Having lived in New York City for the past four years (until this past June), I rarely went out to the movies because it cost a fortune, especially to the po’ college student city-dweller. I manage to see a handful, whether it be in an actual movie theater, through my DVD player or via the internets on the mostly wonderful Nabolister. To be noted, I do prefer to patronize my local, independently-owned movie theaters, as should you. Just saying.
My Top Ten Films for 2007 are as follows:
01. Paris, Je T’aime
I’ve been to Paris and am truly in love with the city. It’s gorgeous and romantic and full of surprises. The film was a mishmash of shorts combined to create a barely cohesive storyline, but each story is emotional and feels very real. The story of the mother pining for her dead son is heart-wrenching and the very last short is about a typical American tourist in Paris for the first time. The woman speaks horrible and totally unaccented French and is the epitome of an out-of-place, overweight, shorts and fanny pack wearing American tourist, but her love for Paris is so pure and innocent that you can’t help but love her and feel sorry for her that you know every single true Parisian and Frenchperson is probably ridiculing her like it’s going out of style. I was in Washington D.C. when I saw the movie, at The Avalon I think, but when I stepped outside of the I swore I was in Paris, which is why Paris, Je T’aime is my top pick for the year. Any movie that can make me feel as if I were actually there wins hands down.
02. The Fourth Dimension
This film was so different from what’s out there, so beautifully shot, and was just so tortured that I just can’t even explain how wonderful I think it is. It might help that it was shot by family and in Philadelphia, but it was captivating throughout and extremely well-crafted regardless of the who, what, where that was involved in its production.
03. The Simpsons Movie
On a scale of 1 to hilarity, that song alone made it the funniest movie I saw all year.
I just saw Juno this past weekend and what a super cute coming-of-age movie. While the premise of a sixteen year-old getting knocked up could go so many trashy places, Juno was funny, adorable, and often heart-warming. Ellen Page is an extraordinary actress beyond her years and Michael Cera plays the sweet-but-really-awkward guy perfectly, as also exhibited in Arrested Development and Superbad. Jennifer Garner was perfect in her role and played it so vulnerably that you couldn’t help but love her and end up despising Jason Bateman, something I never thought would happen because of my huge crush on him stemming from, yes, The Hogan Family. Some of the dialog seemed forced as Diablo Cody tried to invent new catchphrases a la Amy Heckerling (think Clueless), but overall, worth a viewing. Not to mention the soundtrack is awesome, plus there are some obscure-o movie and music references.
05. The Darjeeling Limited
I am a huge fan of everything that Wes Anderson has had a hand in. The short film before Darjeeling tied in nicely to the storyline, coming back in a full circle, and gave the audience an idea of Anderson’s ability to work within tighter time restraints. The feature length film’s Indian scenery and the use of cinematography was gorgeous. Each of the characters’ nuances played well off of each other and you got the sense that Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody, and Jason Schwartzmen really were brothers. I was bored one night but still in a mood to be by myself, so I ended up going to the theater alone and am certain that having seen this movie with anyone else, or having seen any other movie alone, wouldn’t have left me with the same feel-goodery I had when I left.
I love Michael Cera. His nerdy guy act (act?) is spot on and he’s just so lovable. The scenes with the cops hanging out and causing chaos with “McLovin” made me laugh out loud. You’re never too good for stupid funny. Judd Apatow had quite a year.
07. A Mighty Heart
A tragically sad tale based on the true story of reporter Daniel Pearl and his wife Marianne, played by Angelina Jolie. What struck me most was how flatter the actual Marianne Pearl must have been to be played by the gorgeous Ms. Jolie. What a compliment. The entire ordeal Mrs. Pearl suffered through was tragic and the film showed it in a tragically beautiful light.
08. This Christmas
I saw this the week before Christmas and it totally put me in a Christmas-y mood, which I’d be lacking up to that point. Chris Brown’s performance was great and even though the lip syncing was obvious, the boy has a beautiful voice. Loretta Devine is always hilarious, but also gets the emotional scenes across in a convincing and honest manner. I also love Regina King; she is so vulnerable on-screen that I can’t imagine anyone not loving her. This was definitely feel goody, too, mixed with a whole lot of laughter. If you see it, stay tuned during the credit for a random dance party full of sweet moves by the cast.
09. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix
I’m a fan of all things Potter. A little weirded out that J.K. Rowling “outed” Dumbledore randomly and for, like, no reason. The H.P. movies always have some rad effects, and I think that Emma Watson is a beautiful girl. The last time I read this book was probably when it came out, and I haven’t read any since, so I can’t say how it matches up, but not a bad flick overall.
10. Knocked Up
It was pretty funny. I’m still
kind of really, really grossed out that they showed the crowning not one but three! times. Ew. Never having children, thanks. I remember laughing, and it was better than the other movies I’d seen that could have rounded out the list. Other than that, not so much to say.
Still meaning to see:
I’m Not There — It probably would’ve made the list if “a fool such as I” had seen it.
P.S. I Love You
Sweeney Todd – I feel like this probably also would’ve made the list.
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