Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 10 Films: 2007

Were getting close to the end of the decade and the end of all these Top 10 Lists. Today I have 2007 Top 10 Films for you. 2007 is a year that was jammed packed with great film to choose from, but checkout how I ranked the year's films after the break...

10. Black Book
Black Book is another stunning film to add to director Paul Verhoeven's long list of amazing film. Released overseas in 2006, Black Book did not release here in the US until 2007, but irregardless of release dates the movie is a harrowing masterpiece. Carice van Houten delivers one of the year's most impressive performances as a Jew who hides herself within the Nazi occupied Netherlands for the Dutch resistance. Like Verhoeven's other films, Black Book is very erotic, but it is also one of the most devastating thrillers of the year.

9. Control
Videographer and director Anton Corbijn takes a haunting look into the life of Ian Curtis, the frontman to the band Joy Division in Control. The stunning biopic has quickly become one of my favorite Band Films made to date. Sam Riley does a astonishing job of nailing Ian Curtis' demeanor and vibe on stage and outside of the band. Control mainly outlines singer Ian Curtis late teens into his early twenties when he committed suicide, but the result remains flawless. Credit must also be given to Samantha Morton who delivers a stirring portrayal of Ian Curtis' wife.

8. Lars and the Real Girl
One of the most underrated films of 2007 is Lars and the Real Girl. The romance comedy is a true gem and one of Ryan Gosling's best performances to date. Written by Nancy Oliver and directed by Craig Gillespie Lars and the Real Girl delivers a quarky and mundane drama that does an excellent job of dealing with one man's struggle to interact within his community and family. One of my favorite aspects to this film lies with the Real Doll itself. The settings and situations presented with the doll throughout are priceless.

7. 3:10 to Yuma
Put Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the same film and I'm excited, but place it in the western genre and I go from excited from ecstatic. To make matters better, 3:10 to Yuma is a excellent film that like most westerns delivers a great moral and some outstanding gunplay. 3:10 to Yuma is very simple, but the performances, character development and outcome are so magnificent, it rightly deserves its spot in my Top 10 of 2007. I also must note the stupendous supporting performance by Ben Foster here, amazing.

6. Into the Wild
I connect with Into the Wild in a number of ways. One I remain a hippie at heart. Followed the Grateful Dead and Phish and loved living quasi-off the grid lifestyle for a number of years. Two, the film stresses how important human connections are in our lives. The true story of Christopher McCandless is uplifting despite a grim ending because it hammers home the message that he knew what he was looking for all those years. Director Sean Penn did a sublime job delivering McCandless journey and overall message, not to mention Emile Hirsch who was alluring as McCandless. Into the Wild is matched with one of my favorite soundtracks in 2007. Eddie Vedder did a fantastic job of matching the journey and tone to the film. It is a travesty that he did not receive a Oscar nomination.

5. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
The most surprising film of the decade for me is Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. I love this movie to no end. It is ingenious! The film takes everything that horror fans have learned over the years and puts it into one quasi-documentary/slasher. The result is flawless. Leslie Vernon is my favorite new slasher of the past decade and one of the smartest films of 2007 without a doubt.

4. There Will Be Blood
Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day Lewis. Is there really anything else to say? There Will Be Blood, while it is not my favorite PT Anderson film, it is a invigorating piece of art. A movie that took everyone by storm and rightly so, the film is a true experience. The performances throughout There Will Be Blood are absolute. Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano both deserved Oscars for their gripping portrayals here.

3. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford never received it's due in theaters. The film was mishandled and never got anything but a limited release. To this day its release drives me crazy because it is such an amazing film. It is elegantly told, masterfully shot, flawlessly scored and strikingly performed. Actors Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Sam Shepard, Garret Dillahunt and Paul Schneider combine for a phenomenal cast. Nice Cave and Warren Ellis put together another fabulous score and cinematographer Roger Deakins presents one of the best shot films in 2007.

2. The Darjeeling Limited
Wes Anderson can do no wrong in my eyes and The Darjeeling Limited is just another example of that. Like every other Anderson film, The Darjeeling Limited deals with inter-family dynamics. This time he still uses his daddy issues as the core of the story, but the film is more fixed on the relationships of three brothers after the death of their father. The dramedy is absolutely side-splitting. Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody have undeniable chemistry together and do a polished job of delivering Wes Anderson's weighted dialogue. The setting of the film really creates some perfect situations and once again Anderson delivers a perfect soundtrack to match his film and moods.

1. No Country For Old Men
Easily my favorite film in 2007 and one of my favorite Coen films to date. Taken from a great novel written by Cormac McCarthy No Country for Old Men is everything I could ask for in a thriller. At its core the film has some of the best written and performed characters of the year. Both Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem are miraculous, but so is Tommy Lee Jones. What always gets me about the film is that from the get go you question Llewelyn and his characters decisions just as he does. Another aspect to the film that I love is how the violence throughout opens very gritty but becomes more implied as the film progresses. A final note on the film is how engaging it is without a traditional score. I will argue that there is a score in the film, but not in the traditional sense. There is of course no music, but the natural sounds of the film build just as much tension as some of the better thrillers have with masterful scores. The ability of the Coen's brothers to make a film as magnetic as it is without a traditional score is one of the many examples of why they are my favorite working directors and why No Country for Old Men is my favorite film in 2007.