Take a look at the MCN charts of top tens... here's their top 18 so far:
Army of Shadows, Babel, Borat, Casino Royale, Children of Men, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, The Departed, Dreamgirls, Flags of Our Fathers, Half Nelson, L’Enfant, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Children, Little Miss Sunshine, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Queen, United 93, VolverThe ones in bold are the only ones that match my top 18 and some of them just barely. (I chose the seemingly arbitrary number 18 because I still have several titles arguing about who gets placement at 19 and 20) I regret to inform that I did not see the three foreign films listed here apart from Volver. Usually, as you know, I am a big cheerleader o' the subtitles. I'm not sure what happened but in this one category I most certainly did have an off year.
As for Army of Shadows. I want to see it but I wouldn't put a 37 year-old movie on a current top ten list even if it were my favorite of the entire decade. I'd just adjust the top ten lists from older years. My rule on this is based on release patterns I've noticed in the past several years. It goes like this: you have a two year window to open in NYC... by about the two year mark obscure movies or foreign language films that haven't found a distributor rarely do and they end up on DVD. If you can't make it to a theater in the US's most cinema loving city in that 24 month span of time, you're not a current film. If we allow old movies seen for the first time to appear on everyone's lists and such I can only imagine where it leads: A solid but unsensational Clint Eastwood picture is discovered unreleased in some vault when I'm 98 and on my death bed I'll have to live with another round of misguided "Clint Eastwood is the greatest director who ever lived!" nonsense all over again. Argh! Just, no. An old film is an old film. Write about it --give it a bigger word count than your entire top ten combined, praise it to the skies, give it a "Movie Event of the Year" citation but a place on a current best of cinema list? It's not current.
All of this is a long and obnoxious way of saying that a difference of opinion is a good thing and groupthink a curse but when you can't quite drink the kool-aid you get lonely.
P.S. I apologize for my tardiness at delivering my actual top ten but I've got friends in town and people are more important than lists. Shocking but true.
Talk amongst yourselves: Where do you part from the critical consensus this year?