|Back in August, after seeing Suberbad in fact (a film I thoroughly enjoyed), I was having a discussion with friends about what a lousy film year it had been, full of disappointments (Exterminating Angels, Grindhouse) and outright garbage (Smokin' Aces). Sure, there were the films I had seen in 2006 that were finally getting released (The Host, Syndromes and a Century, Bamako, etc.), but there was nothing new that even came close to wowing me. That all changed in the past few months. In fact, I saw the top three films on my list in a span of only two days. (I've seen all three multiple times, just to be sure.)
As has been noted elsewhere, it was quite a masculine year at the movies. The three films that can, in some regards, be classified as Westerns contain only traces of female characters. David Fincher's epic procedural Zodiac, which follows one man's hunt of another, finds women only on the periphery (or as victims). Even Romance and Cigarettes, which features an impressive female cast, is ultimately a study in castration anxiety. Sadly, only two titles on my list feature strong female performances, but what performances they are!
Had Once made my top ten, and it nearly did (it sits at number eleven), I would have had a trio of musicals on my top ten. I never managed to catch Across the Universe, though from what I've read I doubt it was top ten material.
Two lists follow – the top ten distributed films of 2007, followed by my undistributed list. In reverse order:
For my undistributed top-ten, I followed the rules of the IndieWire Critics Poll (in which I participated) which doesn't allow films that have found distribution. This means that I Served the King of England, one of my true favorites of 2007, is not present. Expect to be hearing a lot more about that film in 2008. In reverse order: