I think I’m ready to list my favorite movies of the past year. There may be one or two movies that I still need to see — movies often come to Athens later than they come to cities. But these are my ten favorite movies so far.

1. No Country for Old Men. The Coen Brothers’ western was nothing less than a masterpiece. I especially liked its meditations on the nature of evil and whether good can ever really triumph over it. I reviewed it just after we saw it in November. I’m not totally sure Javier Bardem deserves all of the accolades that he’s received, but I certainly don’t begrudge him the recognition — he’s definitely been overlooked when he deserved them in the past. Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin are both excellent.

2. There Will Be Blood. I just reviewed this film earlier this week. It’s a great movie, and Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance is stellar. He and Paul Dano are both great.

3. Paris, Je T’aime. I know that my fondness for this movie is strongly influenced by the fact that we went to Paris for the first time just before seeing it. But that doesn’t change the fact that I really liked this movie. It’s a wonderful homage to Paris, and, while I didn’t like all of the short films that make up this work, I loved it on the whole. Anyone who loves Paris will enjoy seeing this love letter to the City of Lights. Here’s my earlier review.

4. Death Proof. This has become one of my favorite Quentin Tarrantino movies — right up there with Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. It’s a great feminist take on 1970s exploitation films. While it was originally packaged with Robert Rodriguez‘s Planet Terror, Death Proof is the better movie, I think. Here’s my quick review of the “double feature.”

5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I loved this slasher musical. Johnny Depp is fantastic, and Helena Bonham-Carter is under-appreciated. I thought she was great. Here’s my review.

I’m mostly just going to list my other top ten choices. When applicable, I’ve linked to my original reviews.

6. Superbad. This was the best comedy of the year. We should all be McLovin for a night!

7. Juno. I really liked where this movie ended. It’s definitely a case where the last 15 minutes made it all worth while.

8. American Gangster. I though this was a great period piece

9. Once. I missed reviewing this movie when we first saw it. I love the music and thought that the film’s love story was a great bittersweet romance. The soundtrack is amazing.

10. La Vie en Rose. Once I figured out how to watch this movie, I loved it. Marion Cotillard is right up there with Daniel Day-Lewis in deserving the Oscar this year. She embodies Edith Piaf. She’s brilliant.

So, what do these choices say about me. Clearly I love musicals and violence with a little but of teenage romantic comedy thrown in. If someone would just make a comic musical about teenage romance with lots of violence and set in Paris, it might become my favorite movie of all time!

The most disappointing film I saw this past year was Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. I really wanted to like this movie but just couldn’t do it. Oh well.

—-Special Guest Commentary: PJ wanted to add his own 10 best list with very brief commentary. Since we mostly see the same films, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that there is much overlap between our lists. Without further ado, here are PJ’s top 10 movies of 2007:

1. Deathproof: Tarantino’s half of Grindhouse is the top film of the year, an astute investigation of gender dynamics in the age of viagra, disguised as a b-grade car chase film. Brilliant!

2. No Country for Old Men: A western for the 21st Century. Josh Brolin’s a great leading man, Javier Bardem’s a terrifying villain, and the shoot-outs are over drug money.

3. Superbad: The best gay love story of the year!

4. 28 Weeks Later: Scariest movie of the year–as well as a strong commentary on the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

5: Into the Wild: The central character of this movie offers a very compelling challenge to the viewer–like Thoreau’s depiction of himself in Walden, Melville’s Bartleby, or Chopin’s Edna Pontellier–to ask serious questions about how we live our lives and why we value what we do.

6. Paris, Je T’aime: The best of the Paris themed movies we saw following our return. Margo Martindale is the standout performance.

7. Juno: Smart and funny, great soundtrack, and a revelation of a performance by Jennifer Gardner.

8. The Orphanage: This Spanish horror film manages to be scary and beautifully heart-breaking.

9. I’m Not There: The year’s most challenging film (besides David Lynch’s Inland Empire). Unlike the Lynch film, I think I got the point of this one. I’ll remember it as the last movie I saw Heath Ledger in.

10 [a tie] La Vie en Rose: Amazing performance by Marion Cotillard. A great introduction to Piaf. And, Once, a sweet little movie full of excellent songs.

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