2007: Film Highlights

After taking inventory of the most impressive films I’ve seen over the past year, I came up with a list but-- taking a cue from The New York Times -- decided not to rank them in numerical order since it’s impossible to compare one completely different work to the next and give them a sort of batting order. In addition, I opted to leave out the categories of best actor, actress and director since I’m in agreement with my colleagues on the richly deserving performers including Daniel Day Lewis and Ellen Page, along with filmmakers such as Joel and Ethan Coen. I tried to invent some categories in the hopes that it will inspire you guys to check out some of the lesser-known works, comment and above all, decide which films of 2007 were your favorites as well.

Note: It should be mentioned that due to my work on the film festival and prepping for grad school, along with living in Arizona and not having LA and NY access, I missed the opportunity to see Into the Wild, I'm Not There, Gone Baby Gone, Lust/Caution, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, No End in Sight, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The last two are on my must-see list and the first ones I’m still trying to track down. While I'm fortunate to attend numerous advance screenings and free previews on a regular basis, I'm not eligible for "press" status yet and therefore my mailbox isn't flooded with screeners. Needless to say, stay tuned and I’ll definitely edit and comment on the post if things change.

- Jen

The Best and the Rest of 2007

Favorite Films: Atonement, There Will Be Blood, Juno, Once, Zodiac, The Lives of Others, No Country for Old Men, Across the Universe, Eastern Promises, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Most Original Film: Across the Universe (Julie Taymor)

Most Overrated Films:
The Kite Runner, Michael Clayton*, 300, Knocked Up*, Margot at the Wedding, The Savages, The Great Debaters*.
(* Films I enjoyed but don’t feel are worthy of the top ten placement or awards consideration)

Most Underrated Films:
Across the Universe, Eastern Promises, 3:10 to Yuma, Rescue Dawn, Waitress, The Hoax, The Hunting Party, The Lookout, Dan in Real Life, Hairspray,

Grindhouse: Death Proof, Sleuth.

Biggest Surprise: The Bourne Ultimatum
(best of the series)

Biggest Disappointment: Love in the Time of Cholera

Best Documentary: Sicko

Best Foreign Film: The Lives of Others

Amazing Performances that Flew Under the Radar:
Steve Zahn in Rescue Dawn, Jude Law in Sleuth, Keri Russell in Waitress, Richard Gere in The Hoax, Joseph Gordon Levitt in The Lookout, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War, Sienna Miller in Interview, Chris Cooper in Breach, Josh Brolin in American Gangster, Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton, Christian Bale in 3:10 to Yuma, Sigourney Weaver in The TV Set, Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises, Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Best Original Score: Atonement and There Will Be Blood

Best Soundtracks: Across the Universe and Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson’s

There Will Be Blood

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody’s Juno

Cinematography: Roger Deakins for The Assassination of
Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum’s breakneck cuts.

Most impressive Production Design: