Juno, Juno, Juno! A Movie That Delivered

I strongly suspect that in the year 2007, there were more interesting pictures and, almost certainly, more interesting acting performances than I had time to see. After all, there were more than 500 films released in the New York area this year, not unlike most recent years. Hence, I apologize in advance to all the talented people I may have overlooked in my year-end rumination. Nonetheless, with all the wonders of contemporary technology, it is becoming easier to catch up, as it were, with any neglected masterpieces we may have missed during the year.

So without any further ado, here are my choices for the best English-language films in 2007:

1. Jason Reitman’s Juno

2. Joe Wright’s Atonement

3. Andrew Wagner’s Starting Out in the Evening

4. John Carney’s Once

5. Sarah Polley’s Away From Her

6. Steve Buscemi’s Interview

7. Michael Apted’s Amazing Grace

8. Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages

9. Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters

10. (Three-Way Tie) Robert Benton’s Feast of Love, Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up and John Dahl’s You Kill Me.


IN CASE YOU were wondering, yes, I saw the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men. This year it makes up my entire category of Movies Other People Liked and I Didn’t. It is simply too nihilistically evil-worshipping for my taste, though I can’t fault the sterling performances of Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson.


MY CHOICES FOR the best foreign-language films in 2007:

1. Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

2. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others

3. Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution

4. Stefan Krohmer’s Summer ’04

5. Denis Dercourt’s The Page Turner (La Tourneuse de Pages)

6. Susanne Bier’s After the Wedding

7. Pascale Ferran’s Lady Chatterley

8. Patrice Leconte’s My Best Friend

9. Joachim Lafosse’s Private Property

10. (Three-Way Tie) Olivier Dahan’s La Vie en rose, Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book and Claude Chabrol’s The Comedy of Power


MY TEN-BEST actresses of the year were as follows:

1. Julie Christie, Away From Her

2. Ellen Page, Juno

3. Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, I’m Not There

4. Isabelle Huppert, The Comedy of Power, Private Property

5. Laura Linney, The Savages, Breach

6. Martine Gedeck, Summer ’04, The Lives of Others

7. Markéta Irglová, Once

8. Marion Cotillard, La Vie en rose

9. Jodie Foster, The Brave One

10. Anamaria Marinca, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days


MY TEN-BEST actors of the year were:

1. George Clooney, Michael Clayton

2. Russell Crowe, American Gangster, 3:10 to Yuma

3. Gordon Pinsent, Away From Her

4. Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

5. Ulrich Mühe, The Lives of Others

6. Glen Hansard, Once

7. Steve Buscemi, Interview, Delirious

8. Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

9. Ben Kingsley, You Kill Me

10. Daniel Auteuil, My Best Friend, The Valet

Juno, Juno, Juno! A Movie That Delivered