Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Best Movies of 2007

So why do they always cram the releases of the best movies of the year into the last 14 days of the year? Yes of course - to be fresh in the minds of those who make Oscar nominations.

What are my criteria for Best Movie? First, it tells a compelling story, engages you and holds your interest. You never once look at your watch until the ending credits start to roll. It makes you care about characters whom you've never met. It entertains, informs, or moves you emotionally. It can change the way you live your life.

Second, the technical qualities of the film are excellent. And they do not call attention to themselves. At its best, the color palette conveys emotion (whether ethereal blue, parched desert or super-saturated warm tones). The soundtrack is richly layered with voices, sounds and music which subtly convey a mood. The images are ordered in an interesting way. The editing is tight - not one frame more than is needed to tell the story. The pace helps create the emotion whether you feel fidgety because time is hanging heavy or because you are breathlessly running from danger.

So, there are a big bunch of movies I want to see soon, and will update my Best Movies of 2007 list as we see them. So far...

Best Movies of 2007
Atonement - Keira Knightley, James MacAvoy
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Eastern Promises - Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts
Great Debaters - Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker
Michael Clayton - George Clooney
Nanny Diaries - Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney
No Country for Old Men - Tommy Lee Jones
Rendition - Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon
Stardust - Michelle Pfeiffer, Clare Danes

Movies I Want to See
Away from Her
Diving Bell and Butterfly
Golden Compass - Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig
In the Shadow of the Moon
Kite Runner
Lives of Others
Love in the Time of Cholera
Lust, Caution

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