Ray’s 2007 Movie Awards

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The Fourteen Ten Best Films of 2007

1.                  Ratatouille

2.                  No Country For Old Men

3.                  Michael Clayton

4.                  There Will Be Blood

5.                  In the Valley of Elah

6.                  Waitress

7.                  3:10 to Yuma

8.                  The Orphanage

9.                  Juno

10.              The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

11.              Sweeney Todd

12.              Persepolis

13.              Gone, Baby, Gone

14.              Knocked Up


Honorable Mention:  Breach, The Lookout, Enchanted, Hairspray, The Host, Death at a Funeral, The Nines, Superbad, Stardust, Zodiac and Once.


Best Actor

Chris Cooper, Breach

*Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah

Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

George Clooney, Michael Clayton

Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd

Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood


Honorable Mention: Richard Gere in The Hoax; Jamie Draven in Badland; Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Lookout; Ryan Reynolds in The Nines; Christian Bale in 3:10 to Yuma; Casey Affleck in Gone Baby Gone, Jindabyne


Best Actress

Molly Shannon, Year of the Dog

*Julie Christie, Away From Her

Keri Russell, Waitress

Ellen Page, Juno

Amy Adams, Enchanted


Best Supporting Actor

Irfan Khan, The Namesake

Alan Tudyk, Death at a Funeral

Ben Foster, 3:10 to Yuma

*Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men


Honorable Mention: Tommy Lee Jones in No Country For Old Men; Josh Brolin in American Gangster; Ashraf Barhom in The Kingdom; Armin Muller-Stahl in Eastern Promises; Jeff Bridges in Surf’s Up; Andy Griffith in Waitress; Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood; Peter O’Toole in Ratatouille

Best Supporting Actress

Sigourney Weaver, The TV Set

Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

*Amy Ryan, Gone, Baby, Gone

Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There


Honorable Mention: Michelle Pfeiffer in Hairspray and Stardust; Olympia Dukakis in Away From Her; Adrienne Shelley in Waitress; Melissa McCarthy in The Nines


Best Director

Sarah Polley, Away From Her

Paul Haggis, In the Valley of Elah

Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton

*Brad Bird, Ratatouille

The Coen Brothers, No Country For Old Men

Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly


Screenplay

Knocked Up

Waitress

3:10 to Yuma

Ratatouille

Superbad

*Michael Clayton

No Country For Old Men

Juno

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly


Cinematography

*No Country For Old Men

Atonement

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Sweeney Todd

300

 

Musical Score

*Ratatouille

Persopolis

Once

Hairspray


Production Design

*Sweeney Todd

No Country For Old Men

There Will Be Blood

Ratatouille

The Orphanage


Costumes

*Sweeney Todd


Visual Effects

*I Am Legend


Foreign Language Film

Persepolis (France)

Black Book (Netherlands)

*The Orphanage (Spain)

The Band’s Visit (Israel)


Documentary

Flock of Dodos

Maxed Out

Sicko

No End in Sight

*The King of Kong:  A Fistful of Quarters

The Eleventh Hour

In the Shadow of the Moon

For the Bible Tells Me So

The Rape of Europa

King Corn


Rodent Love

Why is Ratatouille the best movie of the year?  Because it simply does so many things so well.  First of all, as an animated film, it’s drop-dead gorgeous.  Second, it’s got exceptional character design.  Third, its theme is universal:  It’s about a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who wants to break into a world that thinks he’s unworthy.  Writer/director Brad Bird is like the great Japanese anime directors:  He doesn’t treat animation as if it’s a “family film” ghetto.  It’s just his method of telling great stories.  Finally, the voice work in Ratatouille pushes it over the top.  It goes past the traditional gimmickry of using movie stars for all the voices, like so many animated films of today.  Brad Bird is a treasure, and I cannot wait to see what he cooks up next.


Movie I Least Expected to Love

Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.  (But I did!)


Huzzah For Adult Movies!

Or, perhaps I should say, movies for adults.  Michael Clayton is a candy store of a movie for grownups.  It’s a movie about adult problems, adult responsibilities an adult situations.  The dialog is dazzling and is delivered with utter confidence by a spectacular cast.  There are so many moments to treasure in this movie that it truly calls for repeated viewings.


Most Woefully Underappreciated

Waitress, 3:10 to Yuma, The Lookout, Jindabyne, The Nines, Death at a Funeral, The Last Legion, Badland


Good Popcorn Movies

Fracture, Grindhouse, Shooter, Shrek 3, Mr. Brooks, Live Free or Die Hard, Transformers, The Kingdom, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Simpsons Movie, The Last Legion, American Gangster, Bee Movie, Shoot’em Up, The Golden Compass, I Am Legend, National Treasure: Book of Secrets


Maybe Not Great, But SO Much Better Than the Boring Book
Atonement


Best Casting of Three People Playing the Same Role

Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave all play Briony in Atonement.


Best Casting of Six People Playing the Same Role

Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Ben Wishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin all play (sort of) Bob Dylan in I’m Not There


If You’re Really in a Merchant/Ivory Mood

Amazing Grace

Becoming Jane

Elizabeth: The Golden Age


Best Visual Effects

*300

The Host


The Year’s Best Lines

“It’s when people die in the wrong order.  That’s when things get really fucked up.”  Deborra-lee Furness tells it like it is in the overlooked Jindabyne

“To tell you the truth, I don’t really know what kind of girl I am.” June fesses up to her parents in Juno.

“It’s a mess, ain’t it sheriff?.”  “If it ain’t it’ll do till the mess gets here.” – Tommy Lee Jones and his deputy assess a mess in No Country For Old Men.


Best Costumes

300


Best Remake of Hitchcock’s Rear Window

Disturbia


Best Action Sequence

The wordless chase across the rooftops of Tangiers in The Bourne Ultimatim

Viggo Mortensen takes on assassins in a steamroom in Eastern Promises

The final shootout in The Kingdom


New Genre That I Approve Of

Eco-Horror films.  This year’s best example:  The Last Winter.


A Good Year for Action Flicks!

The Bourne Ultimatim

Live Free or Die Hard

The Kingdom

The Last Legion


Best Movie in Which A Former James Bond is Impaled on a Miniature Church Steeple

Hot Fuzz


Best Handi-Capable Moment

After losing a leg to zombies, Rose McGowan turns that frown upside down by strapping an Uzi to the stump.


What An Amazing Year for Barbra Streisand’s Stepson

Josh Brolin’s career profile went up several notches in 2007, due to his superb performances in four movies.  He played a sick and evil doctor in Grindhouse, an opportunistic lawman in the Valley of Elah, a ferociously corrupt New York City cop in American Gangster, and a foolish fortune-grabber in No Country For Old Men


The Year Ben Affleck Found His True Calling

Directing!  Gone, Baby, Gone is enough to make us forgive you for Pearl Harbor and Gigli. 


This Year’s Bad But Oddly Enjoyable Sandra Bullock Time Travel Movie

Premonition.  Not as good as The Lake House, but still fun in a stupid way.


Not Nearly As Bad As Everyone Said

Lions For Lambs


Funniest Movies

Hott Fuzz

Juno

Death at a Funeral

The Simpsons Movie


Best Gross-Out Joke of 2008

Jonah Hill picks a dancing partner with a very short skirt and a very unfortunate personal hygiene issue in Superbad.


Best One Since The First One

Live Free or Die Hard


Best Western since Unforgiven

3:10 to Yuma


Scariest Movie in a Really Long Time

The Orphanage


Best Monster Movie in a Very Long Time

The Host (South Korea).  This feels like the Godzilla movie Hitchcock might have made.  Great special effects, very scary monster, plus (and this is the unusual part) wonderful writing and acting to support the human story.


Give Her Some Leads in Big Pictures Already

Maria Bello is ready for her closeup.  Give her some meaty roles in big movies!!


Good Year for Jane Austen Dweebs (Like Me)

Becoming Jane

The Jane Austen Book Club


Please May We See More Of . . .

Jindabyne’s Deborra-lee Furness

Stardust’s Charlie Cox

Hairspray’s Nikki Blonsky

The Kingdom’s Ashraf Barhom

Also Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew Goode, Maria Bello, Hugh Dancy, Kathy Baker, Alexander Siddig, Aishwarya Rai.


Who Cares if He Can Act or Not, Just Please Keep Letting Him Make Movies

I’ll watch Josh Hartnett even in dreck like 30 Days of Night.

Most Underappreciated Comeback
The wonderful Frank Oz, directing the shockingly underappreciated Death at a Funeral.  We can’t even remember the last good movie farce.
 
 The Dogs of 2007 Sunshine.  Directed by the talented Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Millions, Shallow Grave), this big-budget science fiction epic is a shoddy mess.  I don’t know what Boyle was smoking, but he needs to take a vacation from filmmaking for awhile if this is the kind of dreck he feels like making.


The Brave One.  Clenched-jawed Jodie Foster enters Death Wish territory.  Why?
 Puzzlingly Overrated
Into the Wild.  I truly think Sean Penn missed the point of the book. 

Further Evidence That Jessica Alba Just May Night Be the Greatest Actress Ever

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer


Enough Already

Ocean’s 13


Misery I Didn’t Need

The Savages

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead


Most Ludicrously Misleading Ad Campaign

The Bridge to Terebitha.  The trailers made it look like Narnia II, when it was actually a sharp and well-acted story about the painful lessons of childhood.  It’s one thing when a studio knows it has a bad movie and tries to disguise it as a good movie.  But in this instance they actually HAD a good movie and really sunk it with a dumb ad campaign.


Most Disappointing Movies

Across the Universe.  I mean, it had mad genius Julie Taymor directing, it had a raft of immortal Beatles songs, and a talented cast?  Alas, unless you were a teenage girl, this movie was virtually unwatchable.


Rendition.  Even with five of my favorite actors (Reese Witherspoon, Peter Saarsgard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin) this movie was thinner, shriller and just not as hard-hitting as I had hoped.


Dan in Real Life.  This dreck was unrecognizable as real life to me.


Worst Actress

Once again, Jodie Foster scores as the ludicrous radio-show-host turned gun-toting vigiliante in the repulsive The Brave One.  One more win and this award will be renamed for Ms. Foster.




Got any feedback?  Please leave a Comment here!  Remember, I have no problem when people disagree with me.  Having bad taste is your right as an American.

 


 

 

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