Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why I'm Not Writing a Best Films of 2010 List...yet

So, it's December 30th, one more day until the new year, which means that the nation as a whole is going to now spend the better part of January discussing 2010 and all of the good and bad things that happened this year. Because I am a critic, I always gravitate towards the top pop culture items of the year, whether they be films, books, albums, you name it. But, generally speaking, I will spend the majority of the time reading about the year's top films, which makes perfect sense.

But I am going to be honest with you: I love/hate compiling an annual list of top films.

Why, you may ask? Take it from someone who reviews films as a hobby but also with the intent of finding the best films of the year/finding films I genuinely love and respect. Films I give positive reviews for might not be up to snuff with the general public, which I don't care about, but believe me, a personal opinion can be quite dangerous. If I leave out film X, the fans of that movie will most likely kick and scream about how I neglected their precious movie. I do enjoy discovering that one film that everyone adored that I disliked, but when you find a fan of a film, they aren't going to sit easy knowing there are naysayers afoot.

But the main reason I refuse to produce a list of my favorite films of 2010 is simply because I have not seen all of the films on my must watch list, and I have a strong feeling that after viewing the five films I have left to review, my list will change drastically. Four of the five directors I have great respect for, even consider personal favorites. All five films have actors worth watching, and I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing that I'm ignoring their wonderful and well made films.

Now, we have our debate. If it's December 30th, and I haven't seen True Grit yet, should I even give it a spot on the best of 2010 list, or save it for next year? I'm going to say no, if only for the fact that the film came out this year. However, I know friends who would argue otherwise. I also am different in that I count films that did not receive very wide releases, another problem that remains controversial among film critics I know. Having thought long and hard about which film should take the title of Best of 2010, I weighed in the fact that very few people could have seen the film in question, and that it would be hard to count a film that was near impossible to find. Again, while friends of mine who review movies may disagree, I believe it is fair to include a film that was not widely released because it still had an audience and caused enough of a reaction in me to warrant a spot on the list.

So, here I am. Having just spat out random thoughts and ideas for five minutes, I believe that I have justified myself and can promise you an official best of 2010 list come Oscar season. If you know me, you probably already have an idea as to which films will occupy the top slots on the list. If not, well, you can expect a very different group of films from your average list.

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