2007 is over and even though I still haven’t seen some of the most praised films of the season (There Will Be Blood, Atonement, etc.), I think it was one of the better years in recent memory. For my own amusement, here, in no particular order, is a list of the films I most enjoyed this year.
THE LAST WINTER
Larry Fessenden continues to make underrated and thought provoking pseudo-horror stories. And any film that features Ron Perlman cannot be bad. This is probably the film that I am most looking forward to seeing again on video.
Werner Herzog is one of my favorite filmmakers, and this reworking of his documentary Little Dieter Needs To Fly is one of the greatest prison-escape stories ever made. It’s also the most harrowing, kinetic film of Herzog’s career, and features a truly weird performance from Christian Bale to boot.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
David Lynch is a true visionary and this film, impenetrable as it is, is still absolutely mesmerizing. Laura Dern gives perhaps the most underrated performance of the year in what is probably one of the bravest experiments by a major filmmaker in recent memory. In twenty years, I’ll be proud to say that I was one of the few people who caught this in the theatre.
I didn’t really like Shaun of the Dead at all, but this time around Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg hit the nail on the head. This one is well-shot, hilarious, and all around nicely constructed.
THE LIVES OF OTHERS
I don’t really have anything to say about this one that hasn’t already been said. Well made. Great sound design. Rent it.
THIS IS ENGLAND
I didn’t think I’d like this film about skinheads in 1980s Britain at all before I watched it, but once it started I was completely dragged into its world. Not a pleasant film to watch by any means, but ultimately rewarding.
The best horror-comedy of 2007 takes a tired set-up and breathes new life into it. As far as I'm concerned, the Brits are carrying the fire for horror cinema.
AWAY FROM HER
I just saw this one last night, and a review may be coming. This is hands-down the winner for saddest film of the year. You feel exhausted after watching it. But it is also one of the most affecting films I’ve seen recently, and if there were any justice in the world this guy Gordon Pinsent would be winning Best Actor awards left and right.