Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My favorite films of 2007

  1. No Country for Old Men. Joel and Ethan Coen. A compelling thriller, a kind of lament at the new nihilism. Complex narrative tightly wound and completely gripping.
  1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. A first-person internal-monologue, an account of his life trapped in a stroke-paralyzed body. Intensely psychological without being too serious.
  1. Into the Wild. Sean Penn. A true story about finding nature, beauty and yourself. A male story heroic and intense. Hirsch gets to be charming, passionate and idealistic but also impetuous, stubborn and self-righteous.
  1. The Life of Others. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. A fantastic film that manages to be both subtle and intense at the same time. What's even more astounding is that this is the feature debut from German writer-director, who confidently paints a claustrophobic picture of East Berlin in the mid-1980s through the relationship between a playwright, his girlfriend and the secret police captain assigned to spy on them.
  1. The Page Turner. (La Tournuese de Pages). Denis Dercourt. This film in the style of Chabrol and Hitchcock is a low-key thriller that deals mostly on a psychological plane. A story of revenge attained.
  1. Eastern Promises. David Cronenberg. Coming out of the dark as one of most surprising films of year, a lot the credit here goes to Viggo Mortenson's incredible immersion into his role as a complex Russian Mafia hit man.
  1. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. Sydney Lumet. The film instead on focusing on the crime itself, which is shown as one of the first scenes of the film, Lumet offers fragments of torment between the three central males: a drug addicted businessman, his younger brother, a no-good father and alcoholic, and their once-absent father.
  1. Atonement. Joe Wright. The director was able to take you through these people's rooms, their lives, their conversations, hopes, dreams. He made you care about them. The emotions were believably large within an intimate space. It moved fast without getting stuck in the classic period piece.
  1. Rescue Dawn. Werner Herzog. In 1997, Werner Herzog made the documentary "Little Dieter Needs to Fly," about Dieter Dengler, the German-born American pilot shot down over Laos in the early years of the Vietnam War and imprisoned in the jungle for years. His feature-film version revisits the material.
  1. Daarjeling Limited. Wes Anderson. Not well received by the critics for considering it self involved This film is about three estranged brothers who bicker while barreling across India on a train, supposedly on a spiritual journey.

 Others Ratatouille and Juno.


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