No Awards Here… Nope!
The So-Called Experts Weigh In
What does it mean to publish a list of the “Year’s Best Movies”?
First off, you’ve got the whole problem of defining “Best.” Does it mean “the most entertaining”? The “most artistically rewarding”? The “most politically correct,” depending on your relgio-political persuasion? Are you after simply the “most popular”? (That’s an easy one. Just look at boxoffice results.) Christianity Today Movies has come up with a unique solution to the dilemma by publishing three lists: the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Most Reedeming Films list, and the Readers’ Choice Awards. It’s like a definitions smorgasbord, and everyone gets served.
Some magazines appeal to their in-house Big Name experts to offer up authoritative lists. Some journals derive their lists by compiling votes from their contributors—much like the approach used at CT Movies. I will soon be casting my own votes with the Faith and Film Critics Circle, which uses a weighted vote-casting system to come up with composite scores and resulting rankings.
And that leads to the second problem: Who’s doing the voting? What qualifies someone to make such assessments? Why does it seem that the same seven or eight films keep coming up roses in every category of nominations? Do affinity groups really have that narrow a range of tastes? The Oscars would certainly suggest that they do.
Here are some considerations that I posted over at Arts and Faith:
So out of 611 releases, I am reasonably familiar with 294—less than half of the films released during the year. And I’m reasonably well informed, by critical standards. This is why I’m reluctant to offer an opinion about which were the “best” films of the year. All I can really talk about with much assurance is which films were the best (by various standards of measure) of the films I actually saw.
Bottom line: take it all with a grain of salt…
So without further ado, here are selections from several of our staffers. I think you’ll see that the very subjective criteria used to derive these lists represent a wide variety of thinking. And every one of these films (except Once!) has been reviewed at PtP. Search away!
Jeff Walls’ Top Ten
Mike Smith’s Top Eleven (?!?)
Greg Wright’s “Ten Films I Liked the Best”
Greg Wright’s “Ten ‘Best Films’ That I Saw”
Greg Wright’s “Most Underrated Films of 2007”
Greg Wright’s “Most Overrated Films of 2007”
Jennie Spohr’s “Favorites”