Monday, December 31, 2007

Best Movies of 2007

Until November, The Queen was the best movie I had seen in 2007, and it's not on this list because it was released in 2006. (That's why Helen Mirren won her Oscar back in the spring.)

Because I don't go to movies as often as I'd like, I'm currently inadequately prepared to write a 2007 Top 10 Movies list, so this is a Top 5 with some honorable mentions and other lists.

1. Juno. This movie was made for me: quirky yet believable characters, smart snappy dialogue, a darling low-fi indie soundtrack, half the cast of Arrested Development, and a Rainn Wilson cameo. How could I not love this? My one complaint is that Juno, the protagonist, does seem to be a bit too witty to be 16, but that is counterbalanced by her kid-like behavior. Covering themes of growing up, familial commitment, and just surviving high school, this is the best film I've seen all year.

2. Lars and the Real Girl. I thought about this movie for days after I saw it. This bizarre film, about a young man who falls in love with a life-size doll whom he believes is a real woman, is heartwarming without ever becoming sappy. Other critics might disagree with that sentiment, but Ryan Gosling as Lars was one of the most touching (and admittedly awkward) performances of the year. I hope he's not forgotten come Oscar time.

3. Once. I heard about this movie on NPR for about six months before I finally saw it, but it lives up the pretentious public radio hype. It's a low-budget drama about some Dublin street musicians who record an album. That's it. There's a guy and a girl. They (sort of) fall in love and record some beautiful songs, but it doesn't have a Hollywood ending. Refreshing, beautiful, and simple with a soundtrack to match.

4. Ratatouille. Okay, this was probably the best movie I had seen until November. Personally, this is my favorite Pixar movie to date. Remi the rat is my hero, and how could I not love a movie about food and cute animals set in Paris?

5. Superbad. I almost gave this spot to The Darjeeling Limited, but on further thought, I laughed more during Superbad. I laughed a lot. I was also disgusted, but I laughed a lot. Michael Cera is perfectly awkward, and Jonah Hill is … gross. And they captured high school more realistically than most teen movies. And then there's McLovin…

Honorable Mentions:
The Darjeeling Limited
Charlie Wilson's War
The Namesake
Kabluey (I saw this one at the Austin Film Fest earlier this year. It's an indie comedy that has yet to get wide distribution. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Fox Searchlight to pick it up.)

Biggest Disappointments:
Knocked Up
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

As for the disappointments, I will only say this: I'm disappointed Chuck and Larry was ever made and more disappointed in myself for seeing it. As for Knocked Up, I direct you to my friend Alison's blog, where she has an excellent analysis of both this film and Juno in regards to unplanned pregnancy.

Finally, here are the movies I want to see, ones that will probably be nominated for a zillion Oscars and make my list seem a little irrelevant:
Sweeney Todd
I'm Not There
No Country For Old Men


Autumn said...

I've seen so few movies lately...and I do so want to see Juno! Everyone I've talked to says similar things about it. Michael Cera is just about the most awkward-cute person on the planet.

You were disappointed by Harry Potter? I thought it was the best yet of the whole series. I know they left out a ton of stuff, but on the whole it seemed better scripted than its predecessors.

I'm playing the game on XBox now. I'm trying to round up all the members of Dumbledore's Army :)

The Lazy Editor said...

Please let me know when you see Juno. I hope it hasn't been too hyped, setting you up for disappointment. I love Michael Cera - he pretty much redeemed Superbad. I just hope he doesn't get type casted, but then again, what a charming type?

I was disappointed by The Order of the Phoenix, mostly because the narrative seemed disjointed and very significant plot elements were barely in the film, if at all. Although, specifics escape me now. If you had six months ago, I would have had an earful for you.