There is no film critic whose writing I enjoy more than Steven D. Greydanus, even though we sometimes have very different opinions of particular films. (There Will Be Blood, for instance, which didn’t mean much to him, but my head is still spinning with all that I enjoyed about the film).
When Greydanus gets passionate about a movie, that itself is an experience worth beholding. And when he shines the ultraviolet light on a beloved blockbuster to reveal its flaws and fractures, he leaves me speechless with his analysis.
So I always look forward to his year-end list. And here it is.
Steven called me many months ago, as he has on a few other occasions, breathless with joy over something he had just seen. I had only recently declared The New World my favorite film of 2006. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was shaken up. He declared, “I have just seen what is almost sure to be my #1 movie of 2007.” And then he told me about it.
Turns out he was right, not just for himself, but for me too. Into Great Silence topped both of our lists, and Nate Bell’s as well.
And in spite of a croweded schedule, I carved out time for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly because he went out of his way to impress its importance on me. (Sorry Barbara, but I was swept away by the beauty of that movie, story and all.)
Reading through the rest of his choices, we have a lot of mutual favorites. Greydanus may be the only other critic who I’ve seen include The Devil Came On Horseback in his Top Ten. Go rent it. Today.
And it looks like I have a couple more titles to bump up to higher priorities on my must-see list.
I especially like this line from his assessment of a favorite that shows up on both of our lists… Once: “Like a favorite song, it’s a film you would rather play for someone than try to describe.”