I saw 26 theatrical films in 2006 (29 if you count going back for seconds). Here’s how I stack them up.
- V for Vendetta (Only film I’ve seen in ages that had me feeling like I’d just witnessed a triumph.)
- The Prestige (A devilishly twisted mystery.)
- Pride and Prejudice (As with the two films listed above, one viewing wasn’t enough. A delight on every level.)
- Children of Men
- Mrs. Palfrey at the Clairmont
- Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
- A Prairie Home Companion
- Friends with Money
- The Illusionist
Others I enjoyed: Matchpoint, Scoop, An Inconvenient Truth, A Scanner Darkly, The Science of Sleep, The White Countess.
Films I didn’t see in 2006: The Devil Wears Prada, The Good German, The Good Shepherd, Bobby, Casino Royale, The Departed, The Fountain, Fur, Little Children, Little Miss Sunshine, Last King of Scotland, The Queen, Volver, Pan’s Labyrinth, Old Joy.
- United 93 (I went to see it on the strength of countless good reviews. What a dud.)
- Marie Antoinette (My expectations were too high. I wanted to love it, but only liked it. I enjoyed it, but other than the fact that it was filmed in the real Versailles, there’s not much “there there.” It has some nice moments but it never came alive, for me. At one point, I was defending it from the perspective that the Austrian Marie would have been as alien at Versailles as a punk princess from America — thus justifying the American accents and pop music — but this argument doesn’t hold much champagne.)
- The Black Dahlia (I might argue that Scarlett Johansson was the only one doing her job, but I’m not sure that’s true, though she’s … fun to watch. Bunch of wooden performances laminated onto a wooden script. No sparks.)