In a year full of gems like Woody Allen’s nostalgic Wonder Wheel, The Weinstein Company’s culturally-informed thriller Wind River, and Netflix’s family drama The Meyerowitz Stories, starring a weathered Dustin Hoffman, it was nearly impossible to narrow down the list of best films of 2017 made by sexual predators. After weeks of rewriting and reordering, I present five films that truly wowed me this year and were also made by sexual predators.
5. Baby Driver
Director Edgar Wright’s love of 70s rock classics (see: the magical “Don’t Stop Me Now” sequence in Shaun of the Dead) is again on display in this surprisingly smart action film about a young getaway driver named Baby who listens to music 24/7 to drown out his tinnitus. The stacked ensemble cast includes Golden Globe-nominated Ansel Elgort as Baby, Cinderella’s Lily James, and the deliciously villainous Kevin Spacey, who was accused in October of making sexual advances on a 14-year- old actor and abusing at least fifteen others.
The latest addition to the Pixar canon, Coco tells the magical and (of course) didactic story of a 12-year- old aspiring musician trapped in the Land of the Dead. The Pixar team took pains to ensure that the flick, now the highest-grossing film of all time in Mexico, was a respectful exploration of the country’s culture. Coco’s executive producer John Lasseter, the man behind childhood Pixar favorites like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, is currently taking a six-month sabbatical after being called out for “grabbing, kissing, and making comments about physical attributes” to coworkers.
3. A Ghost Story
David Lowery’s vibey masterpiece, which premiered at Sundance last year, explores love and loss across time with beautiful inventiveness. Rooney Mara gives a powerful performance as a wife wistfully haunted by her recently deceased husband, Casey Affleck, who sports a white sheet ghost costume for most of the film. Affleck, who was sued in 2012 by two female producers whom he verbally and physically assaulted while filming the mockumentary I’m NotThere, again demonstrates his ability to tap into the full range of human emotion with quiet nuance.
2. I Love You Daddy
Is there anything Louis C.K. can’t do? The renaissance artist wrote, directed, produced and starred in this provocative dramedy, and also recently admitted to physically preventing two female comedians from leaving his hotel room while he masturbated in front of them.
1. Private Life of an American Woman
It would be difficult to squeeze in a review of this film and leave room to mention the upwards of 300 hundred sexual misconduct allegations dangling before director James Toback, including reports that he asked auditioning actresses about their sexual histories, requested they undress, and/or dry humped and then ejaculated onto them. Toback has denied all allegations, both because he says he doesn’t know any of the women and because it has been “biologically impossible” for him to engage in such behavior for over two decades.
To all the psychos still hiding behind the camera (or anywhere else), I look forward to seeing your careers destroyed in 2018. Happy New Year! Enjoy your special place in hell.