some of my film festival favorites – as these are either in or coming to Theaters, and are well worth your time. To finish, I’ll list our Thanksgiving Streaming Playlist — which is very open to your recommendations, so post them in the com box please and thanks.
What were the best 2017 Austin Film Fest movies?
Here’s my take on that. Sadly, there were so many films that we still wanted to see – but out of the dozen or so that we did catch – here are the standouts from AFF 2017
Lady Bird, Directed by Greta Gerwig. Particular hats off to Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, who did a tremendous job as the mother/daughter duo which was the backbone (and often tension) of the film.
Beauty and Ruin, Documentary by Marc de Guerre. My family is from Detroit, and I grew up in the Burbs there – so this film on the bankruptcy juxtaposed by the rich DIA art collection owned by the city, hit close to home. To sum it up in one word, painful.
Please Stand By, Directed by Ben Lewin. Did not realize how much I would love Dakota Fanning as an autistic, Sci-fi writer. Truly one of my favorite films not just of the AFF, but of 2017.
Roman J. Israel, Esq, Directed by Dan Gilroy. A different name for a film, with a very different character for Denzel Washington. As an idealist who has also gone through recent turbulent changes, I really loved his character. The premise of this story was unique, which in and of itself is an accomplishment, and watching it resolve was an engaging ride.
Endings: The Good, The Bad, and the Insanely Great, Directed by Michael Arndt. This was a work-in-progress screening of a “how-to” film, penned and produced by the writer of Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3. Love how he used great films to explore concrete ways to achieve a great ending of a film. If you’re an aspiring screenwriter, definitely worth your time.
I, Tonya, Directed by Craig Gillespie. A dark comedy based on the crazy true-events of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, that surprised me how little I knew and because of, not despite, the absurdity — how thoroughly I enjoyed it.
2017 Thanksgiving Week Steaming Movie List:
Disclaimer: We’re using the title “Thanksgiving” movie list loosely here, as these are NOT all holiday-related films, although a couple films are. The Hubs and I have a diverse movie palate – as you will see – so the list was composed based on several factors: Genres, decades, actors, sentiment, or simply something we’ve been wanting to see for the first time or again. We started yesterday with #7, and we were wowed by the Dallas filmmaker’s treatment of grief and existence.
- The Glass Castle: 2017 biography/drama
- Elf: Holiday, 2003
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles: 80’s comedy/Thanksgiving classic
- Daddy’s Home: (Wahlburg/Ferrell) 2015 family comedy with the sequel in Theaters now
- Uncle Buck: 80’s comedy, a family fav
- Citizen Kane: Classic
- A Ghost Story: (2017) Drama
- Family Stone: 2005 RomCom/holiday. This was recommended by the sweet barkeep at the Hotel Indigo that we enjoyed sipping on Old Fashioneds at this past weekend – thank you!
- Happy Go Lucky: 2008 Artsy Comedy/Drama/Romance
- The Rover: Artsy – Action/Crime/Drama
- The Proposition: Western
What do you think? Axe any? Add any? Give us your movie list recommendations, friends!