Because she is married to a film buff, my wife is a film buff by proxy. This is her list of the best films of 2007 (mine, previously posted, is here).
1. Paprika (Satoshi Kon)
This is a film made for me. A female scientist creates an alternate personality to interact with patients in their dreams. The imagination in the dream worlds results in really beautiful scenes, and the philosophy that allows dreams, the internet, and movies to intertwine is fascinating.
2. Once (John Carney)
A musical for the indie crowd. A street musician meets up with a struggling mother with a good voice. I loved the music and the bittersweet tone of the film.
3. The Brand Upon the Brain! (Guy Maddin)
The second film in Guy Maddin’s "Me" trilogy. We saw this in Chicago performed live by Crispin Glover, a castrato, and orchestra, and several foley artists. We saw it again in the recorded version with Isabella Rosellini, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite as good that way. I love the silent-film-era effects and the confused sexual expression.
4. No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen)
I agree with the critics on this film, as it is very good. A film about a man who finds some money and becomes hunted, but it's really about how the characters in the film deal with life, death, their ideals, and their responsibilities.
5. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Sidney Lumet)
This is one of those films about a perfect crime gone horribly wrong. It’s also about dealing with life and death, but from the coward’s perspective.
6. The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson)
A Wes Anderson movie. Three brothers go on a pilgrimage to India to speak to their mother. The film has wonderful comic moments and is held together by the belief that the brothers really do love each other and depend on each other no matter what their actions might show.
7. Zodiac (David Fincher)
A crime movie without a solution. I loved the inside look on how these brutal murders, with so much evidence, could go unsolved. The film has gone out of its way to be accurate down to what the characters are wearing and even where the trees are located, and while several theories are presented, the audience is left to figure it out for themselves. I’m working on my own theory about the killings (I think there was more than one Zodiac).
8. Across the Universe (Julie Taymor)
Another of those films that is made for me. This musical uses Beatles songs as a base, then re-imagines and re-records the songs adding beautiful, often fanciful imagery. The songs turn out wonderfully (and this is from a person who hates most Beatles covers). The story is done well, but the film could have fleshed out the minor characters more.
9. Juno (Jason Reitman)
This is a comedy about teen pregnancy. The pregnancy is actually treated rather seriously as it deserves, but allows humor to mask some of the pain and fear that comes with being pregnant so young.
10. King of Kong (Seth Gordon)
This movie made me care about who has the high score in Donkey Kong. That is a major accomplishment. The documentary proves that real life can be funnier and more outrageous than fiction (although for some reason, probably involving a lot of money, they are remaking this as a fiction film).
Next 5: Sunshine (beautiful, but serial killer plotline is uninspired), No End in Sight (very informative look at exactly how close we came to getting the Iraq war right, and how much better everything could have been), Ratatouille (a story about being yourself no matter how impractical it may be), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (legend vs. reality of two very complicated men), Eastern Promises (such a great fight scene)
Note: I have yet to see Michael Clayton, Persepolis, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, or Atonement. And I'm not sure I will see all of those.
Okay, enough of letting my wife write on my blog. Back to my reviews...