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Well, we’re five months into 2008 and no top ten lists for 2007 have appeared on Golden Grouches. I could say I was making sure to catch up on all the films I missed but, while that was indeed my intention, that would be a lie. I’ve had the same three DVD’s from Blockbuster for over a month now. I think we were all sort of done with movies after seeing so many in such a short period and then we entered the dead zone of spring where there was very little of quality released (though I have seen several excellent 2008 films, some of which may appear in my top 10 of 2008 due to be released sometime in 2012). Jared’s been doing his thing but the Oscar part of this Oscar blog has been dormant, understandably.

But not writing a damn thing for this column has meant that it’s been brewing in my ol’ mind grapes for many months. 2007 was a pretty terrific year for film. For our little Oscar project I really only saw a couple movies that I truly disliked; even the underwhelming ones like Atonement were still fairly good. It was a bad year for blockbusters, but the movies that were meant to be good were indeed usually very, very good. That said, it was a year heavy on the “very good” but light on the “brilliant.” Top-heavy but not tip-top-heavy. I can’t help but compare to 2006, the era of this site’s genesis and the start of the lunchroom and barstool conversations between the four of us. Overall quality was much higher in 2007 than 2006, but I don’t think anything came close to touching the best of 2006. I’m going to note some really great films but none beat out my fave five from 2006 of The Departed, United 93, Children of Men, Pan’s Labyrinth, and The Prestige. Several of those films I could even attach the M-word to: I recently re-watched Children of Men and realized I was watching a masterpiece.

2006 found its stride with some weighty films, such as the string of anti-fascist successes (Pan’s Labyrinth, Children of Men, Catch a Fire, V For Vendetta) but 2007’s Iraq/terrorism dramas tended to flop and instead it was a year with great light-hearted fare.

As of this writing I have seen 91 movies released in 2007. The top 11%:

1. Knocked Up. I’m a little surprised that my favorite movie as of June was still my favorite movie 6 months later, but I choose to view that as a testament to Knocked Up’s quality. It’s hilarious, it’s touching, it’s gross, it’s heart-warming. You can read my tome of a post to see my full thoughts, but suffice it to say I found a lot of truth amongst the pot jokes and some sharp points on maturity, commitment, and marriage. I truly cared about the characters and their relationships and I really dug Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd as Katherine Heigl’s sister and brother-in-law. It made me laugh and it made me smile. (Also, the pot jokes are funny.) Read the rest of this entry »

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