9 December 2007

MY TOP TEN FILMS OF 2007

It's that time of year again, and every magazine, journal and film critic is compiling and publishing their list of the best films. You will have noticed that the lists being published by critics in the States include films like 'No Country for Old Men' and 'Charlie Wilson's War' which have not even appeared on UK screens. January looks set to be one of the busiest release schedules in a long time with many interesting prospects finally being distributed. Though my list would have probably looked a lot different had I the good fortune to see many of the aforementioned films, I just have to overlook the ridiculous fact of a delayed release schedule and get on with my list of the ten best films of the year:

1. ZODIAC (Dir. David Fincher, US)

This is Fincher's masterpiece and a film he can call his own; without a doubt the best film of the year by far and one of the finest mainstream Hollywood films made in the last 10 years; still waiting for the directors cut of the film


2. BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT (Dir. Ridley Scott, 1982, US)

The greatest science fiction film of all time and one of the finest Hollywood 'art' films ever finally gets the digital treatment - some of the most memorable and evocative imagery committed to celluoid; a sheer joy from beginning to end from one of Britain's finest film auteurs


3. EKLAVYA: THE ROYAL GUARD (Dir. Vidhu Vinod Chopra, India)

Amitabh Bhachan delivers one of his finest performances in many a years as a weary royal guard who learns the power of forgiveness and parental duty; beautifully shot in Rajasthan and has been selected as India's official Oscar entry - a small gem of a movie


4. THE LIVES OF OTHERS (Dir. Von Donnersmarck, Germany)

Brilliantly performed political thriller that explores the notion of ideological acquiescence in a cold war communist context; beat out Pan's Labryinth to win the Best Foreign Film Oscar


5. INTO THE WILD (Dir. Sean Penn, US)

Sean Penn's unexpected directorial evolution as a noted and worthy film maker who uses the road movie genre to delve into understated emotions of loneliness and self worth - Hal Halbrook's moment in the film is one of the most powerful acting jobs of the year


6. THIS IS ENGLAND (Dir. Shane Meadows, UK)

Shane Meadow's unsentimental and provocative tribute to 1980's skinhead culture and a frighteningly contemporary exploration of racism and its relationship with British working class lives - his work now stands alongside that of Micheal Winterbottom


7. APOCALYPTO (Dir. Mel Gibson, US)

Breathtaking cinema that manages to combine Herzogian principles of Jungle lawlessness with postmodern action adventure elements - this is effectively an extended chase movie but also Mel Gibson's interpretation of Homer's The Odyssey; the final shot is simply amazing


8. BABEL (Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, US)

Many dismissed this as middle class wish fulfillment liberal nonsense but guilt and the appeal for understanding and tolerance between cultures and worlds is something only cinema has the capacity of conveying


9. TELL NO ONE (Dir. Guillaume Canet, France)

By far the best thriller of the year and a film that manages to preserve it's enigmatic plot twists with an outstanding degree of confidence; Hollywood should take heed because the best mainstream thriller's are coming from France - Hitchcock would be proud


10. RATATOUILLE (Dir. Brad Bird, US)

Was never really a fan of digital animation until this magical and charming film came along; for me this is the best animated Hollywood feature film of the last 10 years - a return to form for Pixar and one of the most beautifully designed and visually inventive films of the year


11. BREACH
12. THE GOOD SHEPHERD
13. HALF NELSON
14. JINDABYNE
15. 3:10 TO YUMA
16. NO END IN SIGHT
17. OCEANS 13
18. OM SHANTI OM
19. SUNSHINE
20. AD LIB NIGHT

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