The best movie year since 1999, 2007 offered a staggering bounty of cinematic delights. I keep track of all the movies I see in a given year and give each a letter grade, "A" through "F". Usually my Top Ten list consists of all of the "A's" and a few "B's." This year, "A" pictures made up my top twenty. With so many great films, I won't wallow through a "Worst of the Year" list, I'll simply present you with a few that didn't fully satisfy:
The Biggest Disappointment: The Darjeeling Limited -- A Louis Vuitton commercial stretched to feature length. The Darjeeling Limited is a perfect title for the film because it makes plain what a limited filmmaker the once great Wes Anderson has become. Hey Wes, people running in slow-motion while a Kinks song plays is always going to look pretty neat. But if there's absolutely nothing else going on in the scene, then that's all it is -- people running in slow-motion while a Kinks song plays. We all think it's really cool that you like The Kinks. Hell, I love those guys! The Rolling Stones are awesome, too! But I wouldn't ask them to do my job for me.
The Biggest Question Mark: There Will Be Blood
Undoubtedly one of the year's most impressive technical achievements, There Will Be Blood is frequently stunning. It's so stunning, in fact, that it's easy to overlook how infuriatingly empty it all is. The film focuses on two main characters, and neither one changes a lick in thirty years and 158 minutes. How did Paul Thomas Anderson, creator of such deeply emotional rides as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Punch Drunk Love come up with a movie completely devoid of human emotion? (I'm not counting greed.) Beautiful, brilliant, and boring in equal doses, I've seen Blood twice, and I still don't know if it's a masterpiece or a mess. I just know I felt...nothing watching it. It's as hollow, as frustrating, as difficult to know as its "hero," Daniel Plainview.
On to my list. First, ten that didn't quite make the cut. Here's #20 through #11: (#20) Breach, (#19) Once, (#18) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, (#17) Sicko, (#16) Sweeney Todd, (#15) The Lives of Others, (#14) Eastern Promises, (#13) Zodiac, (#12) Atonement, (#11) Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
And my Top Ten is after the jump...