5. Widows – Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen
For an engrossing panorama. Criticisms of didacticism are certainly apt, but at least the film brings up questions that most are too moderate to tackle.
4. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
For a violent, fairly bleak and mostly riveting kind of compendium on their moral sensibilities – that the harshness and misfortunes of life are often meaningless, and that those who suffer are chosen inadvertently. The Gal Who Got Rattled especially belongs amongst their greatest works.
3. If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins
For attempting something very difficult in adapting Baldwin but making it his own. He deals beautifully with the vulnerability and pride of youth and the banality of evil.
2. Leave No Trace – Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini
For an emotionally engrossing, gorgeously well-rounded father-daughter drama of a not-particularly-unfamiliar kind. They eschew politicking at every opportunity, wisely focusing instead on human connections.
1. The Death of Stalin – Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin
For a bold, extremely dark comedy that brilliantly encapsulates the power struggle that occurred in the Soviet Union during the time and the callow, infantile reasons for the those involved to stay on top.
Runner Up: Burning – Oh Jung-Mi, Lee Chang-Dong
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