The Odysseys 2017: 2017 Retrospective

As we begin to get things underway for our annual awards event, The Odysseys, we’ve created a little something to remind you of just some of the films to grace our cinema screens this year, and also a possible look at films you’ll likely see mentioned in this year’s awards show.

Please feel free to share, leave feedback, and enjoy our 2017 retrospective!

More details about The Odysseys, including public nominations and upload date, will be available soon… 

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NBR Award Winners Announced

The annual National Board of Reviews awards were announced earlier this evening. Steven Spielberg’s  ‘The Post’ claimed the top prizes, including ‘Best Film’, ‘Best Actor’, and ‘Best Actress’. Greta Gerwig was awarded the ‘Best Director’ award for her directorial debut, ‘Lady Bird’.

Other NBR winners include Willem Dafoe for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ in Sean Baker’s ‘The Florida Project’, Jordan Peele won ‘Best Directorial Debut’ for ‘Get Out’, which also won ‘Best Ensemble’. ‘Coco’ took home the prize for ‘Best Animated Feature’ and Timothée Chalamet wins yet another ‘Breakthrough Performance’ award for his role in ‘Call Me By Your Name’

Full list of winners:

Best Film: The Post
Best Director: Greta Gerwig – (Lady Bird)
Best Actor: Tom Hanks (The Post)
Best Actress: Meryl Streep (The Post)
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)
Best Foreign Language Film: Foxtrot
Best Animated Feature: Coco
Best Documentary: Jane
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist)
Best Directorial Debut: Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Best Ensemble: Get Out
Breakthrough Performance: Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)
Spotlight Award: Patty Jenkins & Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
NBR Freedom of Expression: First They Killed My Father

Top Films: Baby Driver, Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist,  Downsizing,  Dunkirk,  The Florida Project,  Get Out,  Lady Bird,  Logan,  Phantom Thread

Top 10 Independent Films: Beatriz at Dinner,  Brigsby Bear,  A Ghost Story,  Lady Macbeth,  Logan Lucky,  Loving Vincent,  Menashe  Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,  Patti Cake$,  Wind River

Top 5 Foreign Language Films: A Fantastic Woman,  Frantz,  Loveless,  Summer 1993,  The Square

Top 5 Documentaries: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail , Brimstone & Glory,  Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars,  Faces Places,  Hell On Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS

Patti Cake$

Year: 2017
Director: Geremy Jasper

Starring: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Cathy Moriarty

Written by Sarah Buddery

Sometimes it is the most unassuming little films that completely take you by surprise, and whilst ‘Patti Cake$’ garnered some buzz from both Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals with nominations in some of the top categories, this is the sort of film that will fly under a lot of people’s radars which would be a great shame indeed.

You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of director Geremy Jasper before, as ‘Patti Cake$’ is in fact his first feature length directorial effort, having directed a handful of shorts and music videos previously. With a cast of relative unknowns as well (aside perhaps from Moriarty), this is the sort of independent film which will rely heavily on word of mouth to find its audience, and I really hope it does.

It’s a story seen before, and indeed obvious comparisons will be drawn with Eminem biopic ‘8 Mile’; but where that went for gritty realism, ‘Patti Cake$’ has a much sunnier disposition, whilst still dealing with some dramatic events and character struggles in a believable and authentic way. It helps that the characters are instantly likeable, and with the story told from the perspective of our gutsy heroine Patti (Danielle Macdonald), there is warmth, humour, and unexpected tenderness.

Whilst it doesn’t fully avoid the tropes of a “rags to riches” storyline, it does thankfully avoid making jokes at Patti’s expense, and the sensitive writing should be commended for never making her size the crutch for an unnecessary punchline. We spend near enough the entire run-time with this character, and relative newcomer Danielle Macdonald does a wonderful job of breathing life to this character. She is funny, believable, honest, and an easy character to spend extended periods of time with. There is a fire and a passion that erupts like a volcano whenever she raps, and it is a wonderful contrast to her softer side.

The soundtrack, as expected, is absolutely killer and a great listen in isolation of the film as well. Whilst the other characters are not as well developed as Patti is, her relationships with all the other characters are given their moment in turn; particularly her relationship with best friend Hareesh (Siddharth Dhananjay) is believable and genuine. Her tumultuous relationship with her mother Barb (Bridget Everett) has a very satisfying arc, and the sweet relationship she shares with her Grandmother (Moriarty) provides the emotional heart of the film. Whilst the romantic subplot felt a little shoehorned in, it ended up being surprisingly sweet and didn’t feel extraneous.

Really, the only thing I could’ve done without in this film was the subplot involving one of Patti’s rap idols, O-Z (Sahr Ngaujah). There were a number of “fantasy” and dream sequences scattered throughout the movie, and whilst they made sense and provided some context around Patti’s aspirations for stardom, equally they were something that didn’t add a whole lot to the plot overall, and could’ve been cut to trim the runtime down to something much punchier.

On the whole though, ‘Patti Cake$’ is a delightful, uplifting comedy drama with a killer soundtrack and a great performance from an actress who will definitely be one to watch. Intimately and tenderly shot, this is a surprisingly accomplished film for a first time director, and is definitely one to seek out if you get the chance.

Sarah’s rating: 8 out of 10