Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What you've been waiting for.

Okay, maybe not really, but here's my annual premature Best of 2007: The Movies list (which should really be titled "Best of 2007: The Movies I Saw" list, but never mind).

Best foreign film: The Aura, from Argentine director Fabien Bielinsky. Beautiful, cinematic, mesmerizing.

Best 2006 films I saw in 2007: Volver, Children of Men, Venus, The Lives of Others, Little Children.

Best song: the Pearl Jam cover of the Who's "Love Reign O'er Me." Runner up: "Good Morning Baltimore" (Hairspray), which I defy any living person not to smile at.

Best actor in a recurring role: Alan Rickman as Professor Snape in the newest Harry Potter. The film role (as opposed to the role in the novels) was small-ish, but he's great.

Best adaptation: Away from Her, from Alice Munro's story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain."

Best bit of a film: The Alexander Payne-directed last vignette called "14ème Arrondissement" in Paris je t'aime, starring the great Margo Martindale. Runner up: the Gerard Depardieu-directed vignette immediately preceding the Payne one, called "Quartier Latin," starring Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara.

Best film revolving around music: Once. It just cannot be topped. Passionate, immediate, moving. Runner up: Hairspray--I cannot deny that I had a swell time at this movie.

Movie with the best palette: The Namesake. It's Mira Nair's thing, isn't it?

Funniest movie: (three way tie): Knocked Up, Superbad, and Hot Fuzz. Is it an accident that the first two share some genetic material (Judd Apatow and Seth Rogan) and the third is part of what we can only hope will be a franchise of Simon Pegg/Nick Frost?

Best documentary: No contest--The King of Kong. There were worthy others, such as No End in Sight.

Best big movie: I think it might be Into the Wild. It was flawed, but it was huge.

Best Hollywood: A bunch of thoroughly enjoyable Hollywood dramas, such as Fracture (Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins face off with gullets full of scenery and also ham), The Hoax (why was Richard Gere acting like Howard Hughes? but still terribly entertaining), 3:10 to Yuma (really, there was nothing bad about this, unless you want to get picky about the last little bit). We saw In the Valley of Elah last night, despite the not-very-good Crash (as you all know, same writer/director), and it was first of all a powerful movie and second of all, a powerhouse performance by Tommy Lee Jones, really unbelievably good. But my best Hollywood movie of the last year so far is Michael Clayton, which was beautifully written, shot, and acted. George Clooney rules.

Best animated: Ratatouille, without a doubt. Does anyone get that the girl chef was voiced by Janeane Garofolo?

Favorite indie acting: Reece Thompson and Vincent Piazza as the brothers Hefner in Rocket Science, along with Nicholas d'Agosto as the champion debater who had an existential crisis. [See! This! Movie!] Also, Parker Posey in Broken English. Also, Meg Ryan, despite the cosmetic botchery of her lips, in In the Land of Women.

Real good movie that I bet almost none of my friends have seen: The Lookout, starring two of my favorite actors--Joseph Gordon Levitt and Jeff Daniels. It's a beauty. Don't miss it, you netflixing maniacs.


  1. I didn't know it, but I WAS waiting for that. Now I know what to netflix. And The Lookout was so on my list. I love that 3 named guy.
    I haven't seen any of these movies except "Hot Fuzz" and "Once" but I agree about those. I'm still in the throes of "Once" obsession which, as you know, takes months to wane.
    Oh wait! Of course I saw "Ratatouille." And a bunch of those others are already on my list.

  2. would it horrify you to discover that i have seen NONE of these movies? i have thought longingly about seeing some of them. but apparently, i have no life. or rather, no life which allows for moments of escapism. "once" and "michael clayton" are at the top of my list, because i dig the frames, and because george clooney does rule.

  3. Great list, I'll have to watch these. I was just astonished to learn that my father walked out of "Ratatouille" and hated it so much that he dragged my mom with him! And then he blamed me for recommending it! !!!

    !!! I don't know what this means...

  4. only recently saw your 2006 list (except for Venus)--liked them all, but Little children the least.

    I have Away from Her at the moment; I tried to watch it, but couldn't get through some stilted dialogue about the color yellow. I'll give it another shot as I love Alice Munro.

    Watched Into the Wiild over the weekend. Loved it so much more than the book--lovelier and more heart-wrenching than I thought it would be.

    Also watched Knocked-Up over the weekend (I've been on a bit of a movie binge) and absolutely loved it. Crass, hilarious, and heartwarming. Hot Fuzz is our favorite comedy of the year. Will would watch it every weekend if I let him. Rocket Science was also fantastic.

    I feel so happy that this year I've actually seen the majority of the movies on your list. The others I'll be adding to netflix.

  5. I've got to get to work on my film watching.

  6. I think it might be time to start up our dvd list again... so many movies to see, so much cable tv to watch....



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