Today marks the sixth (you heard me right – sixth) year that I have put together this highly esteemed and hardly anticipated final look back at the previous year in movies. I simply call these the K&M Random Movie Awards. Even the name drips with prestige and significance. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill awards drivel. Oh no, these are completely random categories yanked out of the air and presented to you. Now, without further delay, the red carpet ceremony is over and the nominees are in their seats. Lets get to this year’s ‘winners’…
Best Directorial Debut – Kogonada (“Columbus”)
In a year rich with fine directorial debuts none grabbed me quite like Kogonada. Sadly seen by too few, “Columbus” was a superb start to a promising feature filmmaking career.
Best Child Performance – Millicent Simmonds (“Wonderstruck”)
Another category full of potential winners, but for me it’s Millicent Simmonds. Hands down one of the most gentle, lovely and expressive child performances I’ve seen.
Worst Movie of the Year – “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”
Sure, there is a lot of dreck I have happily avoided, but “Valerian” was by far the most boring and laborious movie I sat through last year. At least some of the images were pretty.
Best Superhero Movie – “Wonder Woman”
Calling it ‘Best Superhero Movie’ is almost a disservice. I think it’s one of the best films from 2017 of any genre. Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot struck pure gold.
Worst Use of a Great Cast – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Just looking at this cast is impressive – McDormand, Rockwell, Harrelson, Hawkes, Hedges just for starters. Unfortunately Martin McDonagh’s mess of a movie wastes it all.
Best Surprise Ending – “Split”
I won’t spoil a thing, but who on planet earth saw that coming? I’m talking about the end of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split”. The VERY end. You who have seen it know what I mean!
Most Nefarious Food Item – Mushrooms
What the heck was up with mushrooms in 2017. I won’t even mention the movies where mushrooms play a key role in fear of spoiling things but good grief.
Best Movie Released in 2017 but Called a 2016 Movie Due To Dopey Release Schedules – “Silence”
Oh how I dislike release schedules. Every year a movie that would have made my Top 10 doesn’t open for most of us until the next year. Scorsese’s brilliant “Silence” was that film in 2017.
Best Screenplay – “Molly’s Game”
Aaron Sorkin can write dialogue. No one can question that. But if you do “Molly’s Game” is more proof of the man’s immense talent with words.
Most Overly Praised Movie – “Get Out”
Yes, I know it’s a beloved movie heralded as greatness. Quite honestly it blows my mind. It has some big ideas but even more gaping holes in logic and execution. I just can’t get aboard the hype train.
Most Unfairly Maligned Movie – “Justice League”
“Justice League” definitely has flaws but critics came out guns blazing picking it apart for the smallest things (unlike the aforementioned film). Again, it has issues but the stoning it took was undeserved.
Best Car Chase – “John Wick: Chapter 2”
John Wick has good taste in cars. His quest to rescue his gorgeous black 1969 Ford Mustang in JW2’s opening sequence is met with some pretty heated resistance. It also results in one killer car chase.
Best Fight Scene – Kylo and Rey vs. Snoke’s Guards
So many scenes could win this but nothing excited me more than seeing Kylo and Rey back-to-back with Snoke’s guards surrounding them. Their brief but incredibly cool team-up had our theater roaring.
Worst Movie Title – “Happy Death Day”
Let me start off by saying “Happy Death Day” is an unexpectedly fun and entertaining little horror-thriller. But let’s be honest….that title….
Best Comedy – “Logan Lucky”
I may be wrong but I seems that Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky” came and went with little attention. I found this deep-south riff on the Ocean’s movies to be a hilarious romp.
Most Overlooked Performance – Rob Morgan (“Mudbound”)
There was some great supporting work in 2017 but the most criminally overlooked has to be Rob Morgan. He’s an anchor of “Mudbound” yet practically no one is talking about him. That’s a shame.
Best Documentary – “Finding Oscar”
I’ll admit I didn’t see as many documentaries as I hoped to, but “Finding Oscar” has left its mark on me. Informative, important, shocking and heartbreaking. It’s a film that needs to be seen.
Best Villain – J. Paul Getty (“All the Money in the World”)
The story behind Christopher Plummer replacing Kevin Spacey is enough to make this character legendary. Turns out no crutch is needed. Plummer’s J. Paul Getty is just that vile and the movie is better for it.
Most Eye-Opening Performance – Haley Lu Richardson (“Columbus”)
There were a lot of eye-opening performances in 2017, but none grabbed me quite like Haley Lu Richardson in “Columbus”. It’s an expressive soulful performance full of heart and longing.
Biggest Letdown – “Thor: Ragnarok”
First off this is far from a bad movie. But as someone who is a fan of both Thor and director Taika Waititi I wanted more. Waititi’s portrayals feel way out of sync with the greater MCU and the absurdity eventually grew old for me.
Best Keanu Reeves Impersonation in a Movie – Dane DeHaan (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”)
I still haven’t figured out what Dane DeHaan was going for in “Valerian”. His voice had me thinking Keanu Reeves from “Point Break”. I kept wanting him to yell “Bodie, I’m an F..B..I agent!”
Coolest Action Sequence – Kong vs. Helicopters (“Kong: Skull Island”)
Keep in mind this isn’t the “Best” action sequence but the “Coolest”. Kong introducing himself to a group of trespassing military helicopters certainly qualifies. What a way the start their Skull Island adventure!
Best Football Scene – “The Disaster Artist”
You truly have to see it to believe it. James Franco in full Tommy Wiseau character tossing a football in an almost inhuman fashion. It’s both bazaar and laugh-out-loud funny.
The Most Exciting Theater Experience – “Dunkirk”
No other 2017 theater experience came close to matching what Christopher Nolan offered with “Dunkirk”. An exhilarating rush of visuals and sound presented on the big screen as only Nolan can.
Best Dinner Table Scene – “The Beguiled”
This category almost went to “Phantom Thread” but ultimately Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” won out. I won’t dare spoil it, but suffice it to say it’s a scene that has remained stuck in my head. I love it.
Best Original Score – “Phantom Thread” (Jonny Greenwood)
Speaking of “Phantom Thread”, in a strong year for memorable music nothing could quite beat Jonny Greenwood’s exquisite classical score. It is both elegant and haunting. More importantly it fits perfectly in ever scene it touches.
Most Annoying Best Friend – Rod (“Get Out”)
Most people I’ve talked to seemed to really like Chris’ TSA buddy Rod in “Get Out”. Aside from the fact that his very existance opens up some of film’s biggest plot holes, he’s also extremely annoying. He’s almost always in stand-up comic relief mode and the TSA gag was funny the first couple of times. After that…nope.
Best Daddy/Daughter Moment – “Logan”
Several 2017 movies had these moments that got to me – “Molly’s Game”, “Lady Bird”, even “Logan Lucky”. But the moment that wins comes from “Logan”. No spoilers, but if you’ve seen it you know it. Now enough talk. I’m getting misty thinking about it.
Best Special Effects – “Blade Runner 2049”
Denis Villeneuve made a critical decision when making his “Blade Runner” sequel – maintain the look and tone of the original. Oh, and bringing along Roger Deakins is never a bad idea. The results are absolutely wonderful. Scene after scene features some amazing effect which fuel this dark dystopia that feels right at home with its predecessor.
And that wraps up 2017. On to 2018…