I got a last-minute request to join in on a Blogcritics Radio show this evening, looking back at the movies of 2007. You’d think that would be easy, even last minute, since I was supposed to be talking about the movies I listed in my TV and Movie Obsessions of 2007. How much preparation do you need to talk about something you’ve already written? Well, replace the “you” with “me” and the answer is … quite a lot, actually. Mock away.
I can’t voluntarily listen to myself (yes, that means editing the TV, eh? podcasts and transcribing interviews is murder) but I can guarantee some incoherence and giggling. Not because I was drunk, but because I was … talking. That’s just me. Remember the brain disconnecting from the mouth thing? Anyway, I come in at about 15 minutes in.
Someone called me a “mad Canadian” on introduction (it’s a thing … another writer on the site regularly gets called a beady-eyed Canadian) so I took the opportunity to plug a Canadian film that almost made my list: Sarah Polley’s Away From Her. I explained its bleakness was my reason for not including it in the end. It’s a powerful movie, a beautiful movie, but not an easy movie to watch, so I picked movies I purely enjoyed more. I had to (but didn’t really) do some fancy footwork to explain why I included the not-a-laugh-riot Atonement, then. Did I mention the incoherence?
I did go on to ramble a bit about Once, Juno, and Atonement, but I figure now is a good opportunity to give an honourable mention to some other movies I might have listed if I’d done a top 6 instead of a top 3 (keeping in mind the caveat that I haven’t seen nearly enough to consider a “best of” list).
Waitress was another one I considered, but it wasn’t quite weighty enough to stick with me through the year. I do seem to have a thing for the pie-makers, but Keri Russell was terrific, and Adrienne Shelley’s script and performance was heartbreaking, both on screen and for the offscreen tragedy.
The Namesake is a lovely, lush film with moments that still play in my mind months later. I had no real reason to review it – no free screener, in other words – but it compelled me to write it out, a feeling I get about few things, and I’m not even sure what it means, since I didn’t feel equally compelled to write full reviews of any of the other movies I’ve mentioned.
I can’t remember seeing a 2007 movie I didn’t somewhat enjoy, though perhaps I’m blocking them out, and of course I self-select as a movie critic can’t. I do keep negatively comparing Knocked Up to Juno, but I don’t mean to suggest that I didn’t like the earlier movie, just that I thought it was very much overpraised with very much not well written female characters — not such a big deal in certain movies, but in a movie about an unplanned pregnancy, pretty important.
I had fun with The Simpsons Movie, even though I haven’t watched the series regularly since the Paleolithic era. The Lookout was quietly intriguing. Hairspray, Stardust, all good DVD choices.
Some day I’ll write a quick post about the BlogTalkRadio thing they use for their radio shows – it has its plusses and minus for podcasty type geeks, but for now, check out the site if you’re interested (it’s not part of Blogcritics, it’s a separate service).
Won’t listen to this yet*, but I just saw ‘The Namesake’ yesterday – really liked it. (Also saw ’10 items or less’ and almost fell asleep…)
Funny that for neither movie I knew Kutner/Amber starred/had role!
*Haven’t seen ‘Atonement’ yet, found the book good, but quite hard to get through. I’ve read chapter 1 and 2 about 5 times and never finished it.
I’ve never heard of 10 items or less – doesn’t sound like you’re recommending it highly, though!
The movie version of Atonement is probably easier to get into, but it’s not going to be everyone’s taste – it’s the one of the three I mentioned that I don’t go around saying “you have to see this!” I think some day I’ll write a post with spoilers about it because I find it hard to talk about why I like it so much without ruining it.