Friday, December 21, 2007

Best Films of 2007

Now that BAFTA season is officially over, I'm free to list my top 10 films of the year. This year was an amazing year for film and I'm hoping that the Writer's Strike ends so I can enjoy all the award shows! For the record, the worst film I saw this year was El Cantante.

1. There Will Be Blood
When I told PT Anderson that this film was "Citizen Kane good", he said that was the ultimate compliment. Plus, it stars Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview in this year's best role to do impressions of ala Billy Bob Thorton in Sling Blade. Seriously, it's an amazing film with an amazing performance by Daniel Day Lewis, a drop-dead score and the most audacious first fifteen minutes of a film I've seen in a very long time. It's the perfect film to come out at the end of the Bush presidency. I can't stop talking about it with Todd. Plus, when that oil well blows, I almost fell out of my seat.
2. I'm Not There
First of all, I'm a big fan of Bob Dylan. I've seen both DA Pennebaker's Don't Look Back documentary and Scorcese's No Direction Home and the only box set I've ever purchased was that of Bob Dylan. And, I read Dylan's own autobiography Chronicles. And, if I didn't have any background in Dylan, I probably wouldn't know what the hell was going on this film with six different actors playing different constructs of the public perception of Bob Dylan. What I do know is that Todd Haynes is an amazing director. Again, he deconstructs film genre as he did in Far From Heaven and the cult of personality as he did in Superstar and Velvet Goldmine. And, he totally deconstructs documentary film "narrative" in a fictional film. Plus, it's clear that Todd Haynes truly loves music. It's a Cinema Studies graduate's perfect kind of film to analyze and watch over and over again. Finally, Cate Blanchett totally blew my mind playing the best Bob Dylan ever.
3. No Country for Old Men
This film was number one my list until I saw the two above. It's a fabulous horror film with Javier Bardem playing the scariest villain since Hannibal Lechter.
4. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
I loved this inspirational, funny and yet tragic film about the former editor of French Elle who becomes paralyzed into "locked in" syndrome and writes his biography by blinking one eye. I know this sounds crazy but you have to see this!
5. The Namesake
Mira Nair is an amazing filmmaker. I cried at the end. It's just as good as the book and I immediately went for Indian food after leaving the theater.
6. Before the Devil Knows Your Dead
This is just good old fashioned cinematic story telling at it's best. Ethan Hawke makes a comeback in this year's most underrated performance.
7. Darjeerling Limited
I'm a big fan of Wes Anderson. I found this film funny, moving and representing the current GenX sentiment. I also really want that luggage! I also bought the soundtrack.
8. Eastern Promises
I saw this film three times in the theater due to my love of Viggo. The bathhouse scene is fantastic. This was really the most entertaining film of the year. Cronenberg keeps getting better and better.
9. Zodiac
All year long, I've been telling everyone how awesome and enthralling this film was which was released early in the year about the Zodiac Killer. The film's length, rhythm and style all perfectly reflects the mystery.
10. Things We Lost in the Fire
I was deeply affected about this film about grief and addiction. Benicio del Toro is again amazing in this one. I cried all the way home.

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