The Movies and TV Shows We’re Thankful For in 2017

Movies We're Thankful For

The /Film crew is taking Thanksgiving off to be with their families. But since we consider you, our readers, to be friends of the family, we’re inviting you to our table. Join us as we share a meal of the movies and shows that matter the most to us right now, the entertainment that we’re thankful to have in 2017. You can’t go wrong with watching any of these over the holidays.

Peter Sciretta: The Florida Project

The Florida Project is a small film, which makes it easy to overlook during a holiday season filled with big stars and bigger films. But like the many motels and rinky tourist shops that line the streets just outside of the Walt Disney World Resort, this is not something that should be overlooked – it’s one of the best films of this year.

The Florida Project is a character study, a poignant snapshot of life set in the lower class surroundings just outside of the most magical place on Earth. But the genius of Sean Baker’s film is that it is told from the point of view of children who don’t realize they have been dealt a shitty situation. It’s a simple story that builds slowly to a very emotional gut punch.

Come in for the award-caliber performances from Willem Dafoe and Bria Vinaite, but stay for the wonderful performances from the largely inexperienced cast of child actors who populate this world: Brooklynn Prince, Valeria Cotto and Christopher Rivera. While my childhood may not resemble anything seen in this film, the film perfectly captures the feeling of being that young.

Stephen King's It Reviews

Chris Evangelista: It

I’m a big Stephen King fan, but I’d sort-of given up any hope of seeing a great new film adaptation of one of his books. It felt like the time had long since passed – all the good stuff had already been adapted, and anything that might be remade would likely end-up being a cheap, quick cash-grab with no heart and soul.

So when Cary Fukunaga became attached to helm a big screen adaptation of King’s It, I was intrigued. Fukunaga is a director with vision, not some gun for hire. Here was a chance for something great, I though. Then Fukunaga left the project, citing creative differences. My heart sank. It was likely doomed. And then I saw Andy Muschietti’s film, and everything changed.

Muschietti’s It is one of the best horror films of the year, and one of the best Stephen King adaptations of all time. It’s not a quick, cheap cash-grab. It actually takes its time, and carefully introduces its characters, and works hard to make the audience care about them. Yes, some of the scares are a little cheap, as in they’re presented as big, loud jumpscare moments. But beyond that is a surprisingly heartfelt film about friendship, and not just any type of friendship, but rather the friendship among outcasts. Here is a story about people who never thought they’d really have friends banding together to pull off an impossible task.

Because of all of this, I’m thankful this year for It. Here is a film that pleasantly surprised me, and taught me a lesson: not everything is impossible. I had thought a great King adaptation would never come again, and I couldn’t be happier to have been proven wrong. I see a lot of movies, and sometimes I can grow a bit jaded about how much shit Hollywood churns out. So when something like It comes along and reminds me that even Hollywood can deliver, it’s something worth giving thanks for.

Michael Stuhlbarg Call Me By Your Name

Ben Pearson: Call Me By Your Name

2017 is a heck of a year for actor Michael Stuhlbarg. He starred in the third season of FX’s Fargo, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, and still has a supporting role in Steven Spielberg’s The Post to come before the year wraps up. That’s already impressive, but I’m particularly thankful for Stuhlbarg’s performance in another big movie this year: Call Me By Your Name.

Luca Guadagnino’s sumptuous love story between Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) is a gorgeously lensed exploration of budding sexuality. Stuhlbarg plays Elio’s father, and instantly enters into the pantheon of the best movie parents ever committed to film. His Mr. Perlman is encouraging, intelligent, knowing, kind, and practically bursting with empathy, all of which are best encapsulated in a speech he gives to his son late in the movie. That monologue alone is worth the price of a movie ticket, and as we walked to the car after our screening, my wife and I talked about how Stuhlbarg’s character provides a fantastic example of the type of parents we want to be someday.

In a world in which we’re constantly bombarded with people and institutions that seem to revel in the way they openly don’t care about others, Stuhlbarg’s performance is a beacon of the type of openness, understanding, and genuine humanity that seems hard to come by right now, but refreshes your soul when it’s encountered.

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