Mike’s Seven Top‐Ten Movies of 2007
Michael Clayton. A multi‐million dollar product liability case drives one lawyer (Tom Wilkinson) insane and forces another (George Clooney) to question everything about his life. Complicated in all the right ways with brilliant dialog, legitimate surprises and great characters. Best film of the year.
Hairspray. Pound for pound, to use an apt metaphor, the adaptation of the Broadway adaptation of John Waters’ original is the most enjoyable movie I saw all year. I smiled a lot. Watching John Travolta and Christopher Walken dance together is worth the price of a ticket or a DVD all by itself.
Zodiac. O.K., after Fight Club, I’m now convinced that David Fincher is the real deal. Instead of focusing on the bloody details of the famous San Francisco murders, he’s interested in the way that people become obsessed and what that obsession does to them. He sticks closely to the facts and arrives at exactly the right ending.
Juno. The stars are perfectly aligned for young Ellen Page, writer Cody Diablo and director Jason Reitman in an intelligent, funny story of a pregnant teen, her family and an adoptive couple. What could have been an exercise in stereotypes is bracingly original all the way through.
Lars and the Real Girl. The premise—shy guy buys an anatomically correct sex doll and calls her his girlfriend—sounds creepy, but the filmmakers turn it into a genuinely sweet, slightly Woebegonian story with superb performances from Ryan Gosling and Emily Mortimer as his understanding sister‐in‐law.
Charlie Wilson’s War. Three stars—Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Phillip Seymour Hoffman—at the top of their game ought to be enough to separate this comedy from the pool of contemporary war movies that nobody’s going to see. It’s bright, sharp, sexy and the office scene is a brilliant set‐piece.
Lust, Caution. The intense sexual scenes have earned Ang Lee’s film an NC-17 rating, but at heart, it’s a carefully wrought spy tale in the John LeCarré mold. Stars Tony Leung and Tang Wei are letter perfect as lovers in occupied China during World War II.