The Cinéaste's Progress from This List to That Which Is to Come (He Hopes)

Once upon a time, I used to play a coy, rather pointless game w/r/t my annual top ten list -- dramatically "unveiling" it sometime in January, as if most everybody who reads this site didn't already have a pretty good idea of what it was gonna look like. Instead, I now publicly revise the sucker as I go along, so that the whole affair becomes a suspenseful Journey Toward Aesthetic Nirvana. Or something.

Here, then, is what my list would look like if (god forbid) I were forced to make it today:

THE "PURE" LIST (2009 premiere)

01. Everyone Else (Maren Ade, Germany)
02. Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece)
03. Humpday (Lynn Shelton, USA)
04. Amer (Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, Belgium/France)
05. Duplicity (Tony Gilroy, USA)
06. Up (Pete Docter, USA)
07. Rapt (Lucas Belvaux, France/Belgium)
08. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, USA)
09. I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan, Canada)
10. In the Loop (Armando Iannucci, UK)

THE "POLLS" LIST (2009 commercial release)

01. Afterschool (Antonio Campos, USA)
02. Julia (Erick Zonca, France)
03. Home (Ursula Meier, Switzerland/France/Belgium)
04. Lorna's Silence (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy)
05. Humpday (Lynn Shelton, USA)
06. Revanche (Götz Spielmann, Austria)
07. Duplicity (Tony Gilroy, USA)
08. Sita Sings the Blues (Nina Paley, USA)
09. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Italy/Spain)
10. Up (Pete Docter, USA)