Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bests of the Bests

With about a week to go before I can start posting my own awards—y'all know I'm out here working without critics' previews or screener DVDs to help me out—I thought I'd direct your attention to some of my favorite year-end stuff happening around the web. If you've got an hour or two, Radio Allegro out of British Columbia hosted a year-end wrap-up radio show with me, Modern Fabulousity, Queering the Apparatus, and the Allegrist himself, Ashley Foot. Tune in to hear about flops that should have been hits; left-field For Your Consideration ads; our thoughts on movie trends related to aging, pregnancy, gender, the Western, and the musical; and for QTA's imperious, uproarious riff on the sexual politics of Knocked Up (which we all laughed at before admitting that we liked the movie). Yours truly is a bit horrified to realize how loooooong I go on when someone asks me a question, especially compared to my gorgeously succinct conversation partners, but I think it's a great conversation.

I also urge you to read QTA's own Year in Review; ModFab has a great one, too, but he also whipped up a parallel list of the year's best films and performances by soliciting opinions from six of his pals (including filmmaker Q. Allan Brocka and GreenCine impresario David Hudson) and tallying them up. Look who won the acting derby! The heart melts.

Our discerning and beautifully incisive pal Mainly Movies also puts an unexpected twist on the year-end format: he is counting down the 10 best and 10 worst movies at the same time, so that (for starters) the observational sensitivity of Funny Ha Ha arrives in a package deal with the lurid grotesquerie of Hannibal Rising. Continuing the theme of the articulate and the unexpected, Nic Rapold's Top Ten List in the New York Sun is a great read, topped by the sensational and ridiculously underseen Day Night Day Night.

Doug Cummings and Rob Christopher both fill us in on their favorite new releases of 2007 as well as their favorite back-catalogue titles that they saw for the first time in the last twelve months. I still don't see what Rob does in Stuck, but I appreciate the eclecticism of his list.

Lastly, as you are all no doubt aware, the 8th annual Film Bitch Awards will be in full swing any moment now, but the preview attractions—a list of the year's most overrated darlings and an indictment of the year's worst movies and performances—already constitute a full-course meal. No sacred cows here; you know it hurt Nathaniel to say some of these things, but it probably hurt him more to watch them. Stay tuned for more, there as well as here.

And now, I take my leave to keep pondering that milkshake with the long, long straw.

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Blogger Catherine said...

LOVE the ragging on Atonement.

4:14 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger tim r said...

Yay! a B+ for Tsai! And snap on The Lookout too. All the interesting scenes in that movie are somehow not actually in the movie, if you ask me.

I've just ordered Day Night, Day Night from a US supplier, since no one is deigning to distribute it here at all. Can't wait.

And, having loved your radio round-table to bits, I gave Away From Her another try, to discover -- again -- that it really doesn't work for me, beyond Christie. I find it wispy, precious and just too tidy, too trapped in short-story-land. I can appreciate what Pinsent's doing making that character somewhat closed and difficult, but I don't see how he evolves interestingly or gives us a proper read on Grant's choked emotions. And the minor roles -- particularly Wendy Crewson -- are gratingly thin. Without being at all bad, it gets my "what's all the fuss?" citation for 2007, or perhaps shares it with The Diving Bell, which I find every bit as indulgent as Schnabel's other work...

4:48 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

@Catherine: Isn't it amazing, how that advance buzz from Venice, etc., just has no justification whatsoever? And not in the sense that the movie is abjectly bad, but—what's the big deal?

@Tim: I re-watched the first 45 minutes of Away from Her today and agree that the movie suffers on the whole from a return trip. Totally agreed about Crewson. (Yeah, yeah, lots of natural light.) However, so far, I actually like Christie less and Pinsent more. Still, my "what's all the fuss" award from 2007 is permanently attached to Eastern Promises. (Even though I liked Diving Bell more than you did, I agree that it's hardly lacking in indulgence.)

6:08 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger tim r said...

Funnily enough, I didn't make it through to the end either...

I see where you're coming from on Eastern Promises, which I worry won't hold up at all well, but think I must have enjoyed the flavour of the movie more than you did. For me it's just minor Cronenberg, no more, no less. Looking forward to giving Viggo another watch, at any rate.

2:15 AM, January 07, 2008  

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