As 2017 draws to a close and we look back to what this year gave us, we might find ourselves a bit disappointed in some (okay, most) regards. Be it from political transitions, natural disasters, or just plain social drama, 2017 has served us chaos on a silver platter. It truly wasn't all a disappointment, though: from the Women's March to the Silence Breakers, this year has shown us our capacity and potential to make real change in our lives for the better. Nothing could depict the silver lining to an otherwise questionable year than some of 2017's best films.
Here's a breakdown of movies released in each month of 2017, all of which lead by amazing women and POC actors.
January: Hidden Figures
Major Events: The Women's March on Washington, Hollyweed, Muslim Travel Ban
The year started out with a bang when pranksters tampered with the famous Hollywood sign to make it appear to say "Hollyweed" on January 1st. Maybe we should've taken the sign prank as a signal for how the rest of the year would go, but, ya know, the US has never really been too great at reading between the lines. This month also marked the end of the Obama administration and the introduction of the Trump administration, whose inauguration was protested most notably in Washington DC by the Women's March. The demonstration, as characterized by empowerment and a push for visibility as it was, along with Trump's first major act as President with the Muslim ban, is the perfect complement to "Hidden Figures," whose depiction of the amazing accomplishments of the black women of NASA in the sixties and their fight for recognition of their talents is an emotional must-see.
February: Get Out
Major Events: Trump overturns directive on transgender rights to use toilets, the Moonlight/La La Land mix-up at the Oscars
February gave us the masterpiece that is Jordan Peele's "Get Out." The film goes about discussing themes of racism and more through a unique, well-thought, and thrilling storyline. These ideas are reflected in some of the month's major events, such as Trump's repeal of the directive that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identified with. Shutting down and taking away freedoms of minorities such as this is aptly discussed in Peele's ground-breaking film, making it the perfect representation of the month.
March: Beauty and the Beast
Major Events: South Korea overthrows and arrests its president, Disney refuses to cut the "gay moment" from Beauty and the Beast for Malaysia and pulls the film from there instead, federal judges block Trump's second Muslim ban
In March, Disney released its live-action remake of its classic "Beauty and the Beast." The film, while following very closely to the original, intersperses some feminist themes into the story, causing quite an upset, much like the upsets caused when South Korea removed their president from office, or when federal judges in the US used their power to block Trump's second attempt at his Muslim ban.
Major Events: Controversial Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner, Missile strike ordered on Syria, Fox News lets go of Bill O'Reilly after sexual harassment allegations
"Gifted" was released on April 7th, and tells the story of an extremely talented little girl and the custody battle over her between her uncle and grandmother. The film features strong women and girls of varying ages and backgrounds, and does a stellar job of playing with the ideas of family and what it means to defy stereotypes in a heartwarming and thoughtful way. The tenderness of the film provides a stark contrast to April's events, such as the violent missile attacks ordered by Trump on Syria.
May: Everything, Everything
Major Events: MTV hosts the first awards show with gender-neutral categories, attack on Ariana Grande's concert in London, Trump meets the Pope
May opened with a strong statement from MTV, whose Movie & TV awards became the first award show to feature gender neutral categories. This breakaway from tradition is similar to "Everything, Everything," the YA novel-turned-movie whose stories centers around a girl whose illness keeps her locked inside her own home and the next door neighbor that she falls in love with. The film features an interracial novel, something far too underrepresented in entertainment, especially in things directed towards adolescents, like "Everything, Everything."
June: Wonder Woman
Major Events: "Wonder Woman "is the first superhero film to be directed by a woman, Trump announces US withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement, "Dear Evan Hansen" wins the Tony for Best Musical
With the start of summer, June brought some pretty impressive milestones in the entertainment industry: "Wonder Woman "became the first superhero movie released that was directed by a female director. The film itself shows the kickass Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, whose badassery is spurned by the pure desire for justice, unlike the tragic backstories that most strong female characters are often given. Her desire for a better and peaceful world was, unfortunately, contrasted by Trump's June 1st announcement that the US would oppose the Paris Climate agreement that would combat climate change. While he claimed it would hurt our economy, we'd need Wonder Woman's lasso of truth to get a real explanation for why we're the only country to have rejected the agreement.
July: Atomic Blonde
Major Events: BBC announces the first ever female Doctor on "Doctor Who," Justin Bieber is barred from performing in China, Trump announces policy (on Twitter, very official) to ban Transgender people from joining the military
Following suit with "Wonder Woman "in June, July brought us another amazing female character not motivated by a tragic past with "Atomic Blonde. "Charlize Theron plays an assassin whose antics will both impress and amaze. It is a refreshing sight to see an older woman be a strong protagonist whose might will leave the audience in awe. Speaking of new representations of women, BBC announced this month that the next Doctor in "Doctor Who", who has always been played by a man, would be played by a woman. Go BBC for that step in the equality direction, but boo to Trump, who once again revoked rights from transgenders when he announced in a tweet that transgender people would not be allowed to join the military.
August: The Glass Castle
Major events: Disney announces plans for its own streaming service, a giant inflatable chicken that resembled Trump was placed outside of the White House as a form of protest, White supremacists march on Charlottesville, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma devastate Texas, Florida, and Georgia
With the events in Charlottesville and two hurricanes leaving parts of the US devastated, August proved to be somewhat tumultuous, much like the family in the emotionally-charged "The Glass Castle. "For a light-hearted aspect of an otherwise dark month (and film), an inflatable chicken that resembled Trump was set-up outside the White House in protest. When it comes to making a statement, those who set up the inflatable sure didn't "chicken "out, am I right?
Major events: Trump announces plan to end DACA, Hurricane Maria devastates Puerto Rico and leaves entire country without power, Lebron James calls Trump a "bum" in a tweet
As the latter part of the year progressed, it brought with it "It, "an amazingly-made remake of the classic horror film about a child-devouring crown. The movie made a big splash, from showing the awesome talent of the cast of mostly children to causing some people to be attracted to a murderous clown. In terms of terrorization, August had its fair share of that outside of "It: "another hurricane left Puerto Rico suffering and without power, and Trump announced a plan to end DACA which protected children of illegal immigrants brought to the US at a young age.
October: Happy Death Day
Major Events: The New York Times publishes investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, sparking the beginning of the "Me too" movement
October brought the spookiness with "Happy Death Day, "which tells the story of a woman who has to relive the day of her death repeatedly until she solves her own murder. A woman-focused movie is an apt representation for October, for the month contained the release of the sexual harassment investigation into Harvey Weinstein, an entertainment bigwig, which then sparked a whole lot more. The "me too" movement had its beginning, where people were encouraged to post "me too" on social media if they had ever been a victim of sexual harassment. The show of solidarity was further supplemented by various sexual harassment allegations coming to light against many prominent men in positions of power, both in and out of the entertainment industry. Similar to "Happy Death Day, "the cycle appeared to repeat itself.
November: Lady Bird
Major Events: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement, Matt Lauer is fired from NBC, Australia legalizes gay marriage
Spilling over from October, the trend of sexual harassment claims continued in a big way, with events such as Matt Lauer's sudden firing from NBC. Changes continued to occur on a more positive note with Australia's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Female empowerment ran no only through November's days, and "Lady Bird "continued the theme with a moving and interesting story about the bond between a mother and her fiercely opinionated daughter.
December: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Major Events: Times Magazine names their "Person of the Year" as "the Silence Breakers," Trump announces US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, wildfires near LA shut down a major highway, the Federal Communications Commission votes to end net neutrality
2017 did not disappoint when it came to finishing out on a wild note. Along with Trump defying precedent with recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, wildfires in California stirring up a lot of trouble near LA, and the FCC voting to end net neutrality, the latest installment of the beloved "Star Wars" saga broke away from the norm with its content. The film, while well-loved and hailed by most, was much like 2017 in its entirety: starting with a bit of madness, getting all tangled up in the middle, and ending in a big ol' mess. Rey is still a badass, though, so we can forgive it.