IT was stellar year for Australian films, with an unusually high number of WA-made film making their way to our screens, and even better, they were amazing pieces of cinema.
Several have made their way onto the list. But it was also a great year for queer-themed films, with one taking the Best Picture Academy Award and another pegged for similar accolades at this year’s ceremony.
Honourable mentions: Wonder Woman, My Life As A Zuchini, Valerian, mother!, Happy Death Day, Meal Tickets, The Beguiled, Madame, Jungle, Paddington 2, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Coco, Hounds of Love.
10) It’s Not Just Me
Insightful, heartfelt and filmed right here in Perth’s backyard, It’s Not Just Me explores the lives of four Australian transgender men at different stages of their transition. This amazing documentary screened as part of Revelation Perth International Film festival.
9) A Ghost Story
The most fascinating, experimental, existential film about a dude standing around in a white sheet. Also notable is Rooney Mara’s 10-minute pie-eating take. Slow and strange but definitely an experience.
A relationship between a pair of conjoined popstar twins becomes strained when one of them wants to lead an independent life. An exploration of co-dependence, separation anxiety and sisterhood
7) The Disaster Artist
What could easily have been a mock-fest of what is said to be the worst movie ever made, James Franco, who directs, takes the opportunity to explore male friendship and dream-chasing and spinning an inspiration tale. As the eccentric Tommy Wiseau, Franco delivers one of his best performances.
6) Blade Runner 2049
Visually jaw dropping, this long belated sequel to the 1982 cult favourite would still be ion this list even without the incredible sound design and score.
Natalie Portman turns in another powerful performance, this time as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy speaking about her husband President John F. Kennedy’s assassination to a journalist. Portman delivers more than just an incredible mimicry.
4) The Florida Project
Sassy six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her little mates run amok at the rundown, fleabag motel they live in near Disney World while manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe) keeps a watchful eye and tries to keep the peace. No real plot to speak of but an observation of these characters’ lives, brought to life with documentary-like realism and boasting performances from newcomers you have to see to believe.
3) Get Out
Putting a sweat-inducing twist on Meet The Parents, with a Rosemary’s Baby vibe and topped with an underlying social commentary on racism and the relationship between black and white people, Get Out is an exciting, enjoyable and thought-provoking film.
2) Call Me By Your Name
One of the best “I was never the same after that summer” kind of coming-of-age films, as a teenage male develops feelings for his family’s adult male house guest during 1983. Sensitively handled and beautifully performed, it will move even the most stone hearted audience members.
The life of confused, disconnected Miami slum resident Chiron is broken up into three chapters in which he is bullied by school kids, shown kindness by a crack-dealer and struggles with his neglectful drug-addicted mother and his own sexuality. Few films are this subtle, stunningly realised and hold up on repeat viewings.