Got Milk? I’ll Take Vicky and Cristina in Barcelona! My Faves From ’08

It suddenly occurred to me just before I started grinding out my year-end summaries and 10-best lists that I have been engaged in this activity for a very long time. If my increasingly faulty memory is correct, this marks the 50th anniversary of my published 10-best lists, dating back to Jonas Mekas’ Movie Journal in The Village Voice sometime in 1958 or 1959 for the New York releases of 1958. Mr. Mekas kindly offered the hospitality of his column to a few of his colleagues, of whom I was one, even though I had no column of my own at that time. I have long since repudiated that list of mine, inasmuch as it reflected my pre-Bazinian, pre-Cahiers, pre-auteurist tastes of that period, in which I was becalmed in a sea of “social significance.”

As I recall, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo failed then to make my 1958 10-best list. Today, it ranks on my all-time 10-best list! But since I’m unlikely to live another 50 years, though I’ll never stop trying, the following 2008 lists will probably have to do for posterity.

So without further ado, here is my 2008 10-best list for English-language films.

1. Happy-Go-Lucky

2. Gran Torino

3. Frost/Nixon

4. Milk

5. Slumdog Millionaire

6. Vicky Cristina Barcelona

7. W

8. My Blueberry Nights

9. The Bank Job

10. The Visitor


The 10 best foreign-language films:

1. Ashes of Time Redux

2. A Secret

3. A Christmas Tale

4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

5. I’ve Loved You So Long

6. The Class

7. Tell No One

8. The Year My Parents Went on Vacation

9. A Girl Cut in Two

10. The Secrets


Got Milk? I’ll Take Vicky and Cristina in Barcelona! My Faves From ’08