Monday, November 29, 2010

The Top Tens Cometh. Will "The Social Network" Reign?

If you read In Contention and Awards Daily as I'm assuming a good hefty percentage of Film Experience readers, being Oscar obsessed, do, then you already know that The Social Network has landed its first major top ten list and #1 placement. Presumable many more will follow. It's that type of movie, both highbrow and mainstream enough to capture a good cross section of critical hosannas.

"One Top Ten list isn't cool. Do you know what's cool?Hundreds of  Top Ten lists."

Sight and Sound's Top 10
1. The Social Network (David Fincher)
2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
3. Another Year (Mike Leigh)
4. Carlos (Olivier Assayas)
5. The Arbor (Clio Barnard)
6. (TIE) Winter's Bone (Debra Granik) and I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino)
8. (TIE) The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Andrei Ujica), Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard), Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzman), Poetry  (Lee Chang-dong), and A Prophet (Jaques Audiard)

"Sight and Sound"'s 5 way tie at the end suggests that the magazine either didn't invite enough critics (85 were polled) or invited too many or didn't invite a enough critics from different schools of artistic temperament or critical thought. Exactly. I don't know what it means. Huh? A tie here or there is perfectably acceptable in group polling but a five way tie? That just feels unfinished -- why not a run-off poll?

If you're wondering where you've heard of The Arbor before, it was a favorite within the BIFA nominations... it's a hybrid of both documentary and narrative.) A Prophet's inclusion, it also made S&S's 2009 list, instantaneously recalls the discussion we were just having about confusing distribution patterns and eligibility requirements. If you make a list one year, shouldn't you be ineligible the following year?

The decidedly less cinephilia-inflicted National Board of Review announces their top ten on Thursday. Beyond Clint Eastwood's Hereafter which is a sure thing, and a combo of one or two WTF choices with  a few Oscar contenders, we can't know what to expect. Vegas oddsmakers have already released the odds for S&S crossover inclusion in NBR's lineup*.

  • The Social Network 5:2 
  • Film Socialisme 1,000,000:1
  • Winter's Bone 7:3
  • The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu 230,041,300:2
*not really.

12 comments:

Andreas said...

Seeing Winter's Bone and I Am Love tied makes me smile, since I saw them in a double feature, and they're a pair of absolutely brilliant, beautiful movies starring fantastic actresses (one old-timer, one newcomer).

However, I would put them a little higher... and definitely above The Social Network, with doesn't have nearly enough Tilda Swinton for my tastes.

NATHANIEL R said...

Andreas, good point. I hadn't thought of The Social Network's glaring flaw: no Tilda Swinton

Marsha Mason said...

Clint's awards star has been falling for years now. If Hereafter misses the NBR, maybe we can put a nail in this theory's coffin.

Bryan said...

The Social Network kind of reminds me of Avatar, simply because both movies were backed by critics, the media, and the public. Both of them were successful at straddling the line between "important, formally excellent, highbrow film" and "fun, easily-digestible popcorn flick".

Is there a Hurt Locker equivalent this year?

NATHANIEL R said...

@Marsha -- considering the NBR has given Clint 20% of their top ten list in two separate years and his past seven movies have been honored, and they've given him 4 trophies, I wouldn't expect it to miss... even considering the fade.

Marsha Mason said...

Can ole Marsha win a prize if Hereafter (48% on the tomatometer) doesn't place on NBR?

Alex in Movieland said...

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu ??? :)

they just can't help it to throw in some Romanian movie in there every year :P

haven't seen it, all I can say is that it's a documentary :P

NATHANIEL R said...

What prize would ole Marsha like?

Volvagia said...

Except EVERY KIND OF CRITIC is falling for The Social Network. The "art-critics", the kind of which Sight and Sound polls, weren't really falling for Avatar. This is comparable to the reaction to Brokeback Mountain. Right down to the approximately $180 million gross.

Marsha Mason said...

the prize:

MARSHA MASON DAY ON THE FILM EXPERIENCE!!!

Johannes said...

I dunno yet if its because the soundtrack is actually that fantastic or if its simply a case of me thinking Nine Inch Nails, whose sole constant member and creative force Trent Reznor, was the one who scored the movie, but one of the reasons I loved The Social Network was the amazing music. For those who agree, heres a real interesting 45 minute panel interview with Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (NIN's longtime producer and co-producer of Social score, again for those who didnt know) and ... I forgot the name of hte last dude, but its the sounddirector (think thats what he was) of the social network, where they discuss the making of the music for the movie, including the hiring of Trent and what the process of scoring a movie can be like for a musician.

http://trashaudio.com/2010/11/the-music-and-sound-design-of-the-social-network/

NATHANIEL R said...

Marsha -- you got it.