Behind Every Door, Another B+
Still, in the last week or two, and adding to the early '08 marvels that I already absorbed in the theaters, I've seen a rash of really great springtime releases: the exciting and partially animated documentary Chicago 10, the plush and perverse costumer The Duchess of Langeais, the vividly filmed and acted criss-crossy drama The Edge of Heaven, and the serenely observant and occasionally cheeky Still Life. (Boy has the Venice Film Festival been on a terrific run these last few years!) Assuming that my six A-range movies from the year are all safe for my Top Ten List (and I'm basically only awaiting In Bruges and Benjamin Button before I sally forth with that thing...), this means that the competition in my mind for those last four slots is suddenly quite tight among the seventeen movies I've tagged with a B+ in the last year of commercial releases.
So, while I'm only fitfully on the web for the next few week, and while I'm cogitating about my list and second-guessing my allegiances, can you do me a favor? Make a short, punchy FYC statement about why any one of these movies does or doesn't deserve to qualify for the Top Ten ahead of one or more of the others. Does A Christmas Tale or Rachel Getting Married do better by its lively family dysfunction? Does Milk or The Class strike a more interesting balance between its documentary and imaginative impulses? Has Yella's elliptical sense of dread lingered better in your mind than WALLE's measured sense of wonder? How about the afterlife of Burn After Reading's acrid comedy, or the muted, observational styles of Ballast and Flight of the Red Balloon? The dusty dreamworld of Alexandra, the nightmare chamber of Taxi to the Dark Side, the florid pop-up book of The Fall, or the rambunctious historical embellishments of Man on Wire or Chicago 10?
If you haven't seen one of these titles, rent it or buy a ticket, and file your impressions. I'm all ears, and nothing is a sure thing! I thought The Dark Knight was, but a second viewing bumped it down a notch. Alternatively, I've been known to decide that a "B" movie from earlier in the year has made a more potent impression on me than a whole flock of "B+"s, which is how Iraq in Fragments leapfrogged its way up at the last minute in 2006. Sosway me!
Labels: Movies 2008