Normally, the best picture of the year is very apparent to me, as it has been for the past eight years of my cinematic cognizance. I knew it was love at first sight when I saw Junebug last year. Same thing with Million Dollar Baby the year before. This year: Not so much. Granted, I had some great theatrical experiences. But no film lodged itself in my heart. Pity pity.
But there are still 10 good films I'm going to rank. They'll each get a post, and we'll go from 10 to 1, to keep the suspense building. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Never has there been a year when I've been so out of step with mainstream criticism. I thought The Queen was a Pinter-esque comedy (that is to say: a wild misfire). Everyone else thought it was totally rad. But even the trailer makes me crack up. "A leader in crisis," intones the deep-voiced narrator as we're shown a shot of Helen Mirren in her jammies in bed reading the newspaper. Crisis! Are they kidding?
In addition, Bobby made me weep and everyone else groan. I thought Apocalypto, for all its insanity, was a visionary technical achievement. Everyone else called it pornography.
Before we start, a point of order. I saw about 80 movies that were released in 2006. Almost 250 remain unseen by me, including these notables: Blood Diamond, Cars, Catch a Fire, Come Early Morning, Days of Glory, The Dead Girl, Deliver Us from Evil, Factory Girl, Breaking & Entering, Fast Food Nation, Firewall (just kidding!), The Good German, Iraq in Fragments, Kinky Boots, Man Push Cart, Old Joy, The Pursuit of Happyness, Shut Up & Sing and Sweet Land.