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January 2, 2007

Top 10 of Top 10 Lists -- The Quiz

Guess whose praise was whose in 2006 -- win valuable prizes!

Considering how the book is closed on 2006 (Happy New Year, by the way), I would have liked to move on from the horror of the year's Top 10 lists as evinced here last week. But The Reeler's Top 10 of Top 10 Lists provoked kind of an outcry among some readers both here and elsewhere, so I thought we might lighten the mood a little bit with a game. Or, more accurately, a quiz: Below, I've featured 10 of 2006's most popular Top Ten list selections, followed by some of the more interchangeable hyperbole, non sequiturs, grandiosity, statements of the obvious and unimaginative prose and praise to emerge in support of last year's anointed classics.

Please understand these are neither personal criticisms nor necessarily philosophical disagreements; I'm only here to suggest that the Top 10 list is an intellectually bankrupt exercise that disrespects both cinema and the readers they purport to engage. There must be a better way to qualify our favorite films of any given year than to narrow ourselves to 15-20 titles and flog away (maybe a more general year in review? Maybe Top 10 underrated films? Think of the spectrum! The marketers will take care of The Queen, don't worry.), but until such a standard is adopted, I propose a little more scientific counterweight.

An answer key will be available here next week; e-mail your guesses to stv [at] thereeler.com. The top scorer will win a copy of Strunk and White's illustrated The Elements of Style signed by yours truly. Mighty bear-hug thanks to GreenCine Daily and Movie City News for their list-compiling diligence; I can't imagine even the most ardent list advocate would envy such yeoman's work. Not to mention that without them, you couldn't cheat.

Volver



Children of Men



Little Miss Sunshine



Babel



The Departed



Half Nelson



L'Enfant



Pan's Labyrinth



The Death of Mr. Lazarescu



A Prairie Home Companion



The Queen







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