Monday, January 15, 2007

2006 Top 10: Wish I could've seen 'em

We're already into the third week of 2007, which makes it a bit late to draft "Best of 2006" lists. But in the case of movies, I figure as long as I post something before the Golden Globes (even if it's mere hours away), I'm okay.

I'm hoping to post my ten favorite movies later today. But for now, there are a bunch of movies that I either missed on their way through town or haven't yet had the opportunity to see yet, and that's what I'd like to post first.

Scratched off the list are Children of Men, Perfume, and Rocky Balboa, which I fully intend to see this week. I don't think I have much chance with the others, however - unless Oscar nominations have an affect on distribution and re-releases. Fingers are crossed.

  • Little Children: This is the one that's killing me. I loved the book, and am climbing walls to see the movie. But the molasses-slow release schedule has kept it away from Ann Arbor thus far. I believe it showed in Birmingham, but I didn't make the drive, because I figured it'd be here in a couple of weeks. C'mon, Oscars - help me get my Kate Winslet fix! (Don't make me go see The Holiday.)

  • Pan's Labyrinth: I love the del Toro! I've loved every one of his movies (okay - except Mimic), so if this one is anywhere near as good as The Devil's Backbone - and the critics seem to think it is, if not better - then I need to see monsters terrorizing little girls. No one makes films like his.

  • Half Nelson: Crack-smoking inner city school teachers? Where's the popcorn? I've heard many good things about this one - and not just from Mis Hooz, who loves herself some Ryan Gosling. But I blinked, and it was gone.

  • The Last King of Scotland: I don't know how I missed this one. As soon as I saw the trailer, I planned on catching it as soon as it opened in town. All I've heard is how amazing Forest Whitaker is. Maybe I'll get another chance if/when he gets an Oscar nomination.

  • Shut Up and Sing!: I like the Dixie Chicks. Not enough to buy all their records, but I do like their music. And okay, it's possible that I find them fetching and have often fantasized about being trapped in a coat closet with them while buttered up with Crisco. But it really bugs me how they were blackballed by the country music radio industry and inexplicably framed as terrorist sympathizers, and I'd like to see what they went through.

  • The U.S. vs. John Lennon: Another one that I was dying to see as soon as I watched the trailer. And this is a no-brainer - if there's one person I'd ever say I "idolized," it might be John Lennon. How did I miss it? I don't know. But since I've read so much about the FBI's file on Lennon, maybe I subconsciously felt like I'd already seen it.

  • Fast Food Nation: The book still haunts me, though it (sadly) hasn't entirely kept me away from fast food joints in a hunger pinch. Maybe I need to read it again. Or maybe the movie can do the trick. And as I've said before, I think Richard Linklater might be the most interesting American filmmaker working today. I can't think of another who tackles such a variety of subjects. I thought this would be in theaters much longer than it was.

  • Infamous: While studying In Cold Blood at Iowa, I read about this film being developed. I can't recall if this one or the Philip Seymour Hoffman version was actually finished first, but we obviously know which one won the race to theaters. I loved Capote. To me, it was the best film of last year. I can't imagine Infamous is better. But I'd like to find out.

  • Flags of Our Fathers: You know how it goes - once in a while, a movie comes out that you want to see, and think maybe you should see it, but instead, you'd rather go see something a little more fun, like The Prestige or Borat. This sounds lame and superficial, but going to the theater to see a war movie seemed like kind of a drag. Why you harshin' my mellow, Clint Eastwood?

  • Letters from Iwo Jima: Even though I didn't see Flags of Our Fathers, I was always intrigued by the idea that Eastwood wanted to look at the Battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese side of the equation. Because that seemed a story I'd never been told before. I just admire Eastwood's desire to look more deeply into this event, and think it's a really bold and creative choice on his part.