I was having lunch with a friend yesterday when the topic of my favorite movies of 2008 came up. She had read my Top 10 list in this week’s CityBeat and complained about the fact that I presented them in alphabetical order instead of ranking them from 1 to 10.
I tried to explain my reasons for doing so — something pretentious about how ranking art devalues it and the fact that the order could change based on my mood on any given day — but she wasn’t hearing it.
“That’s a cop-out,” she said before going on to make fun of a few typos in this week’s issue.
“Hey, gimme a break,” I said, lamely. "I was still dazed from way too much Italian food (the Gargano family Christmas dinner is anchored by our world-famous homemade ravioli) and enough red wine to floor Charles Bukowski."
“OK, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that you didn’t include Synecdoche, New York on your list,” she said. “And where was Happy-Go-Lucky?”
For what it’s worth, both of her suggestions would have made my next 10. As for my Top 10, here is the way I would rank them if forced, as I was yesterday, by a chopstick-wielding woman in a restaurant booth. Of course, the order could change by tomorrow.
1. Wendy and Lucy
2. Man on Wire
3. A Christmas Tale
4. My Winnipeg
5. Momma’s Man
8. Bigger, Stronger, Faster
9. The Wrestler
Curiously (and justly from my view), Wendy and Lucy also topped Film Comment magazine’s annual critic’s poll, followed closely by Flight of the Red Balloon, A Christmas Tale, Happy-Go-Lucky and WALL-E.
Indiewire, which compiled a critic’s poll for the second consecutive year, has Flight of the Red Balloon in the top spot, followed by A Christmas Tale, WALL-E, Wendy and Lucy and Happy-Go-Lucky.
Agree? Disagree? Let’s see your lists.