Sunday, November 18, 2007

Drama Free: A Conversation About Movies in 2007 with My Wife

My wife just watched Fargo for the first time the other night with me. I thought it would help her make a decision about whether or not she'd be interested in seeing No Country For Old Men.

Liking Fargo a great deal, Kim says to me, "Why hasn't there been any good movie dramas like this come out this year yet?" She then went on to list Hotel Rwanda and The Motorcycle Diaries as favorite movies of hers from a couple years back that she couldn't find any parallels to in the films she's seen this year.

The openness to this years Best Picture race was in essence, annoying to my wife. She wanted to know what "the big Academy movies were." We discussed the potentials for Atonement, The Kite Runner, There Will Be Blood, and reminder of movies that she liked this year, namely Zodiac, Michael Clayton, Hot Fuzz, Hairspray, Ratatouille and Gone Baby Gone.

To which she responded to each with some degree of affirmation that she enjoyed these movies. To which point she reminded me how much she particularly liked Zodiac & Michael Clayton and would be fine if they got a lot of awards (but my Academy-savvy as wife has become also realized Zodiac didn't have a prayer due to early release...look how smart she is!)

Nathanial R at The Film Experience wrote a great post about American Gangster, and Russel Crowe's more interesting role. Yet in it, he degenerates to mention that currently American Gangster is ranked #24 so far in US Box Office, and is the only dramatic film so far in the top 50. Just outside of the top 50 currently sit The Brave One, Freedom Writers, Zodiac, and Michael Clayton.

In the past week I was seeing that many of this years dramas are failing and that many of this years Oscar nominatable actresses are appearing in comedies and musicals not dramas.

We're certainly not out of 2007 yet, and there are many films I'm looking forward to seeing. But it's hard to know what to make of this years lack of traditional drama films.

Any explinations out there? Are your current 2007 favorites drama free?


Jeff Reed said...

Fargo. Classic.

"Is that your friend there in the wood chipper?"

Doesn't get any better than that.

Jeremy said...

My favorite movie of the year so far is "Once". Certainly it has it's dramatic moments but is mostly a musical I suppose. But one of my favorite straight forward dramas this year has been "Away From Her".

Terence Towles Canote said...

It's hard to say why there haven't been any good dramas lately. I think it may just be that such things go in cycles. At any rate, I think No Country for Old Men may just fit the bill.

Lorna said...

Wassn't Gone Baby Gone a drama? it was gritty, it was called a thriller, but for me it had all the aspects of drama, but then I think The Golden Compass is drama

Barry said...

My Top 5 movies right now are:

1. The Brave One
2. Knocked Up
3. Spider-Man 3
4. The Simpsons Movie
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

3 out of 2 could be considered dramas.

weepingsam said...

There have been some pretty good ones - especially if you count films like no Country for Old Men and Eastern Promises as dramas and not crime movies. If Fargo counts, they do I guess. Those two, plus Zodiac and Away From Her, make up 4 of the top 5, for my money - the other one being Darjeeling Limited. With Zodiac the Coen brothers' film the best...

I doubt any of them will generate much more than some acting and technical awards from the academy though.

Will said...

It does seem to be a down year for drama. Among my favorites so far are Knocked Up, Ratatouille and The Bourne Ultimatum, so it's already a strange year for me.
I will admit, though, that some of my other favorites are indeed dramas: Zodiac, Atonement, 3:10 to Yuma. And as you mention, there are several more coming out.

I think part of the problem is that some of the major dramas this year seem to be mis-steps. At least that's the impression I'm getting across the pond about films like Reign Over Me, Rendition, Lions for Lambs, perhaps even In the Valley of Elah. It's enough to make one hesitant about the whole subject of drama. That is, until you watch the trailer for There Will Be Blood and Daniel Day Lewis's closing speech is enough to make you believe in movies again.

I don't know about you, RC, but I think I'm already looking forward to 2008. And that disappoints me a little.

Will said...

Oh, I forgot Once. Incredible film. And a drama.

Lorna said...

yes, "In the Valley of Elah" dramatically kept me awake nights; it could be my favourite so far...

Anonymous said...

So I saw No Country For Old Men and I know I am in the minority because I really liked Fargo but this movie was trash. Tell me what the point, resolution and all the unanswered questions are supposed to be? I was disgusted with it and banned from picking movies by my cousings during future Thanksgiving holidays. So does this movie have a chance to win, probably because the Academy masturbates to the Cohen brothers as if they are flawless, its ridic.