I haven’t seen I’m Not There, Lust Caution, Persepolis, Into the Wild, and a bunch of other ones I really wanted to see this year yet. That said, here is my top ten list of 2007:
1. No Country For Old Men – I’m pretty sure a huge part of this book is about Vietnam, which probably makes a huge part of the movie about Iraq. That’s cool. Besides being a straight up thriller, this movie seems to offer a lot of people an empty, sad feeling inside (known as nihilism) and I like that.
2. Rescue Dawn – Maybe a little too commercial for some other die-hard Herzog fans, but this film had some of the best performances I have seen in a long time. Jeremy Davies is so much better in this than he is in Lost.
3. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – Maybe it is a bit of a Malick rip-off when it comes to the style of this film, but, hey, I really like Malick. The music is beautiful and it Brad Pitt makes a much better Jesse James than Robert Wagner ever did. He does that crazy Pitt-laugh that I used to accidentally copy. I think it’s ridiculous that this film didn’t get a wider release. But maybe that was because it’s about 12 hours long.
4. Juno – After coming to terms with the Gilmore Girls infused dialogue, I had to appreciate this film for all its cheesy, heartfelt moments. It’s not often that you see pregnant teenage girls depicted in such a fair way. The Moldy Peaches duet almost ruined the entire movie for me, but then I remembered when Allison Janney tells the ultrasound technition to go back to night school.
5. Sunshine – This one came in handy when we talked about Kant’s sublime. The movie takes on so many more issues than just the fairly immaculate sci-fi aspects.
6. Gone Baby Gone – I just watched this one tonight. While the first 50 minutes feels like a Clancy inspired thriller, the ultimate questions posed by the end lead to pretty amazing performances. For a debut film by a man I previously thought may be border-line-retarded, I’m very impressed. And can I just say that I love love love having two Casey Affleck films in my top ten. He’s finally getting bigger roles than Gerry, and I personally think he’s more than just his fine-ass, perfect neck.
7. Away From Her – While this movie seems to be reaching out and grabbing at any academy member with an ailing parent that it can reach, I have to assume that its motives are more pure. Really beautiful story. It hits the CNA in me.
8. There Will Be Blood – I’m still struggling with this one. No matter how much I try to justify it, those last 20 minutes just do not work for me. There seems to be completely divided opinion on whether or not the ending ruined the film, or marked another bold move in the career of the director I still like to call P.T. Anderson. Though I do think the ending feels tacked on and over-acted, I was so pleased with the rest of the film it has to make my top 10.
9. Zodiac – This one was overlooked by a lot of people. It’s just really really solid for a classical Hollywood movie. I loved it.
10. The Orphanage – Spanish horror film that gets scarier the further you are away from the theatre. These days all you have to do to freak me out is make piggy grunting noises and grab onto my shoulder from behind. This one might have seemed even better than it is since I saw it on the same day as I saw Atonement.
And as a bonus film: Live Free or Die Harder (AKA: Die Hard 4.0) wins the awards for best title, most awesome explosions, and most fun ever had in a theater eating nachos and watching Bruce Willis kick so much fucking ass!