Back at Premiere, my bosses used to indulge me. In a LOT of ways, for sure, but one particularly crucial and welcome one was that they let me get away with doing non-weighted ten-best lists. Not only were they not weighted (sometimes I put 'em in alphabetical order, even), but they weren't always ten-best lists, either.
Not that I'm complaining about participating in a weighted ten-best poll for MSN Movies. No, far from it. Just noting that DOING a weighted list concentrates the mind in a particular way—here, in two ways, since aside from the movie-assessment brain, the "what I want to end up on the final ten-best list" brain also has a say. As it so happens, the MSN system assigns x number of points to the number one film on a critic's list, something-less-than-x points to the number two film, and so on. I wish I could say that I'm so pure that boosting strategies NEVER entered my mind at any point, but that would be a lie. But I will report that not only did my sole (honest) boosting-strategy placement not bear the desired fruit, but that the number one film in the MSN Movies critics' poll is not represented either in my top ten or the further 17 films below that. Ten of the further 17, barring the Fincher, were submitted along with the top ten to Film Comment's annual poll. I thank Allison Benedikt for inviting me to participate in the Village Voice poll, but a) the Voice is dead to me since they fired Robert Christgau and b) I don't wanna be part of any club that would also have [at least three if not six names redacted] as a member. I don't know where the Fincher would be had I been able to see it in time to include it in either the MSN or the Film Comment poll, so there you have it.
4) Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols) Reviewed here.
5) Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) Written about here.
6) We Need To Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay) Reviewed here.
7) Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan) Written about here.
8) Mysteries of Lisbon (Raul Ruiz) Written about here.
9) The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar) Reviewed here.
10) The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick) Reviewed here.
11) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher) Come on, man. The link is in the post right below this one. Save me some goddamn keystrokes, okay?
12) Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami) Reviewed here.
13) Film socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard) The review that helped solidify Andy Rector's potentially homicidal hatred for me is here. The comments thread in which you can witness the homicidal hatred gelling is here. Fun times, those were. If I do end up murdered, I trust one of you out there will do the right thing for me and my widow.
I also very much enjoyed Contagion, but the number and nature of disclosures I would have to make in order to be in the ethical clear to comment on it at any greater length are such that, well, I cannot. But seriously, check it out. And everything else here, if you haven't.