Best of 2007
Runners-Up: Michael Clayton, Knocked Up, Eastern Promises
Most Overrated Movie: Juno. I really really don't like this movie, and I am still dumbfounded as to how much acclaim it got.
10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: Beautifully shot and crafted movie of a man in a coma who writes a book using only his eye. Somehow manages to be inspiring rather than depressing.
9. I'm Not There: If not for the one step too avant-garde Richard Gere sequences, this would probably place higher. A meditation on the many facets of Bob Dylan. Cate Blanchett is terrific of course, but Heath Ledger also gives a great performance. Not for all tastes, but I found it fascinating.
8. Lars and the Real Girl: I was surprised at how much I liked this movie. The premise sounds a touch too indie, but the filmmakers make a poignant story about human goodness from the material. Between this performance and Half Nelson, I believe Ryan Gosling can do no wrong.
7. There Will Be Blood: Strange, terrifying, at times confusing, and always fascinating. P.T. Anderson is a great filmmaker and he creates a strange set of characters and landscapes that tie to our own culture. Daniel Day Lewis gives one of the best performances in modern film. The only reason it's not in the top 2 or 3 of my list is because of the misjudged final minutes.
6. Ratatouille: Absolutely charming Pixar film about a rat who can cook. Rat Remy and food critic Anton Ego are two great characters in this film. Probably even more enjoyed by grown-ups then kids.
5. Atonement: One of my favorite books, and the movie didn't disappoint me. Director Joe Wright makes the material fast-paced and creates an emotional pull that lasts through the movie.
4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days: Absolutely riveting Romanian film about a young woman helping her friend secure an illegal abortion in the Communist-era Romania. At every moment, you feel like you are in the room with these characters. A thriller, a political movie, and a movie that raises important moral questions.
3. Once: A small gem of a film and the perfect modern musical. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova play musicians who connect for a few days.
2. No Country for Old Men: A masterpiece of acting, pacing, cinematography, writing, and everything else under the sun. One of the most intense thrillers I've seen, and gives you a lot to ponder. Easily one of the Coen's best.
1. Into the Wild: Sean Penn directed this true story of the cross-country journey of Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch), a young college graduate who throws conventional life aside and connects with others on his way to Alaska. A road movie with heart, soul, and conviction.
Sum-Up: I think 2007 was a great year for film, one of the best in a long time. What I really loved is how so many of the year's films really worked to package compelling ideas in very specific directorial visions.