Directed by Jason Reitman | Starring Ellen Page and Michael Cera
Witty, moving and unapologetic, the premiere of “Juno” at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival was met with a standing ovation. From there, “Juno” received its fair share of praise, winning an Oscar for Diablo Cody’s original screenplay and topping famed film critic Roger Ebert’s annual list of best movies. The comedy-drama’s honest treatment of the titular protagonist’s teenage pregnancy and the stellar performances from the cast transformed the film’s coming-of-age narrative into a fresh, bold take on adulthood and parenthood.
For another 2007 comedy, see “Superbad.”
Directed by Brad Bird | Starring Patton Oswalt and Ian Holm
With its unlikely rodent hero and visually stunning depictions of Paris and French cuisine, “Ratatouille” was a worthy addition to Pixar’s canon of films. The dynamic combo of idealistic rat Remy, who has ambitions of haute cuisine, and awkward young man Linguini, who is trying his best to get by, keeps audiences of all ages entertained. With its commentary on the nature of art, and the kind of people who create or critique it, “Ratatouille” never goes for the cheap laugh, delivering its narrative with sincerity and warmth.
For another 2007 animated features, see “Bee Movie.”
“There Will Be Blood”
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson | Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano
An epic historical drama, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” won widespread critical acclaim as one of the greatest films of the 2000s. Inspired by Upton Sinclair’s “Oil!,” the film details the merciless quest of a silver miner for wealth during California’s oil boom. The ruthless prospector, and his gradual moral decay, is played masterfully by Daniel Day-Lewis, who would go on to win a litany of accolades for the role.
For another 2007 historical thriller, see “No Country for Old Men.”
Directed by Adam Shankman | Starring Nikki Blonsky and John Travolta
Based off the 2002 stage musical that was in turn based off the 1988 comedy film, “Hairspray” had no shortage of source material to work from. Instead, director Adam Shankman and writer Leslie Dixon refreshed the story, adding a millennial patina to the film’s retro premise and handling serious issues like segregation with maturity. Starring an exuberant Nikki Blonsky in her breakout role as Tracy Turnblad, a plump teenager who aspires to local teen dance show stardom, the film’s ensemble cast includes heavy-hitters like John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah and Zac Efron.
For another 2007 live-action musical, see “Across the Universe.”
Directed by Matthew Vaughn | Starring Claire Danes and Charlie Cox
A thrilling fantasy adventure, Matthew Vaughn’s “Stardust” is spellbinding and captivating. Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s 1999 novel of the same name, the film follows Tristan, a young man from the fictional English village of Wall. As Tristan journeys into the bordering fantasy kingdom of Stormhold to collect a fallen star for his crush, he is surprised to discover the star is a young woman. As the pair return to Wall, the audience is introduced to a whimsical cast of well-developed supporting characters and an enthralling, magical world.
For another 2007 romance, see “Atonement.”