Despite the dark, prevailing trends, I had a swell gig and found much to share. That included these movies which (just like a critic) I rank in sets.
Genuine pleasures were A Better Life, Bill Cunningham New York, Blue Like Jazz, Chico & Rita, The Double Hour, The Eagle, Elles, The Guard, The Help, Hugo, In Darkness, A Little Help, The Lincoln Lawyer, Mademoiselle Chambon, Margin Call,, The Mill and the Cross, Mother, Mysteries of Lisbon, Our Idiot Brother, Restless City, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Secret of Kells, A Separation, Somewhere, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, We Were Here, Wild Grass, Winter’s Bone.
Higher up the scale as favorites were Agora, The Artist, Buck, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Circo, The Deep Blue Sea, A Film Unfinished, The Ghost Writer, Inspector Bellamy, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Le Quattro Volte, Marwencol, Midnight in Paris, Monsieur Lazhar, Moonrise Kingdom, Of Gods and Men, Pina, The Secret in Their Eyes, Thunder Soul, The Tree, Vincere.
My most commercial pleasure, the Harry Potter series, topped its truly great “franchise.” For joy of ensemble performance and fact-based storytelling, my crowner was The King’s Speech. And my top favorite of them all in these 19 months was The Kid with a Bike, the lucid vision from the Dardenne brothers about a tough, scared boy in Belgium.
I had an excellent editor, Scott Ellis, also departing. Writing colleagues Matthew Lickona, John Rubio, and Scott Marks added much to the best movie mix in town. Marks and Lickona will carry on, in blog and print. Good luck to all, and to all a good movie.
Many people enjoyed my approach. Some hated it. Well, you can’t pop everyone’s corn. But then I never bought popcorn, and I didn’t play by the numbers.
— David Elliott