One of the original voters in last year's inaugural Muriel Awards, Lucas McNelly unfortunately had to excuse himself from voting again this year, as duties related to his short film gravida prevented him from seeing many of this year's eligible films. However, Lucas didn't wish to be left out altogether, so he sent me the following e-Mail:
"This year I haven't had an opportunity to see many of the consensus best films. As a result, it would be unfair to pretend that my votes would carry the same weight as someone who's done their due diligence. Still, I'd like to contribute, so here are ten films that screened in 2007 either in festivals or via screeners in my apartment that are noteworthy, but ineligible for these awards. Check them out, should you get the opportunity."
(in no particular order)
1. "Avec la Moustache" (Demitri Andrikopolous)
2. "Confusions of an Unmarried Couple" ("The Butler Brothers")
3. "A Catalog of Anticipations" (David Lowery)
4. "I Love You, I'm Sorry, and I'll Never Do It Again" (Keith Snyder)
5. "Maine Story" (Nina Chernik)
6. "Cabbie" (Donlee Brussel)
7. "Partially True Tales of High Adventure! (Murphy Gilson)
8. "Adam Taylor's Dracula" (Adam Taylor)
9. "Crooked Features" (Mike Peter Reed)
10. "Frownland" (Ronald Bronstein)
In addition, he had the following comments about the following 2007 releases:
I'm Not There -- "It all comes together when you realize that Todd Haynes' approach is really the only way you could possibly do a biopic about Bob Dylan--by playing as fast and loose with history as the man himself."
The Darjeeling Limited -- "At what point does the Wes Anderson whimsy start to collapse on itself like a black hole? I'm not sure, but the possibility is closer now than it's ever been. Still, the cinematography just gets better and better."
There Will Be Blood -- "I'm enjoying this new force of nature side of Daniel Day-Lewis, and it's wonderful to find that Paul Thomas Anderson's talents translate well outside of his Valley wheelhouse. I haven't seen much this year, but I know I haven't seen anything better than this."
No Country For Old Men -- "I loved Javier Bardem in Before Night Falls. I haven't seen this, but the trailer looks good and my girlfriend liked it a lot."
Atonement & Juno -- "Both films from directors I really like. Both films I haven't seen yet. Go figure.
Sunshine -- "4/5 of this film was fantastic. The other 1/5 was awful. Guess which part."
Superbad -- "Better than Knocked Up (and funnier too), but it may just be that seeing Michael Cera reminds me of how much I loved Arrested Development. One more thing to ask my analrapist."
Private Fears in Public Places -- "I'm a sucker for films like these, I'll admit it. Resnais does a good job of exploring different aspects of relationships and the recurring theme of falling serves as a beautiful backdrop."
3:10 to Yuma -- "Had I voted, Ben Foster is my Best Supporting Actor. Will they bring him back for 3:12 to Yuma? We can only hope."
Thanks for your comments, Lucas, and best of luck for gravida in the Now Film Festival! Here's hoping you're able to vote in earnest next year.