Monday, November 29, 2010

The Top Tens Cometh. Will "The Social Network" Reign?

If you read In Contention and Awards Daily as I'm assuming a good hefty percentage of Film Experience readers, being Oscar obsessed, do, then you already know that The Social Network has landed its first major top ten list and #1 placement. Presumable many more will follow. It's that type of movie, both highbrow and mainstream enough to capture a good cross section of critical hosannas.

"One Top Ten list isn't cool. Do you know what's cool?Hundreds of  Top Ten lists."

Sight and Sound's Top 10
1. The Social Network (David Fincher)
2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
3. Another Year (Mike Leigh)
4. Carlos (Olivier Assayas)
5. The Arbor (Clio Barnard)
6. (TIE) Winter's Bone (Debra Granik) and I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino)
8. (TIE) The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Andrei Ujica), Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard), Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzman), Poetry  (Lee Chang-dong), and A Prophet (Jaques Audiard)

"Sight and Sound"'s 5 way tie at the end suggests that the magazine either didn't invite enough critics (85 were polled) or invited too many or didn't invite a enough critics from different schools of artistic temperament or critical thought. Exactly. I don't know what it means. Huh? A tie here or there is perfectably acceptable in group polling but a five way tie? That just feels unfinished -- why not a run-off poll?

If you're wondering where you've heard of The Arbor before, it was a favorite within the BIFA nominations... it's a hybrid of both documentary and narrative.) A Prophet's inclusion, it also made S&S's 2009 list, instantaneously recalls the discussion we were just having about confusing distribution patterns and eligibility requirements. If you make a list one year, shouldn't you be ineligible the following year?

The decidedly less cinephilia-inflicted National Board of Review announces their top ten on Thursday. Beyond Clint Eastwood's Hereafter which is a sure thing, and a combo of one or two WTF choices with  a few Oscar contenders, we can't know what to expect. Vegas oddsmakers have already released the odds for S&S crossover inclusion in NBR's lineup*.

  • The Social Network 5:2 
  • Film Socialisme 1,000,000:1
  • Winter's Bone 7:3
  • The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu 230,041,300:2
*not really.

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