No real science to this (especially #'s 2-10), just what I've been feeling lately as the year ends.
1. No Country for Old Men - All things considered, I don't think any other film was made as well as this all year. It probably helps that my experience was heightened dramatically by not having read the book or seen the trailer.
2. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - Casey Affleck.
3. Into the Wild - Incredible performances across the board round out a stunningly successful adaptation of the book.
4. Once - A genre-less masterpiece. I missed it at the MSP Int'l Film Festival in April but fortunately caught it at the Uptown in early June. Little did I know it was going to be around for months.
5. Zodiac - True stories are never told that well, but it was March. I thought, "nah, that couldn't have been as good as it seemed. Anything that good should be coming out in December." Who missed the mark on this release date?
6. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - True stories are never told that well (or that artistically), unless you're talking about Zodiac, Into the Wild, or Jesse James. Dude wrote a book with his eyelid. His eyelid. Does that compute?
7. The Kite Runner - The best story brought to life on screen all year. I didn't read the book, so save your breath.
8. The Namesake - This coming-of-identity tale was right up my alley. Probably takes the immigrant experience to really appreciate this one.
9. I'm Not There - It took me a while to realize how much this stuck with me. Quite the artistic feat.
10. There Will Be Blood - It didn't blow me away, but it was a top-notch production and deserves the technical accolades.
If I knew how to count past 10:
Charlie Wilson's War - Amusing.
Hot Fuzz - Biting.
The Lookout - Satisfying.
3:10 to Yuma - Scolding.
The Host - Exhilarating.
Across the Universe - Sparkling.
Rescue Dawn - Inspiring.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days - Unsettling. (Would be in my top 10 but I saw it right after this original post)
The Savages - Depressing.
Vanaja - Enriching.
Knocked Up - Mocking.
I Am Legend - Amazing.
Talk to Me - Uplifting.
Lars and the Real Girl - Pleasing.
2 Days in Paris - Entertaining.
Bamako - Challenging.
Overall, 2007 was probably the best year in film so far this millennium. I'm satisfied, despite the usual Oscar frustration.