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WGUC Reviews

The Year in Film

The Year in Film
Various
Rated Various
Now Showing at: most major theaters.
Review by: Larry Thomas


People complain all the time that movies are terrible; that they’re made for morons; that its impossible to find anything good to see. But at the end of the year, when it’s time to reflect on the thousands of feet of film that have passed in front of your eyes, all of a sudden it obvious that those statements are not necessarily true. Granted, you’ll not see movies of this quality in one sitting, or even over a couple of months. And, it’s entirely possible you may have missed some of these jewels simply because of time constraints, or you may not have taken the time to search them out.

Here, in no particular order save one, is a subjective list of the ten best films of 2007.

No Country for Old MenThe Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men is a masterpiece of American filmmaking, and is listed first as it is simply the best film of the year. Making great use of a terse, poetic script, Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Woody Harrelson have a field day with their roles.

Gone Baby GoneWho would have thought that a directorial debut from Ben Affleck would have been so electric? Gone Baby Gone, based on a novel by the author of Mystic River, has given Affleck’s career a new lease on life behind the camera.

Army of ShadowsArmy of Shadows was made by Jean-Pierre Melville in 1970, but never seen in this country. This political thriller shot in film noir style only played a couple of days at the Art Museum, but managed to attract full houses.

Away From HerJulie Christie will likely garner another Oscar nomination for her role as an Alzheimer’s patient in the Canadian film Away From Her. This low-key, brilliantly filmed drama also elevated actor Sarah Polley to the forefront of great young directoral talent.

Pan's LabyrinthPan's Labyrinth was an antidote to all the other fantasy films being churned out for family audiences. While extremely grim, this Spanish production was completely gripping, thoughtful and entertaining.

Hot FuzzNot everything was glum in 07. British director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost became overnight sensations a couple of years ago with Shaun of the Dead. This year, these three lads topped themselves with Hot Fuzz, a wild and wooly send up of blazing action films. Hot Fuzz had the ability to send you stumbling from the theatre with your sides aching from laughter.

JunoThe most recent film to make the cut is Juno, a tale of teen pregnancy brought vividly to life by a terrific cast, wonderful script, and outstanding direction by Jason Reitman. This is the must-see film of the Christmas moviegoing season.

WaitressThe wonderful and funny Waitress made a star out of Keri Russell and may offer an Oscar nomination to the legendary Andy Griffith. Sadly, though, actor Adrienne Shelley, who wrote and directed this delightful film, was murdered before the film opened, and never experienced the praise and adulation heaped on her very personal project.

VolverPedro Almodovar’s Volver was a charming fantasy about two daughters being haunted by their dead mother. Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura starred in yet another great Spanish film.

GrindhouseWhile not to everyone’s taste, the double-feature program of Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof and Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror made up the film called Grindhouse. These films, and the bogus trailers that ran between the two, were highly tongue-in-cheek and aimed squarely at the sensibilities of film geeks everywhere. It was a wild three-hour ride.



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