Top Ten Preparation, Part III: Categories

Click the links for Part I and Part II.

Last time I discussed this topic, I had 17 possible candidates for the Top Ten. Instead of eliminating seven, however, I’ve added one: Atonement. Now there are 18!

The very concept of a list requires you to say that this film is better than that film. That’s reasonable if the pictures resemble each other. You can decide which comedy kept you laughing, which thriller scared you out of your skin, and which daring independent art film did something new and original that actually proved worth doing. But can you really say that Hot Fuzz was funnier than No End in Sight was informative and depressing?

Acknowledging this problem, I try to get a genre mix into my Top Ten. Without following hard and fast rules, I shoot for least two comedies, some documentaries, intimate and epic dramas, and one big, expensive special effects adventure–just to show I’m not totally stuck up.

So let’s see what we have here:

There are two special effects adventures on my list, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Stardust. I gave them s, but they were both kind of low s. I’m tempted to keep Stardust in the running because it’s a flop that should have been a hit, and the more Top Tens it gets in the better, but I guess I’m not tempted enough. So unless I Am Legend really impresses me, no Hollywood blockbusters this year. Two films (really movies) out.
Now here’s something interesting: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and No Country for Old Men. That’s two thriller/dramas, both serious and sad, about crime gone wrong. No Country is the better film technically–beautifully shot to create a hopeless and arid mood. But Before the Devil succeeds on a more important level: You can believe it’s happening to real, recognizable people. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is the better film, and No Country for Old Men gets dropped from the list.

I’m a sucker for historical epics, so it’s no surprise that I gave s to three of them: Golden Door, La Vie En Rose, and Atonement. I love all three, but I definitely prefer Golden Door. I’m not quite sure I’m ready to eliminate both La Vie En Rose, and Atonement, nor am I sure which I’d keep. I’ll have to think about that.

So here’s the current list:

  1. Venus
  2. Golden Door
  3. La Vie En Rose
  4. Adam’s Apples
  5. Hot Fuzz
  6. The Lives of Others
  7. Once
  8. Knocked Up
  9. Ratatouille
  10. Ten Canoes
  11. No End in Sight
  12. The Savages
  13. Lust, Caution
  14. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  15. Atonement

On to Part IV: Comedies