According to David Poland's end of year critics poll, this is Roger Ebert's top ten list for the year ....
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
5. The Kite Runner
6. Away from Her
7. Across the Universe
8. La Vie en Rose
9. The Great Debaters
10. Into the Wild
I love the guy. When others attack him, and I point out what a fantastic writer he is, how beautifully and effectively he merges high and low styles. But there are mothers hugging their children after reading this list. And, yes, there are films that I will have stuff on my own list that will be different. And, no, there is nothing on the list that just shouldn't be on a top ten list.
But there's a group of about six or seven films in there that, in a year of great filmmaking, should produce one or two members at most. The Kite Runner is a better film than Zodiac or There Will Be Blood? C'mon. And I've said enough about Juno so that I just don't want to pile on at this point. Sure, even if I personally think it's a pretty average indie comedy, it's a justifiable top 10 pick based on other's reactions. But the best film of the year?
I'm sorry, Roger, for singling you out. But if you're going to be America's critic, the most trusted critic in the country, you should expect higher scrutiny.