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Top Ten "Best of 2007" Lists

By gabe | Gabe's Declaration of Principles December 28, 2007 at 1:10AM

Top Ten "Best of 2007" Lists
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10. AFI Awards 2007 Presented by Hewlett-Packard "Invent"
I would expect nothing less from THE Institute that invented lists*: As perfect a list as you are likely to find anywhere on the planet.
(* While some contend God invented the list when he gave Moses the Commandments, it could be argued that AFI invented the "modern list. To wit: A Google search cross referencing "AFI "and "List" generates 257,000 results in less than .14 seconds!):

9. Roger Ebert's "The Year's Ten Best Films and Other Shenanigans"
The title gives away the winner...kind of. And in many ways, the "other shenanigans" allows Ebert to throw his lllove at a dozen or more worthy films such as "Documentaries," "Animated Films," "Foreign Films" and even a Special Jury vote and an 11th Place tie. Ebert recognizes more films than Sundance.

8. Moviefone's The Best and Worst of 2007
Hello, and welcome to democracy. Scroll through 50(!) of the year's best and also enjoy a walk down memory lane with the 10 worst--(Did Hannibal Rising really come out in 2007?)

7. EW's Films of the Year
Movie critics Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum each pick their top 10 -- see where ''Superbad,'' ''No Country,'' and others ranked
I love Owen Gleiberman's yin to Lisa Schwartsman's yang. She's a little bit country. He's a little bit rock n roll. Ironic that the epitome of pop culture has critics going the distance and lobbying hard for esoteric films and box office dwarfs like Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, 4 months..., The Assassination of Jesse James, Perisopolis, No End In Sight (X2!), Lady Chatterly, Zodiac (X2!), I'm Not There (X2!). Who do they think they're writing for, the New York Observer? (A cursory glance shows NYO backing Atonement, Kite Runner, Black Book, and The Brave One. Chalk one up for EW...go figure)

6. Mr. Skin Names The Top 20 Movie Nude Scenes of 2007
#1: There is no way in hell the guys in Knocked-Up would not have known that Mr. Skin already exists. It'd be like a stoner trying to invent Pizza Delivery...
#2. The funniest thing about Knocked-Up is that EVERY guy in the audience knew this was real, and their dates didn't. And they likely had to feign ignorance at the reveal.
#3. The best thing about this list? At least 3 of the titles (#1 Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, # 3. Hotel Chevalier (Darjeeling Limited), #10 Knocked Up have appeared multiple times on legit Top Top lists....proving that Mr. Skin is always ahead of the (ahem) curve.

5. PASTE: "Signs of Life: 2007 Best Films"
Paste Rules! But 50? Who do you think you are, Moviefone?

4. Bob Mondello of NPR's "The Best Overlooked Films of 2007"
Leave it to NPR to make a list for the overlooked...The Hoax? Agreed. Zodiac? Maybe. But Once? Was it overlooked? Really?

3. IndieWIRE CRITICS' POLL '07
Lots of sub-categories, including the invaluable "Best Undistributed Film" list. Note: Killer of Sheep #9 on Best Film of 2007 Told ya so.

2. IndieWIRE's Top 10 Lists for 2007
Love reading the critical tastes of all our favorite IndieWIRE writers, editors, columnists, et al. AND LOVE how the readers piped right in with "reactions" of their own.

1. Manohla Dargis's A List, to Start the Conversation
Dargis wins for two reasons.

#1 This meta-analysis of list making :
"Top 10 lists are artificial exercises, assertions of critical ego, capricious and necessarily imperfect. (I have a suspicion that the sacred 10 is meant to suggest biblical certainty, as if critics are merely worldly vessels for some divine wisdom.) More than anything they are a public ritual, which is their most valuable function. I tell you what I liked, and you either agree with my list (which flatters us both) or denounce it (which flatters you). It’s a perfect circle..."

#2 This concise analysis of the state of theatrical distribution breaking down the simple math, and making a decided "Pro Choice" argument by comparing and contrasting critical darling Juno with the harsher, and financially challenged “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” (all the while throwing kudos IFC's way for trying new things like day and date On-Demand and Theatrical openings with IFC Fist Take) :

"Americans consume a lot of garbage, but that may be because they don’t have real choices: 16 of the top box-office earners last weekend — some good, almost all from big studios — monopolized 33,353 of the country’s 38,415 screens. The remaining 78 releases duked it out on the leftover screens.

I doubt that most moviegoers would prefer the relentlessly honest “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” which involves a young woman seeking an illegal abortion, over “Juno,” an ingratiating comedy about a teenager who carries her pregnancy to term. But I wish they had the choice. “4 Months” is aesthetically bracing, but “Juno” has easy laughs, dodges abortion quicker than a presidential candidate and provides a supremely artful male fantasy. Like “Knocked Up,” it pivots on a fertile hottie who has sex without protection and, after a little emotional messiness (and no scary diseases), delivers one baby and adopts a second, namely the man-child who (also) misplaced the Trojans. Both comedies superficially recall the male wish-fulfillment fantasies of “Sideways,” but without the lacerating adult self-awareness. " (Bold added)