by Matthew Eeles
Farewell 2017, you’ve been a great year for Australian films.
Here are our top five Australian films of the year with the winner of the Cinema Australia 2017 Best Film Award announced in number one position.
This list does not include documentaries and also includes a film which played at film festivals throughout the year. We caught it so many times and were so impressed that we wanted to include it here.
If you’ve got something to say about our list then feel free to leave a comment below or hit us up on our socials.
5. Watch the Sunset
Directed by Tristan Barr and Michael Gosden
Written by Tristan Barr, Michael Gosden and Chelsea Zeller
Produced by Tristan Barr, Michael Gosden and Damien E. Lipp
Starring Tristan Barr, Michael Gosden, Aaron Walton, Annabelle Williamson, Zia Zantis-Vinycomb and Chelsea Zeller
What it’s about In a single afternoon a man comes to grips with the power of his past when his estranged family becomes tangled in its web
Why we loved it Stanley Kubrick once said that if it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed. Watch The Sunset is a testament to the master’s words. This film is a captivating, perfectly executed piece of experimental cinema with a narrative that will shake viewers to their core. Watch The Sunset is a technical marvel which is sure to inspire many filmmakers both young and old.
4. What if it Works?
Directed by Romi Trower
Written by Romi Trower
Produced by Tristram Miall and Romi Trower
Starring Luke Ford, Anna Samson, Brooke Satchwell, Wade Briggs and Kaarin Fairfax
What it’s about Adrian, an irrepressibly chirpy tech nerd, has OCD. Grace, a beautiful street artist, has multiple personality disorder. It’s a love story that seems impossible. But what if it works?
Why we loved it What If It Works? is a smart, funny, quirky and highly enjoyable comedy. Luke Ford and Anna Samson are captivating as the film’s romantic leads and both give career-best performances driven by director Romi Trower’s fresh, colourful and unique vision. What If It Works? is a must-see!
Directed by Greg McLean
Written by Justin Monjo
Produced by Todd Fellman, Mike Gabrawy, Gary Hamilton, Mark Lazarus, Dana Lustig and Greg McLean
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Alex Russell, Thomas Kretschmann, Yasmin Kassim, Joel Jackson and Jacek Koman
What it’s about When 22-year-old Yossi Ghinsberg leaves behind a safe future and family in order to chase an improbable fantasy, events take a dark turn. He reaches the enigmatic Lake Titicaca in Peru where he and two new fellow adventurers meet the darkly charismatic Karl Ruchprecter and follow him on an increasingly nightmarish journey with meagre supplies into the jungle.
Why we loved it Greg McLean’s adaptation of Yossi Ghinsberg’s unimaginable true-life survival story is an impeccably crafted, edge-of-your seat adventure thriller. It’s extremely well-acting boasting the most impressive cast ensemble since Simon Stone’s The Daughter.
McLean’s horror edge shines during particular scenes, especially one which involves a live worm embedded in Radcliffe’s forehead. Eww!
2. That’s Not Me
Directed by Gregory Erdstein
Written by Gregory Erdstein and Alice Foulcher
Produced by Anna Kojevnikov and Sally Storey
Starring Alice Foulcher, Isabel Lucas, Richard Davies, Belinda Misevski, Rowan Davie, Andrew Gilbert, Catherine Hill, Steve Mouzakis, Lloyd Allison-Young, Janine Watson and Andrew O’Keefe.
What it’s about Polly’s dreams of making it as an actor are shattered when her twin sister catapults to international stardom. Scrambling to catch up – Polly juggles woeful auditions, painfully awkward dates and her underwhelming job at the local cinema.
Why we loved it That’s Not Me marked the arrival of a formidable filmmaking duo in writer/actor Alice Foulcher and writer/director Gregory Erdstein.
Just when you thought Australian comedy films had gone the way of the dodo along comes this very funny and very honest look at life for someone who refuses to let go of their childhood dreams.
This is laugh-out-loud Australian comedy gold with a sharp script and A-grade performances.
1. Hounds of Love
Winner of the Cinema Australia 2017 Best Film Award
Directed by Ben Young
Written by Ben Young
Produced by Melissa Kelly
Starring Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas and Harrison Gilbertson
What it’s about Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.
Why we loved it Director Ben Young’s feature film debut is a mini-masterpiece which will remain with viewers long after the credits have rolled.
From Young’s stylish, well-paced directing to the nerve-shattering performances of Stephen Curry and Emma Booth, everything about Hounds of Love is of the highest quality – The ‘capture’ scene will leave film lovers spellbound as these anxious moments play out to The Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this suburban nightmare is the traumatic, central performance by Ashleigh Cummings as abducted teen Vicki Maloney. This is one of the greatest performances in Australian film history, frustratingly ignored by AACTA with the best supporting actress nomination going to Susie Porter’s superb but brief role as Vicki’s panic-stricken mother.
While Young is currently enjoying a filmmaker’s life overseas, we’re hoping he’ll be back soon to tell more local tales.