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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

best of 2007: best original screenplay, best adapted screenplay

The Oscars are barrelling down on us — the ceremony is this coming Sunday, February 24 — so it’s time to close out Movie Year 2007. Between now and Friday, I’ll share with you my own picks for the bests of the year, plus my predictions for Oscar night.

After the jump, the top 5 best original screenplays and best adapted screenplays of 2007.

1. Michael Clayton: Where do you go when you hit rockbottom? This extraordinary script follows one man’s path to a way out of a life he can no longer tolerate. [buy at Amazon]

2. Eastern Promises: You’ve never seen a mob movie like this, full of gentlemanly attitudes and shocking violence and all manner of unexpecteds. [buy at Amazon]

3. I’m Not There: Audacious in the extreme, this script dares to imagine alternative Bob Dylans as a way to explore matters of fame, celebrity, and what it means to be creative. [buy at Amazon]

4. The Hunting Party: In a fantasy that gives voice to inexpressible contemporary rage, journalists go after a war criminal. The result is black comedy with a point. [buy at Amazon]

5. The Darjeeling Limited: In the most darkly playful movie of the year, grief takes to the road as three brothers who can’t talk about their messed-up family try to run from it, with mixed success. [buy at Amazon]


1. Atonement: A novel about the power of words becomes a movie about the power of story. [buy at Amazon UK]

2. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Opera is transferred to the screen with a scrupulous cinematic flair — this is a demon barber who could only appear onscreen. [buy the soundtrack CD at Amazon]

3. No Country for Old Men: Words become images as deliberate and precise language is transformed unhurried and laconic cinema. [preorder at Amazon]

4. There Will Be Blood: A 80-year-old muckracking novel inspires a very modern take on the industrial age, and its impact on those who shaped it. [preorder at Amazon]

5. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: We go inside the true story of one man’s tragedy with an impact that lingers. [preorder at Amazon]

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