2007 the round-up

February 15, 2008

i saw 50 films in 2007, and enjoyed a good majority of them. but first the major films i’ve somehow missed so you can’t chastise me for not including them…

assassination of jesse james…, 4 months 3 weeks 2 days, margot at the wedding, the kite runner, the diving bell and the butterfly, gone baby gone, sweeney todd, and somehow i’ve still seen 50 (thank you netflix)

my top films (in absolutely no order)….

into the wild – i feel like i haven’t gotten to talk at all about it. i mean, i really loved this movie. i had never seen emile hirsch in anything, so his performance really took my by surprise. i didn’t know what to expect going in (having really loved the book), but i was really sucked into mccandless’s life all over again and penn does a great job of just laying the facts out straight. not judging him, but not over hyping him either. hal holbrook is getting all the supporting actor buzz, but i thought the best supporting performances in the film came from vince vaughn and catherine keener. vaughn; being one of my favorite comedians, it was not a big a surprise that i really enjoyed it when he was on screen. but i really haven’t like catherine keener in anything i have seen before (okay in capote, unbelievably annoying in living in oblivion and 40 yr old virgin) but she is really good. she seems perfect for the traveling hippie role. and let’s not forget the beautiful cinematography (thanks mostly to america’s great landscapes).

after the wedding – this could very easily be my favorite film of the year. i just love the way the story unfolds and becomes more and more complex. some really unreal (in a good way) performances and beautifully touching moments. and rolf lassgard! this man just brings this film home. if you’re not with it right at the beginning, just keep holding out because as the film becomes more and more complex so does his performance. there’s really something to be said about a film that can create (in my mind at least) perfect pacing. i think only a few films this year can do this (meaning not feeling uneven or rushed in certain parts). and while bad pacing doesn’t ruin a good film, perfect pacing really makes me giddy, for whatever reason. the film takes you to places you’d never expect when you start off, and has some really touching moments (it got a little dusty in my living room a couple times). absolutely love this film and hope that everyone goes and checks it out.

this is england – some of the best performances of the year come from this film. thomas turgoose (who plays the bald headed little boy pictured above) is great, and stephen graham gives one of the best supporting performances of the year. it’s a hard film to watch because it’s all about a group of skinheads taking this young lad in and filling his mind with all their propaganda. but you absolutely believe why he would follow them. it doesn’t shine a good light on skinheads, but it definitely shows some other sides to them that you normally don’t see in films. you do get swept up in the excitement of everything and then the film completely takes you out if it. while i wouldn’t call it a twist, the film definitely rocks you into a sort of lull and the turns on you sharply. some of these scenes aren’t for the faint of heart, but if you can take it….it’s definitely worth checking out.

once – i’ve been a huge glen hansard fan for a long time, so when i heard he was making a movie i was first in line to see it. directed by former bassist of the frames john carney, this film was one of the biggest surprises for a lot of people this year. mostly because people were unaware of glen’s fantastic music making skills. i think the frames are the greatest band working today, and glen’s solo efforts are possibly even better, so it was no shock that i loved this film (all of which is centered around glen’s songs). glen and marketa irglova both show off some pretty good acting chops and the music is just phenomenal. if you haven’t already seen this film, or heard the soundtrack, please….please go do that now.

3:10 to yuma – a lot of people had a lot of problems with this film, but i just don’t see why. i really was enthralled in this from start to finish, and think it’s one of the best westerns in a long time. i also think it’s riddled with great performances and a really great cast. christian bale (who is quickly becoming my favorite actor working today), russell crowe, dallas roberts, peter fonda, alan tudyk, and ben foster are all great. especially ben foster who may outshine christian bale and russell crowe. he plays the psychotic effeminate killer to perfection (and that beard is just great).

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some other films i found really enjoyable this year but felt no need to talk about…..juno, no country for old men, there will be blood, the bourne ultimatum, the darjeeling limited, knocked up, zodiac, the king of kong, and rescue dawn.

and that’s all. hopefully i won’t talk any more about 2007 films and will get back to watching ones from 30 or more years ago.

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