One of my first posts on this Blog was 20 films to see before year's end. Now that the festival season has come and gone and reviews for almost every film except Dreamgirls are out, at least in the trades, here's a revised "Top 20 to see" (in no order after #1).
1. The Departed. If you have not seen this film yet and you like films at all, go see it.
2. Dreamgirls. A ton of buzz and no one's caught a glimpse. That says something.
3. Flags of our Fathers. It opens next weekend. The trades loved it. Clint Eastwood + Paul Haggis.
4. Little Children. Kate Winslet shines according to everyone. A.O. Scott wrote a beautiful review.
5. The Last King of Scotland. Early buzz is that the Oscar is Forest Whitaker's for the taking.
6. Babel. The guys behind Amores Perros and 21 Grams. Stars Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt.
7. The Prestige. Latest from Momento & Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan.
8. The Good German. Steven Soderberg + George Clooney.
9. The Good Shepard. Robert DeNiro's directorial debut with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie.
10. Volver. Pedro Almodovar is back in the Oscar ring.
11. The Queen. Stephen Frears take on the days after the death of Princess Diana.
12. Venus. This Peter O'Toole flick has everyone wondering if this will be his year.
13. Notes on a Scandal. Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett in film written by Patrick Marber.
14. Bobby. Emilio Estevez's take on the day RFK was killed.
15. Sherrybaby. BSR IT Girl Maggie Gyllenhaal. It's out of left field, I know.
16. Running with Scissors. Lot's of praise for Annette Bening's performance.
17. Blood Diamond. This may be Leo's ticket to a nomination rather than The Departed.
18. Children of Men. Y Tu Mama Tambien director with Clive Owen and Julianne Moore.
19. Breaking and Entering. Anthony Minghella is back.
20. Catch a Fire. Philip Noyce's South African drama stars Derek Luke and Tim Robbins.
Films that have fallen off my radar screen: The Black Dahlia, All the King's Men, For Your Consideration, A Good Year, The History Boys, Bug and Fur.
Films that have come and gone that you should look for on DVD: Half Nelson, Hollywoodland, Little Miss Sunshine, A Prairie Home Companion, United 93, The Illusionist and World Trade Center.