As faithful readers know, I go all out with my year-end report – a list of my top 30 films, five favorite animated films, 10 favorite documentaries, the top 10 performances in each Oscar category as well as ensemble performances, and of course, a list of my most disappointing and worst films of the year. Most critics have already released their list, or will in the next week or so. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to wait a little longer.
I do an annual survey of critics’ top 10 lists and endeavor to see as many of the top 100 films of the year before I release my list (currently, I’m over 500 lists, and stop at 650). I have seen 84 of the top 100 films. The 16 films I have not seen fall into different categories. 1) Not released in my area at all (Neighboring Sounds, The Gatekeepers, Sister, Almayer’s Folly, Room 237, Two Years at Sea, The Day He Arrives, Detropia, Middle of Nowhere, In the Family, The House I Live In). 2) Films I missed when they were released (How to Survive a Plague, 5 Broken Cameras, ) 3) Foreign films not released in North America yet (Berberian Sound Studio) and 4) Films I have not had time to see, but are playing in Toronto (Not Fade Away). Sharp eyed readers will realize that is only 15 films. And there is a reason for that. While, I would love to see all 15 of these films, I’m not going to hold back my top 10 list and everything else for them, because if I did, I may never release it. Only two of those films were in the top 50 (How to Survive a Plague and Neighboring Sounds).
But there is one film I feel I must see before finalizing my top 10 list before I can release it. And it currently sits at number 1 on my survey – Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. The film will be released in Canada on January 11th, and I will see it then. Then I will decide where it belongs on my list – if at all – and then the following week, I will release my list. So don’t look for my list until the week of January 14th. That is when it will be in this space.