On Saturday, the American Film Institute picked its Top Ten American Films of 2007. The list is available below in alphabetical order:
- Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
- Into the Wild
- Knocked Up
- Michael Clayton
- No Country for Old Men
- The Savages
- There Will Be Blood
I tend to agree with this list more than I agreed with the Golden Globe nominations. I’m not sure if “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” deserves to be up there, and while The Savages is a great movie, I’m not sure if it deserves to be in the top 10.
Fox Searchlight’s Once would have been my choice. errr I forgot the AFI list only includes American films. I’m glad to see that AFI included my favorite comedies of the year: Juno and Knocked Up. And why has everyone forgotten about David Fincher’s Zodiac?
Here are AFI’s Top 10 lists from the last six years:
- 2006: Babel, Borat, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Half Nelson, Happy Feet, Inside Man, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, United 93.
- 2005: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Good Night And Good Luck, A History of Violence, King Kong, Munich, The Squid and the Whale, Syriana.
- 2004: The Aviator, Collateral, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Friday Night Lights, The Incredibles, Kinsey, Maria Full of Grace, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Spider-Man 2
- 2003: American Splendor, Finding Nemo, The Human Stain, In America, The Last Samurai, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Lost in Translation, Master and Commander, Monster, Mystic River
- 2002: About a Boy, About Schmidt, Adaptation, Antwone Fisher, Chicago, Frida, Gangs of New York, The Hours, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Quiet American
- 2001: A Beautiful Mind, Black Hawk Down, In The Bedroom, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Memento, Monster’s Ball, Moulin Rouge, Muholland Drive, Shrek
- 2000: Almost Famous, Before Night Falls, Best In Show, Erin Brockovich, Gladiator, High Fidelity, Requiem For A Dream, Traffic, Wonder Boys, You Can Count on Me.
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Most major city regions have a society or association of film critics, who each year join together to vote on the best films and performances of the year. This weekend the winners have been announced for the National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO), The Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC), and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA). Here is a round up of the results:
Here is the quick briefing:
The Cohen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men took the Best Film of the year award in three out of the five. Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood took the top award in the remaining. Anderson is leading the Best Director category with two wins. Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood) and George Clooney (Michael Clayton) are tied for Best Actor with two wins each.
Julie Christie took home three best actress wins for her performance in Away From Her, narrowly beating out Marion Cotillard who has two wins for La Vie en Rose. Javier Bardem was awarded three supporting actor wins for No Country for Old Men. Amy Ryan won four out of five for her performance in Gone Baby Gone. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly took home three out of five of the Best Foreign Film Awards. Pixar’s Ratatouille leads with three wins in the Animated category, narrowly beating out Persepolis, which currently has two wins. Diablo Cody is leading with two wins in the Best Original Screenplay section for Juno.
Read the full results after the jump.
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Disney/Pixar are contemplating pushing Ratatouille for the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards, but the Mouse House is worried that such a push, might diminish their chances of winning the Best Animated Feature Oscar. As you probably know, Beauty and the Beast is the only animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture, losing to Silence of the Lambs in 1992. Five years ago the Academy created the “Best Animated Feature” Oscar to reward the animated film’s which have been clearly given the shaft in the Best Picture category.
Ratatouille is one of the best reviewed films of the year, and of all time (with a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with over 195 reviews). Brad Bird’s film is already ranked in the top 100 films of all time on IMDb with an 8.4 user rating (44,000+ votes). In my opinion, it definitely deserves to be in contention for the top prize.
The New York Times reports:
“Under the academy’s rules, films nominated for best animated feature are automatically considered eligible for best picture. Similarly, their actors – though delivering only voice performances – are eligible for general acting nominations, though none have ever received one, and their writers and directors are similarly eligible for general awards.”
I was having a discussion about this dilemma with one of my friends and he asked: “If Ratatouille won Best Picture, wouldn’t that mean that it automatically wins best animated feature?” And the answer is no, even though my friend brings up a great point founded in logic. But the Academy doesn’t work on logic, but instead on politics and who spends more money on their “For Your Consideration” campaign.
“Members could vote for the film in both categories. But Oscar campaigners assume that many would choose just one – a dangerous situation, given the small voting pool and the razor-thin margins that can determine a winner.”
What do you guys think? Should Ratatouille be nominated for Best Picture?
Earlier this week we told you about Pixar’s first foray into 2D hand-drawn animation with a 11-minute short titled “Your Friend The Rat“. We now have three production stills from the short film. Click on the images to enlarge.
The short film, which is directed by Jim Capobianco, follows Remy the rat (voiced again by Patton Oswalt), and his brother, Emile (Peter Sohn), who talk about the “history and behavior of rats in an effort to persuade human viewers not to kill the ubiquitous rodents.” The short features a mix of 3D computer animation, 2D line animation, live-action filmed segments and even a little stop-motion animation.
Ratatouille hits DVD and Blu-Ray on November 6th 2007.
Emmy winning visual effects producer turned Ratatouille producer Brad Lewis will soon become a Pixar director.
“I’m going to direct my next film, but that hasn’t been announced yet so that isn’t something I can break for you today, but maybe Lasseter will talk about it.”
Our friend Frosty at Collider was unsuccessful in his attempt to grill Lewis for more information, and when he questioned Toy Story director John Lasseter, he could only confirm the project:
“We haven’t announced the film yet, but he will be directing – yes!”
No word on if the project is a short of feature film. I know Pixar’s one-feature-film-a-year slate is filled up until at least 2011, so either it’s very early in development, or it’s a short film. You can watch the video interview at Collider.com.
The upcoming DVD release of Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille will include the first hand-drawn animated 2-D short film in Pixar history. Yes, you did just read that correctly – good ol’ fashion 2D animation from the studio that innovated computer rendered 3D animation. The 11-minute film is also the longest short film in Pixar history.
“Your Friend the Rat” directed by Jim Capobianco was inspired by the research the filmmakers did into rat behavior and history, much of which never made it into the final film. The movie follows Remy the rat (voiced again by Patton Oswalt), and his brother, Emile (Peter Sohn), who talk about the “history and behavior of rats in an effort to persuade human viewers not to kill the ubiquitous rodents.” The result Capobianco claims is reminiscent of 1960s-era educational films, old UPA shorts and classic Ward Kimball animation from Disney.
The short isn’t actually all 2D animation however. It features a mix of 3D computer animation, 2D line animation, live-action filmed segments and even a little stop-motion animation (yes, also a Pixar first).
Ratatouille hits DVD and Blu-Ray on November 6th 2007.
Rotten Tomatoes have published their Mid-Year Report, which features a list of the best and worst reviewed movies of the first six months of 2007. You can see the top ten of each below.
Best Reviewed Movies
2. “Away From Her”
4. “Knocked Up”
5. “Hot Fuzz”
7. “The Host”
10. “The Lookout”
Worst Reviewed Movies
1. “Because I Said So”
2. “The Number 23″
4. “The Reaping”
6. “Perfect Stranger”
7. “Happily N’Ever After”
8. “Are We Done Yet? ”
9. “Code Name: The Cleaner”
10. “Hannibal Rising”
Not many surprises to be found. Ratatouille has wrestled the best reviewed wide release of 2007 title away from Knocked Up, which is still holding strong at #4.One unusual observation is that the best movies list features a lot of comedy/romantic comedy films (Ratatouille, Once, Knocked Up, Hot Fuzz, Waitress). In the past usually dramatic indie flicks have dominated the list. I’m also glad to see Zodiac as I’ve fielded negative comments about the film from most people I have spoken with. David Fincher’s film is one of my favorites of the year thus far.
Because I Said So and The Number 23 are the film’s I’ve least enjoyed this year so far. So I feel a little vindicated seeing them rank at the top of the worst reviewed films list. I am actually surprised to see Hannibal Rising make the worst list at #10. I didn’t enjoy the film, but at the same time, I didn’t hate it either. I wonder if there is a huge backlash on the film purely based on it’s comparison against Silence of the Lambs?
HARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (Warner Bros) continued its strong run at the box office on Friday grabbing an estimated $26.5M, bringing its 3-day cume to just shy of $90M. That should put HP5 right at $80M for the traditional Fri thru Sun 3-day weekend, and it will give ORDER OF THE PHOENIX the biggest 5-day opening in the history of the franchise with an estimated $142.6M.
The second weekend of Michael Bay’s mega-hit TRANSFORMERS (Dreamworks/Paramount) is starting off with a solid $10.5M estimate for Friday. Early Saturday, Optimus Prime will fly past $200M domestic, and my studio sources are pointing to a $34M weekend, down just 52% from it’s opening 3-day. Remy and company has added another $5.5M Friday as Pixar’s RATATOUILLE tops the $130M mark. I’m expecting a weekend take of $17.2M for the critically-acclaimed animated film distributed by Disney, down only 41%. LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (Fox) looks to be just under $3M to start the weekend, and, by Monday, the latest John McClane action pic will have banked a $9.65M 3-day and climbed past the $100M threshold. The Warner Bros misfire LICENSE TO WED added just $2.2M on Friday, and it will struggle to only $6.9M on its 2nd weekend.
For Friday and 3-Day Estimates for the top 14 films, you can visit FantasyMoguls.
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