Top Ten Films of 2007: The Year of the Adaptation

It was a year of many genres. We had some musicals, a few dramas, comedies galore, a little sci-fi, and a couple bio-pics sprinkled in to satiate the kiddies and Oscar voters. If anything, I guess one trend seemed to rise above, that being the adaptation, whether from plays (Sweeney Todd), novels (Zodiac), or comics (Stardust). I always try to read first, but the shear amount this year prevented me from doing so, therefore I can’t quite say if they were all successes or not. In the end, after seeing 86 releases from 2007, 6 of the top 10 are adapted from some source. (My list is pretty much a top 12, being that I have not seen There Will Be Blood or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly yet—they will most definitely make it on).

Films not seen that have potential of creeping into the top 10: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; After the Wedding; Grace is Gone; My Blueberry Nights; El Orfanato; Reservation Road; Slipstream; Son of Rambow; Southland Tales; La Vie en rose; Wristcutters: A Love Story

Honorable Mention (in reverse order):
Hot Fuzz, review: British greatness, Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright can do no wrong.
First Snow, review: A gem that came out of nowhere, definitely worth a spin.
Control, review: Gorgeously shot, brilliantly acted by newcomer Sam Riley.
The Namesake, review: Irrfan Khan makes a name for himself in the US, fantastic story of identity.
No Country for Old Men, review: Not the masterpiece people are saying it is, but pretty darn close.

This list is subject to change, but at this moment it is as follows:

10. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, review: Visually stunning, sweepingly epic, and enthralling throughout despite its overlong runtime.

9. Eastern Promises, review: Cronenberg delivers on his hype from A History of Violence, maybe I missed something watching that one first time around.

8. Juno, review: Funniest film all year and a highlight of the Toronto Film Festival.

7. Into the Wild, review: Emile Hirsch proves again that he is one of the strongest young actors today and Eddie Veddar delivers a stellar soundtrack.

6. 300, review: So much fun, so unique…Sparta never looked so good.

5. Cashback, review: Sure it wears its artiness on its sleeve and it is totally style over substance, but hey, that’s how I roll.

4. Sunshine, review: Blew me away with its acting, effects, and story. Maybe not the new century’s 2001, but great nonetheless.

3. Once, review: The indie musical that could. If you don’t love it, you have no heart. And the soundtrack…I couldn’t write my review or go to bed without first getting it and listening.

2. Gone Baby Gone, review: A fantastic debut for Ben Affleck, and brother Casey shows us for the second time this year that he is the one with the acting power in the family. A Sophie’s Choice ending that you won’t soon forget.

1. Atonement, review: The only true masterpiece I have seen thus far from 2007. Joe Wright does magic with the cast, the visuals, and the score (I loved the typewriter).

In the end I’ve had a blast this year, seeing pretty much everything I really wanted to—going to the Toronto Film Festival helped a bit in that regard—so I don’t know how much this list may change in the future, but of course it’s very subject to. Some films to keep on the radar in 2008 are The Dark Knight; Cloverfield; Vantage Point; Wall-E; The Happening; Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


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