Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Envelope please...

I had to do a re-count, as I realized that one of my potential favorite movies wasn't on my handwritten list. So, instead of 60 films, it turns out I saw 62! And here are my top 10, with the caveat that I still plan to see "Persepolis" this weekend.

1. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
2. No Country for Old Men
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Once
5. Kite Runner
6. Starting Out in the Evening
7. The Savages
8. La Vie En Rose
9. The Diving Bell & The Butterfly
10. Atonement
11. Across the Universe
12. Sweeney Todd

Yes, there are more than 10. I can't help that; it was a good year. There are a whole slew of films closely following, too, like "Zodiac" and "Waitress" and "King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" and "Eastern Promises" that I just couldn't fit into the top tier.

This is also a really personal list. For example, I think "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly" is a better quality film than "Once" or "Kite Runner" based on its beauty and style and clarity of voice. But it didn't touch me quite as much as they did. Ditto the top three - I think "No Country for Old Men" or "There Will Be Blood" are probably, on the whole, more admirable movies than "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," but I enjoyed the last more, because it's more my kind of film.

Even now, staring at this list, I think, maybe I did like "Waitress" more than "Sweeney Todd," and were "La Vie En Rose" and "Starting Out in the Evening" really that much more than the strength of their powerful acting performances? Ah, second guesses.

As I said earlier, there was no obvious clunker (like "Just Like Heaven" in 2005 and "The Black Dahlia" in 2006), but quite a few that I found dull or pointless or downright annoying. In no particular order:

"Becoming Jane"
"Nanny Diaries"
"Introducing the Dwights"
"Eagle v. Shark"
"Jane Austen Book Club"
"Margot at the Wedding"

Now, I'm not going to get cocky here, but my favorite film for the past two years, as recorded here, has won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Yes, I was one of those soundly ridiculed for loving "Crash" and not thinking its win a travesty. And "The Departed" was my favorite last year. Somehow I don't think that this trend will continue. I think that either "No Country for Old Men" or "There Will Be Blood" will win, but I'm sticking with my choice, for the reasons above.


Blogger madabandon said...

Did you see "The Lives of Others?"

7:49 PM  
Blogger medusa said...

I did, and I really liked it. I was surprised to see it on so many year end lists, though, because I saw it early last year, before the Oscars (it won best foreign film) and so think of it as from the previous year...

6:02 AM  
Blogger madabandon said...

oh, oops. I didn't know that it won the Oscar last year. I am glad to hear that. It was a really incredible film, I thought.

8:10 AM  

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