Another early Oscar indicator- AFI's Top 10 of 2007

by Eric Melin on December 26, 2007

in Blogs

Score one for “Knocked Up”!

After my all my complaining about the Golden Globes leaving off one of the best movies of the year (a comedy, of course!), the American Film Institute has put Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up” on its short list of the 10 best Films of 2007. They also included “Juno,” but at least they didn’t feel like that should disqualify “Knocked Up,” like it was a one-or-the-other kind of thing.

My two favorites of the year are also represented, as well as Tony Gilroy’s “Michael Clayton” and Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” which were solid films. The nod to Pixar and Brad Bird’s “Ratatouille” almost guarantees its Best Animated Film Oscar win, and since Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” is the only foreign film on here, let’s put that as the clear front-runner for Best Foreign Language Film…

knocked up advance posterWait.

We can’t.

Because each country is only allowed to submit ONE picture from their country, and France has chosen the animated “Persepolis,” that means that both “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” and “La Vie En Rose” (a film that will get a nomination for its lead actress Marion Cotillard) are ineligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Yeesh. That means two of the best foreign films of the year and one of the best documentaries (“The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” — see that story here) won’t even be in the nominated pool to win.

After the huge showing at the SAGs and its inclusion here on the AFI list, “Into the Wild” has to be considered a frontrunner. Which is kind of crazy for an overly long and fairly pretentious film with a couple of very affecting scenes. I had some problems with it ( character motivation, thematic confusion), but its emotional grip must have been enough to push a lot of people to overlook its faults. It’s a good film, but I don’t find it to be anywhere near approaching the greatness of movies like David Fincher’s “Zodiac” and Andrew Dominik’s “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” which should have been on this list well before before “Into the Wild.”

Regardless, here it is, AFI’s Top 10 of 2007, in no particular order:

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

INTO THE WILD

JUNO

KNOCKED UP

MICHAEL CLAYTON

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

RATATOUILLE

THE SAVAGES

THERE WILL BE BLOOD

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alan Rapp December 27, 2007 at 8:55 pm

I just don’t get the love for Knocked Up. Sure, it’s a slightly better than average comedy but it’s nowhere near one of the best films, or even comedies, of the year.

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2 Adam Bowman January 5, 2008 at 4:57 pm

I totally get “Knocked Up.” The realism of the situation is what makes it such a great comedy and great film. Unlike your typical comedy, these are real situations with characters that seem like actual people. It is closer to a romantic comedy, but again the movie more closely represents the dilemas and barriers people confront in relationships and life. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks never delved so deep into the human condition.
I think the movie suffered from some false advertising, because it wasn’t as silly as “The 40-year-old Virgin.” It got far more serious and dealt with some touchier issues. But in the end the characters made that arc and did what we all hope we would have the guts to do in similar situations.

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