As I type this we still have over twenty-four hours of 2017 to go, I feel like I’m jinxing things by saying this but I’ve had a really great year. Not great in the sense that loads of life-changing events happened or that I’ve achieved loads of incredible things; just great in the sense that (for the most part) I’ve actually enjoyed my time on this planet. That’s a very welcome improvement. So let’s take a look back at the last twelve months, shall we?
Film in 2017
This year I finally caved and subscribed to Cineworld Unlimited – one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve seen forty films with my card since the end of January, many of which I wouldn’t have otherwise given a go – it’s definitely broadening my horizons and (dare I say it) turning me into a dedicated cinephile.
I also attended the BFI London Film Festival for the first time which turned out to be one of my favourite days of the year. I saw a screening of Todd Haynes ‘Wonderstruck’ at the (super cool) pop-up cinema in Embankment Gardens, followed by ‘Manifesto’ which stars Cate Blanchett in thirteen different roles. Cate (and director Julian Rosefeldt) turned up to the screening for a Q&A and I practically died. Yup, this tweet will stay pinned at the top of my twitter feed for a good while yet.
When you watch Cate Blanchett play 13 roles in one film then she rocks up to the screening and you sit there hella star struck 😆😍 pic.twitter.com/rog29hgbaI
— Jill (@ribbonsofmemory) October 6, 2017
My Top 10 Films of 2017
So, half of these films came out in 2016 over in the States but I didn’t see them ’till January so I’m going to include them on my list anyway. My favourite films of the year … (based on gut feeling as opposed to objective thinking) …
- La La Land
- Manchester by the Sea
- Wonder Woman
- Hacksaw Ridge
- A Ghost Story
- Paddington 2
Mad props to La La Land for making me overcome my driving anxiety. I saw it on a Saturday evening, barely slept because I couldn’t stop thinking about the ending, then drove myself back to the cinema for the earliest screening the next day. I’m bitter Natalie Portman didn’t win the Oscar for Jackie. Everyone should watch A Ghost Story for the Rooney Mara pie scene (you should watch it anyway but that scene is captivating). I left the cinema with tears streaming down my face after Breathe and had a hilarious trip to B&Q with my Dad right after Hacksaw Ridge – we were both jumping out of our skin every time we turned a corner.
You can check out my full rankings on Letterboxd.
Theatre in 2017
Rent, 42nd Street and Hamilton were my theatre highlights of the year. Rent kicked my year off in the best way possible, a fantastic production of one of my long-time favourite musicals – utter bliss. 42nd Street was more of a surprise, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it but the sheer spectacle of it all absolutely blew me away. Being at the first preview of Hamilton in London was a very special experience.
I made a conscious effort to make more use of my local theatre this year and I’m glad I did. Cilla & La Strada were great new productions that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen and it was great to see the likes of Wonderland and The Addams Family finally make it over from the US – it feels like I’ve been listening to those cast albums for years.
Other 2017 Highlights
I’ve been to Kew Gardens many, many times before but not for a few years. This year we took the time to visit my mother’s tree and have cake in the Orangery (just like old times). The whole place is full of nostalgia – visiting always puts me in a melancholic mood but I also find it offers perspective and grounds me back to who I was as a kid.
I took a trip to St Ives in June during the warmest week of the summer. It was absolutely idyllic. We visited Land’s End, The Minack Theatre, St Michael’s Mount & Lanhydrock House. The St Michael’s Mount castle is pretty much my dream home and the island is my dream location!
We really lucked out with tickets for Centre Court and got to see Federer, Djokovic, Wozniacki and Kerber play. I just love the whole tournament and really hope we can make it three years in a row in 2018.
I met some of my (long lost) cousins who visited from abroad this year. We took them to Bletchley Park (I mean, what else are you supposed to show tourists in the Milton Keynes area?) and ended up having a very enjoyable day.
Six Day London
Seeing Mark Cavendish in action on the track is something I’ll never forget.
Hogwarts in the Snow
My first time at the Harry Potter Studio Tour during the Hogwarts in the Snow exhibition. It was a great way to kick of the festive season and rejuvenated my love for the Potter films.
I really hope I manage to fill next year with as much fun. What were your 2017 highlights?