Tentative Top Ten of 2007

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.

jeremy davies rescue dawn

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.

casey affleck nude

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.

the orphanage

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!

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Tentative Top Ten of 2007

  1. I forgot about Inland Empire. That would be in there somewhere high, if I weren’t lazy and went back and edited it.

  2. dustin

    Good list. I need to see rescue dawn and orphanage. What about knocked up and superbad? I can’t remember any other movies… oh, wait, ratatouille. Thats near the top for me.

  3. brian

    inland empire is tops for me. tops of any year ever.

    i don’t know about the assassination of jesse james. it was pretty good, a little boring. i really liked the ending, as soon as jesse james died, when it all focused on the performance, the earlier movie being it’s own performance in a way.

    i loved, loved sunshine. it’s as good as any of the best sci-fi and the very best in quite a while.

    but i liked your list.

  4. natali

    yeah you shouldnt forget superbad. unless you hated it. i liked gone baby gone. although for two days i walked around saying i dont get why they broke up. is that a valid reason to break up? if so i might use it next time.

    did you see or like once? or la vie en rose?

  5. I didn’t hate Superbad, I thought it was really fun, but not in a top ten list kind of way. Like, I don’t think it measures up to the others on a level of filmmaking. I felt the same way about Once. It was good, and I loved it for what it was (a tiny budget, Irish film) but when I compared it to other films I saw this year it ended up just being really nice for me, without causing me to think too much. I didn’t see La Vie en Rose.

    This was just a really good year for movies. I’m glad, because the year before seemed to be really awful.

  6. Yeah, thats a good list. The Orphanage seemed gross so I skipped it. I really really liked There Will be Blood. And by that I mean its my favorite movie in a long time, maybe top ten favorite ever.

  7. natali

    yeah i understand about once. i really liked lars and the real girl and pans labyrinth as well.

    ps did you think atonement was the worst movie of 2007? i know i did.

  8. I’m not sure if I saw Pan’s Labrynth in 2006 or 2007, but since it was released 2006 I think I counted it on last year’s top ten. I never got around to lars and the real girl. They’re playing I’m Not There, Lars and the Real Girl, and The Savages at various theatres around here over the next couple weeks, so hopefully I’ll get caught up.

    I didn’t hate Atonement as much as a lot of people because I think I may have given it more credit than it deserved. Like, I thought things got so hollywoodized and sappy and silly because that’s when the little girl started writing the book and interpreting things the way a teenager might see them. There were also some interesting things with the soundtrack that I appreciated, although they went all wrong with having it blaring through the entire movie. I don’t know…I saw some shit this year. Like, how could anyone think Atonement was worse than 300 or Wild Hogs? But, I get it, Atonement’s getting all this credit where it’s totally not deserved and I think that’s so irritating.

    Dave: See the Orphanage. I think you’ll really like it. It’s terrifying, but not gross at all.

  9. Rachel

    Hey I hope you don’t mind that I’m reading your blog. I really, really appreciate it. I like film, but the only exposure to analysis or criticism I’ve had is when I took that class from you, and I miss that.

    Anyway, this list is exactly what I was looking for. I just watched There Will Be Blood and felt really dumb that I didn’t “get” the last twenty or so minutes. I wanted it to be good (and I thought the first 80-90% was really great) but that end just felt tacked on and…wrong. I wouldn’t have minded the events or the story of the end, I don’t think, if it had been better developed from the beginning toward that end. Or even from the middle. It was just sudden and inappropriate, I thought.

    ANYway. I just wanted to say I’m glad you’re writing this and I hope you don’t mind me reading.

  10. Rachel, I’m so glad to hear from you again and I’m so glad you read the blog! I felt the same away about There Will Be Blood. I think Paul Thomas Anderson was trying to do something innovative, but it falls short and comes across as a little sensational, I think. Some people loved it, but I think you’re spot on.

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