10. Not seeing every film released, or seeing films that failed to be released. I could give you the list of the best and worst of the 15 percent of the total films released that I saw last year, but what good would that be?
9. Most of the films were bad anyway.
8. These lists are more about showing filmic bona fides to your list-making colleagues than it is about providing a service (did your list match up with the critical elite, or were you more interested in showing how independently hip and sophisticated you are by not succumbing to the crass, mainstream, obvious contenders?)
7. Many of the films on a number of top 10 lists were obscure and not seen by many in that they weren’t hyped, were shown only for one week, appeared only at film festivals, or were so esoteric and arty that they did not attract the attention of moviegoers with too little disposable income.
6. Such lists inherently end up comparing the disparate animals from We Bought a Zoo (apples) to the antics of the Zookeeper (oranges). It gives me a Hangover Part II.
5. The lists allow for precious little variance and nuance. I may have really liked The Tree of Life but did not like some aspects of it (those dinosaurs!). Does that mean it should still be on my list? If so, where? How do you measure levels of imperfection?
4. This whole list-making thing has the flavor of Rotten Tomatoes.
3. These lists are essentially pointless, so I’m not going to do one and thus be like Marlon Brando, George C. Scott, and Woody Allen at Oscar time.
2. They can engender divisiveness:
“How in the hell could you not have Transformers: Dark of the Moon on your 10 best list, you pretentious snob?!”, or, “You had Melancholia as your number #2?! That’s an apropos placement! What, were you depressed or something?!”
And so on.
1. It’s just a movie! There are far more important and pressing issues that demand our time and attention. There are even lists being put together for the top 10 anticipated films of 2012! Hope you get to see some of them before the world purportedly ends. In that spirit, here’s a much more hopeful and appropriate top 10 list for 2012:
10. A contagion of bipartisanship breaks out among elected officials everywhere.
9. No one is riding a parochial war horse in the fight to find a location for the National Western Stock Show.
8. The ides of March reveal a republican presidential nominee.
7. The artist Clyfford Still’s museum continues to draw art patrons from around the world.
6. There’s no fiscal midnight in Paris and the euro crisis is solved.
5. No one continues to have melancholia over the redistricting and reapportionment battles.
4. The descendants of gay couples can enjoy civil unions.
3. It’s not a mission impossible in producing an Olympic petition for Denver.
2. No elected official experiences any shame for something he or she did or didn’t do.
1. A moneyball drops from the tree of life that helps resolve the Lobato case so that our schools have thorough and uniform funding.
Doug Young is The Statesman’s number one flim critic.