Saturday, January 12, 2008

Top & Bottom 10 of 2007 - #10

Every year around this time, critics come out with their top 10 lists of the best films of the year. While I haven't seen too many films from 2007 yet (and hardly any of the big Oscar contenders), I did see 163 movies for the first time in 2007, which is more than enough films to come up with both a top 10 and a bottom 10. Instead of giving you all twenty in one blow, I figured I would draw the lists out like a countdown to both the best and the worst films I saw in 2007. This both increases the suspense (hopefully) and lets me create more blog posts. So without further ado, my anticipatory readers, here are the tenth best and worst films of my 2007 film Odyssey.

Enchanted (2007)
Amy Adams is an animated princess who is banished by the wicked queen into the real world of New York City. Hilarity ensues when cultures collide, but the film never gets mean spirited like the similarly themed Shrek movies. One of the things that really makes this movie work is that the filmmakers stayed true to the rules they set up at the beginning of the film, and never resorted to slapstick "comedy" to get all their laughs. The songs are wonderful, especially "That’s How You Know," a lavish song and dance number winding its way through Central Park, growing larger and larger until the final musical "ta da!" And of course Amy Adams is a joy to watch in every single frame.

Cabaret (1972)
If I want a musical about the Nazis taking over while people just try to live their lives, give me The Sound of Music. If I want a musical with musical numbers taking place on some magical stage that may or may not actually exist in reality, give me Chicago. If I want a film about mismatched people falling in love even though they probably shouldn’t, give me Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Funny Girl, or My Fair Lady. If I want a musical about a singer/performer who is working at a place of questionable legitimacy but hopes to become a real actress, give me Moulin Rouge! I also failed to see the significance of most of the songs; they seemed to be only loosely connected to the main plot. The only song that did work for me was the "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" song sung by a young Nazi, the only song performed outside the cabaret. The main problem is that through both this song and the conclusion of the film, the Nazis come out looking like the heroes, bringing order and inspiration to a chaotic world. There are too many better musicals for this to have made the new AFI 100 list.

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