I was recently asked by a local web publication to contribute a top ten list of my favorite films of the year and while I am always reluctant about these things, I complied. I was given specific instructions that it had to contain exactly ten items, no more, no less, and that they all had to be 2007 releases. I've bent the rule here to add two more titles, one of which I hadn't seen at the time I made the list. Here it is, with a few annotations.
Best of 2007
(roughly in order of preference, though once you get past the first 3 or 4, it gets blurry)
1. I'm Not There (Todd Haynes)
2. Across the Universe (Julie Taymor)
3. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen)
4. Sicko (Michael Moore)
Everything else, in no logical order:
3:10 to Yuma (James Mangold)
The Golden Compass (Chris Weitz)
Romance and Cigarettes (John Turturro)
Hairspray (Adam Shankman)
Once (John Carney)
Zodiac (David Fincher)
The Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright)
The Landlord (Adam McKay)
Not a very good year in all, but far above the norm for musicals and westerns - and in the case of No. 1, both.
After much thought, I finally decided that I couldn't quite justify adding "Redacted" or "Helvetica" to the list. The former stays off because it's ultimately muddled, the latter because I suspect my fondness for it has more to do with my own font obsession that with the film itself.
Still haven't seen at least a few films that I'm told have a shot at a top ten list ("Sweeney Todd", "The Assassination of Jesse James", "Persepolis", the Joe Strummer documentary), but you have to draw the line somewhere...
Best DVD release: "Popeye the Sailor Volume One: 1933 - 1938" (Warner Home Video)
(I'll add a list of music and books later....)