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Film Comment editor Gavin Smith is always kind enough to send me the ballot for the magazine’s annual “50 Best” rundown (actually, two rundowns — the “50 Best Released” and “Unreleased” Films of the Year), but as a reader of the magazine I’m always a bit intimidated by how much I don’t manage to see in a given year — especially this one, in which I spent about six months out of town, five of them in a arthouse-deprived place where Anchorman was my top viewing experience. So, I sit on the ballot rather than skew the results due to my foreign film slacking. And then, I look at the two lists online and realize, oh yeah, I saw that film… and that one too. Before Sunrise, Crimson Gold, Keane, Eternal Sunshine, Notre Musique, Tarnation, Distant, Hero, The Return, Primer, The Motorcycle Diaries, Old Boy, and Mondovino all would have made my lists, along with a few others — Greendale, Coffee and Cigarettes, and, yes, honestly, Anchorman — that the Film Comment crew didn’t go for.

Anyway, for a good critical survey of the past year, click on the link above.

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