With the Academy Awards upon us, the Flipside examines whether the world's biggest platform for movie recognition might actually get it right this year, and avoid any, let's say, giant televised mishaps.
Josh Radnor may be trying to go to the classic actor/writer/director formula to break free from the character type he's become ensconced in by How I Met Your Mother, but Liberal Arts looks a lot like a product of Ted Mosby's imagination.
Charismatic up-and-coming actor Dan Byrd (Easy A, Cougar Town) brings a bit of grace and humor to the titular character in Norman, a tale of a depressed teenager who feigns stomach cancer while privately battling other demons.
Since I can’t bear to think about any of it for more than a minute without falling into a nostalgic regret-tinged swoon over what might have been, I’ll get to the point. I owe you that much (but not enough to actually tell you this in person, or on the phone).
Unlike previous years, where classics came crawling out of the celluloid woodwork with regular reckless abandon, 2008 was more calm… and considered. That's not to say that choosing 30 top titles was hard. The difficulty in placing them in some manner of rank order suggests the actual depth of quality involved.
Like the gladiators of old, 2008 resembles a battle of formidable acting gods, especially when looking over the 20 choices presented below. Indeed, if anything, choosing a winner requires more of a leap of faith than any amount of critical skill - they all were that good.
Like comedy or music, one's choice in cinematic pleasure can be very personal - and very peculiar. Take this tantalizing list of shameful indulgences. You can argue over their artistic value, but their individuals rewards definitely speak to those who champion them.
Tender and detailed, Thomas McCarthy's movie features beautiful performances, but is grounded in a fundamental difficulty, that Walter's education is achieved by his engagement with brown and black people.