2007

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A Year of "Pauls" for Hilary

Board member Hilary Nieukirk submits her Top 10 for 2007 and discovers that it was a year of "Pauls" for her.

The Best:
There Will Be Blood
No Country for Old Men
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Into the Wild
The Lives of Others
La Vie en Rose
Persepolis
Crazy Love
Juno
Hot Fuzz

The Worst:
Margot at the Wedding

For me, this year was All About the Pauls. Longtime indie crush Paul (ALL THE REAL GIRLS) Schneider gave two great Supporting Actor turns: LARS AND THE REAL GIRL and THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD.

Paul Dano, my One to Watch for the past couple years, showed that he's the real deal in THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Dano held his own against manic, scenery-devouring Daniel Day-Lewis, even briefly gaining the upper hand, until his milkshake fell victim to draiiiiiiiin-age in the much-discussed/much-debated ending of BLOOD. (Did that sound straight out of an Oz episode or what? Yikes.)

I know a lot of people saw Dano in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and I highly recommend renting the little-seen THE KING, wherein you can see the seeds of the Paul/Eli Sunday character.

Chris Kriofske's Top Ten of 2007

I made a much more detailed, rambling post on my blog, but here's the gist:

1. There Will Be Blood
2. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
3. Away From Her
4. I'm Not There
5. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
6. Persepolis
7. Day Night Day Night
8. The Host
9. No Country For Old Men
10. Brand Upon the Brain!

Honorable Mentions: Autism the Musical, Climates, The Golden Door, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone, In The Shadow of the Moon, Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, Linda Linda Linda, The Lives of Others, Red Road

Best Festival Films (w/out US distribution): Audience of One, The Banishment, Monkey Warfare

Best Chlotrudis non-eligible: Ratatouille, Sweeney Todd, Superbad, Zodiac

Top Films of 2007: The Members Start to Speak

Every year around this time, Chlotrudis members report in on their Top 10's (or whatever) of the previous year. We're a little behind the press because our Nominating Committee meeting is usually the third week of January, and members try very hard to see as many films from the previous year as possible, so they hold off on their top films until they feel they've seen everything they can.

Member Peg Aloi is the first to send in her Top 10, so here it is!

Peg's Top Ten List for 2007 (not necessarily in order)

  1. THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY (Ken Loach's most ambitious and stunning film to date.)
  2. PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER (Gorgeous, disturbing, epic literary adaptation from Tom Tykwer)
  3. ATONEMENT (Joe Wright's sumptuous adaptation Ian McEwan's smoldering love story. Drop-dead beautiful cinematography, wonderful editing and fine acting)
  4. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY aka LE SCAPHANDRE ET LE PAPILLON (Julian Schnabel creates half-formed visionscapes of color and light to tell the story of a jet-setting French magazine editor who suffers "locked-in syndrome" after a stroke; ostensibly a world-view via one eye-lid's movement, this film can irrevocably alter any viewer's perception of life, movement, fear, love, memory and regret.)
  5. LADY CHATTERLEY aka LADY CHATTERLEY ET L'HOMME DES BOIS (A satisfyingly erotic adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's novel, first made for French television by Pascale Ferran: authentic, rustic, arousing.)
  6. LA VIE EN ROSE aka LA MÔME (Marion Cotillard is white-hot and astonishing as the hard-living, self-destructive singing sensation Edith Piaf in Olivier Dahan's beautifully-rendered biopic.)
  7. I'M NOT THERE (Todd Haynes' five-chambered non-linear fantasy is huge, lush and eminently watchable, with a playfully surreal approach to what is being called a biopic but is more accurately a wishful memoir: my favorite Dylan is the Richard Gere Dylan.)
  8. GLASTONBURY (Julian Temple directs this freewheeling documentary about England's famous long-running music festival. It’s not England's Woodstock, it's England's attempt to consistently capture a time of passionate, angry innocence.)
  9. FACTORY GIRL (George Hickenlooper directs Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick, and her performance is luminous and raw. As a biopic it is sometimes cock-eyed and treacly, but worthwhile, especially considering Guy Pearce's portrayal as the best Andy Warhol ever.)
  10. HOT FUZZ (Every corny cop movie ever made is referenced in this hilarious, brilliant action-horror flick. I can't wait to see what the team of Pegg, Frost and Wright does next, because it isn't likely another genre-based parody will work three times running.)

Honorable Mentions:

THE CASE OF THE GRINNING CAT aka CHATS PERCHÉS(Chris Marker's sweet, funny, quirky documentary, about a painted cat who pops up in neighborhood graffiti and on posters at protest rallies, is a quietly triumphant paean to the underdog, or in this case, undercat.

AFTER THE WEDDING aka EFTER BRÖLLOPE (Director Susanne Bier draws excellent performances from Mads Mikkelsen and Rolf Lassgård; this drama of family secrets and revelations is a roller-coaster of emotion that is thoughtful, depressing and, ultimately, uplifting.)

28 WEEKS LATER (No one expected a sequel to match the intensity and originality of Danny Boyle and Alex Garland's original, but this one works surprisingly well, successfully combining British and American cultural -isms to paint a scarily realistic picture of post-plague, martial-law-ruled London.

Wesley Morris spotlights some of his favorite acting of the year

So, as Chlotrudis members start mulling over some of their favorite performances of the year for nomination consideration, I urge you to take a look at Boston Globe critic Wesley Morris' list of some of his favorite acting from 2007 films. Not all of these films are Chlotrudis-eligible, but it's still a pretty interesting and eclectic list. I love that he has included the entire cast of THE HOST!

Boston Society of Film Critics Pick Their 2007 Award Winners

Today the Boston Society of Film Critics announced their awards for 2007. Awards season has begun with a vengeance, with announcements for the Independent Spirit Awards, National Board of Review Awards, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association already released, and the Golden Globe nominees coming next Thursday. Here in Boston, our critics followed the lead of the NBR by selecting the Coen Brothers' NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN as their top film of the year. I guess the most surprising thing for me here is the hometown allegiance to GONE BABY GONE, and more particularly, Ben Affleck. I haven't seen the film, so I probably shouldn't comment, but I find it hard to believe (from what I've heard) that he's deserving of the Best New Filmmaker Award. Here's the complete list:

Best Picture

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Actor

Frank Langella for STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard for LA VIE EN ROSE

Best Supporting Actor

Javier Bardem for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Ryan for GONE BABY GONE

Best Director

Julian Schnabel for THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

Best Screenplay

Brad Bird for RATATOUILLE

Best Cinematography

Janusz Kaminski for THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

Best Documentary

CRAZY LOVE

Best Foreign-Language Film

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

Best New Filmmaker

Ben Affleck for GONE BABY GONE

Best Ensemble Cast

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD

The Boston Society of Film Critics is a group of 18 film writers who publish in the Boston area, including several friends of Chlotrudis including Ty Burr, Peter Keough, Loren King, Wesley Morris, and Gerry Peary. I wonder if their meeting today was as fun and/or contentious as our upcoming Chlotrudis Awards Nominating Committee Meeting which will take place on Saturday, January 19.