Nesselson is in-house film critic for the English-language channel of 24-hour TV news network France24. After 17 years at Variety, the Paris-based critic began reviewing for Screen International in 2008.
More critics pick best films of 2017
Dir: Errol Morris
A flat-out brilliant reminder of how America’s fear of ‘godless Commies’ prompted the US government to do terrible things during the Cold War, Errol Morris’s hybrid doc also makes a mockery of that old saw, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” Interweaving riveting interviews with re-enactments, Morris delivers a real-life horror film incorporating decades of almost unbearably dark (and literally buried) US history.
2. My Friend Dahmer
Dir: Marc Meyers
Ross Lynch brilliantly embodies the budding serial-cannibal-to-be in this period-perfect ode to dysfunction in plain sight. Anne Heche also dazzles as Jeffrey Dahmer’s mom.
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3. The Death Of Stalin
Dir: Armando Iannucci
A jubilant and pointed farce with perfectly cast sharp-tongued comrades jockeying for their slice of the totalitarian pie.
Dir: George Clooney
An unfairly rejected subversive cousin to Get Out, also basted in violence and racism, Suburbicon slyly skewers ‘family values’ paired with ironically cavalier disregard for children.
5. See You Up There
Dir: Albert Dupontel
This lavish, sardonic and affecting tale, in which two First World War veterans ingeniously take revenge on warmongers, questions what it means to be patriotic.
Dir: Alexandre O Philippe
A splendid rebuttal to anybody who maintains that movies are merely entertainment, this lively film is a blast, looking at how the notorious shower sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was a watershed moment in exhibition, horror, social commentary, musical scoring and iconic characterisation. Hitchcock may have shot in black-and-white so the blood wouldn’t be too red, but still left a blazing impression on generations of mind’s eyes.
Dir: Dave McCary
A sweetly profound meditation on everything from home schooling and parental love to pop culture and the potential beauty of all things analogue, this adorable tale of a Kaspar Hauser-esque young man whose worldview is based entirely on a TV series aimed at kids — make that ‘a kid’, singular — suggests that people are innately trusting and good, society can only mess them up, and cinema can set them free.