If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!

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My Top 20 Films of the Decade: v. 0.0


Talking to a friend of mine the other day, we found ourselves musing over what the best films of the decade were. He had his own ideas, and I had at least three which immediately came to mind, which led me to say, off-handedly, that I should compile a list of the decade’s best at some future point. But the idea stuck with me, as ideas do, and I soon began drawing up a longlist from which a more definitive list could be derived.

Of course, I say “more definitive” and not “definitive.” There are still films I haven’t seen, films I need to see again, films I may have ranked too low – or too high – for reasons that had nothing to do with them and everything to do with me, or films which I dropped from the longlist, itself an imperfect document, for questionable reasons.

Hence I call this list the “Version 0.0” of this list – there may well be, in a year’s time, an “0.1” or “0.5” before, sometime in 2020, I make a serious attempt at a definitive list. But I hope that this embryonic effort is not wholly off-base; I hope that, even if you don’t consider these the very best films of the decade, you can understand why I am putting them forth as some combination of the decade’s best and most definitive films.

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2016 Rising, Actus Tertius: Reflections

It’s time to close the door on 2015. Past time, even. But I wanted to round off this awards season, as patchy as my coverage of it may have been, with a poll (seen above), some statistical fun, and some reflection on my awards past.

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Wrapping Up the 88th Academy Awards

Spotlight team meeting

Everyday people, simply doing their jobs…and winning the big one to boot.

I don’t even know where to begin with this night.

Actually, I do.

Can we all agree the hosting was on fucking point tonight? Chris Rock has been one of my favorite stand-ups for a long while, and damned if he wasn’t firing on all cylinders, tackling the thorny issue of #OscarsSoWhite without ever becoming preachy. I won’t say there weren’t some lulls–I don’t know if Jared Leto entirely knew where he was–and the omission of Abe Vigoda from the In Memoriam segment was pretty inexcusable; also, much as I enjoy Zoolander, I really wish they’d used The Man Who Fell to Earth for Bowie’s clip.

Those issues aside, this was one of the better telecasts I’ve seen in quite some time. It felt like a certain layer of bullshit had been stripped away, and if it ultimately became a showcase for Hollywood liberalism, I’d honestly rather see that than another pointless montage or asinine skit.

But there’s also the awards to consider. And my God, did we have some upsets. It was a precedent massacre out there, and I’ll just do my best to note all of the breaches.

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My 5th Annual Film Awards: Your Winners, My Winners, and My Rankings for Each Category

It’s time.

I was going to have a survey here, but I’ll save that for Monday.

A quick thanks to all of you who voted and all of you who got the vote out. The turn-out this year was lower than last year’s, but I must attribute some of that to my getting the polls up so late. I’ll see if I can’t do better next year.

Click that button to see our results.

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My 5th Annual Film Awards: The Nominees

On the left, a film which made $150 million in the U.S. alone and which nearly everyone has heard of. On the right, a film which made about $110,000 in the U.S., and which comparatively few have heard of (and fewer have seen). But they're both up for my Best Picture award.

On the left, a film which made $150 million in the U.S. alone and which nearly everyone has heard of. On the right, a film which made about $110,000 in the U.S., and which comparatively few have heard of (and fewer have seen). But they’re both up for my Best Picture award.

And so it begins.

Apologies for not illustrating this post as elaborately as I might have, but it’s been a busy weekend.

In fact, because of time pressures, I’ve decided the open voting will actually commence tomorrow–President’s Day. An appropriate day for voting, no? (A neat rationalization of my own procrastination…no?)


  • Anomalisa
  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • Creed
  • Ex Machina
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Inside Out
  • The Look of Silence
  • Love & Mercy
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Mr. Holmes
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Son of Saul
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tangerine

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My Top 20 and Bottom 10 Films of 2015

Ex Machina Caleb and Nathan.jpg

The man on the left is in four films in my top 20. He was in two of my Best Picture nominees last year. The man on the right is in two films in my top 20, and was one of my Best Actor nominees last year. Both of the films featuring the man on the right also feature the man on the left. In this film, they share the screen constantly and compromise 2/3 of the principal cast. In the other film, they never share the screen at all. (Source)

A couple of caveats before I begin.

First, I still haven’t seen all the films of 2015 I wanted to see. That happens. The films I see from here on out will be spoken of in due time, and I’ll publish a full ranking of all the year’s films once I announce the results of my awards. So I have two weeks to augment this list, and I kind of hope I don’t have to augment it too much. Because it works fairly well.

Secondly, let me contradict that last sentence just a tad. This is a solid list, but compared to the last three years, it’s pretty weak. My #1 is the best new film since I began the blog. My worst film is the worst. But my #2 would’ve been #6 at best last year, and my #10 would have been in the lower teens. And my #20 would’ve been about #34. For a long time, this looked like it would end up as one of the weakest years in recent memory.

But the best of the year is the best of the year, and the worst is the worst, and that’s what we’re here to celebrate. So let’s get to it.

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The Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards

Mad Max vs the world poster

It sure is.

Well, my heart was pounding for a minute there.

And now that the dust is settling, there’s a strange set of nominees to sift through. Because they didn’t quite do what I expected. And in a couple of cases…they did what no one expected.

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