Varley's Best and Worst Films of 2007

© 2008 by John Varley; all rights reserved

 
 

 

Why not? Every other movie critic does it. But I have a disadvantage here, in that we donít go to theaters a lot, we see the majority of our movies on DVD, and naturally many of the best of 2007 are not out yet. So first I made a list of possible contenders that we have not seen, any of which might push #10 off the board. Most of them are in theaters right now, January 4, 2008. All of them have been touted as possible Oscar contenders, if not for Best Picture, then for one of the acting awards:

Juno

There Will Be Blood

Atonement

Charlie Wilsonís War

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Away From Her

Before the Devil Knows Youíre Dead

Gone Baby Gone

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Persepolis

The Great Debaters

Lars and the Real Girl

The Savages

Iím Not There

In the Valley of Elah

Thatís a formidable list. But for what itís worth, here are my Top 10 of the movies I have seen, more or less in order:

1. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

2. Across the Universe

3. No Country For Old Men

4. Hairspray

5. Ratatouille

6. The Bourne Ultimatum

7. Enchanted

8. Waitress

9. Michael Clayton

10. La vie en rose

The thing that leaps out at me is, this has been one hell of a year for musicals, just about my favorite form of movie and one thatís been sadly neglected. There are no less than four of them on my list. Everybody hoped that Chicagoís win would spark a renaissance, but then The Phantom of the Opera and The Producers flopped, and Dreamgirls didnít do as well as expected. (I loved all of them.) The jury is still out. Meryl Streep will be in the ABBA musical, Mamma Mia! this summer. I donít know of any others that are in production, but Iím hoping for Spamalot. And maybe Wicked?

Now for the worst of 2007. The good news is I couldnít find 10 that I hated enough to put on the list. I only came up with eight, and one of those is Alvin!!!, which I didnít actually see, but it goes on the list because I had to sit through the preview which was almost as bad as watching the whole movie. The reason the list is so short is not for lack of candidates. We just donít go to movies weíre damn sure are going to be bad, unless weíre trapped into it by a double feature at the drive-in Ö which, come to think of it, is where we saw all these turkeys! Though we left early several times Ö

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Fred Claus

Ghost Rider

Grindhouse

Music and Lyrics

Hot Rod

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

The Heartbreak Kid

Iím hoping to see Juno and Charlie Wilsonís War, and maybe Atonement before Oscar time Ö

But for now, the balcony is closed.

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