Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Some Thoughts on Top Ten Lists

I know top ten lists are a time honored critical tradition. Making out my top ten list is always one of the highlights of my year...something I look forward to for months. But this year's exercise in summing up the year's best with the arbitrary number of 10 just seemed hollow to me. For the first time, narrowing down the best to a numbered list seemed somehow...crass.

How can I narrow down to ten the best films I saw this year, then tack on 12 (I just couldn't do 10) honorable mentions - and I STILL didn't include films like For the Bible Tells Me So, Gone Baby Gone, 3:10 to Yuma, The Namesake, and God Grew Tired of Us. There are so many films this year that deserve to be on that list, but out of space and practicality they can't. And it bothers me. These are great films too! They deserve to be seen! They are just as good as many of the movies that did make the list. Yet some are there and some aren't. If I could do a top 30 then maybe I would be satisfied. But I can't, and a top 30 seems less prestigious and exclusive. 10 is a nice, concise number. Maybe I will do a top 30 here on my blog soon. Who knows? Maybe it will help ease my conscience.

1 comment:

Nick Plowman said...

I completely agree, and I couldnt even see all the good films before the 31st of December! Juno was my number one film, but would it still be number1 after I had seen all the other good films? Who knows. But I loved your top ten list, and all the honourable mentions ;)