DONALD CLARKE’S BEST AND WORST OF 2007
1 This Is England
Set in the early days of Thatcher’s Britain, this funny, terrifying study of a boy’s induction into the skinhead movement confirms Shane Meadows as a great English director and announces young Thomas Turgoose as an actor to watch.
2 I’m Not There
3 Apocalypto 4 The Lives of Others/Das Leben der Anderen 5 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
6 Eastern Promises
7 Rescue Dawn
Six Bob Dylans. One is a woman. Another is a black child. Trust Todd Haynes to find a satisfactory visual correlative for Mr Zimmerman’s elliptical artistry. Mel Gibson outdoes himself with this agreeably brutal drama of pursuit set among the ancient Mayan civilisation. The most purely exciting film of the year. Impressive thriller that somehow manages to allow a dedicated Stasi agent some humanity while detailing the full horrors of the old East German regime. Almost as long as its title, Andrew Dominik’s existential western tells an old, old story in a seductively original voice. David Cronenberg’s gripping thriller – Viggo Mortensen as a Russian hood in London – shows that it is possible to make a first-class film from a distinctly ordinary script. It tells the story of one man’s escape from a prisoner of war camp in Laos during the Vietnam War. So, it’s
in the jungle? Not quite. Werner Herzog imposes his own creative madness on the story and edges it towards transcendence. Long, complex and messily structured, David Fincher study of the hunt for the Zodiac killer in 1970s San Francisco has some of the gripping intensity of All the President’s Men.
9 Inland Empire
10 Once 1 I Want Candy
Ealing Films used to produce the best comedies in the world. David Lynch goes into indulgence overdrive. This extraordinary picture, shot on ugly digital video, makes absolutely no sense and is frequently deeply discomforting. It’s also impossible to forget. John Carney grabs a camera, follows Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard around Dublin for a few days, and somehow delivers the word-ofmouth hit of the year. Now they deliver vile sex farces that recall the grim depths to which the British film industry sank in the 1970s.
2 Good Luck Chuck
Jaw-droppingly misogynistic American comedy that somehow topped the Irish box-office for a week. Shame on you!
3 Goal! 2
Unintentionally hysterical football-related sequel (why?).
4 Perfect Stranger
More garbage from Halle Berry.
5 Licence to Wed
Robin Williams stars as a “funny” priest. Will you be vomiting now or later?
Apocalypto now: in third place