There is no more “Seattle Film Critics Awards,” and no formal body to put their stamp on the year in review as a group. But there are still many fine Seattle film critics and they like to make lists. I do too, but even more, I like to talk about movies, so I have an annual ritual where I invite a small group of colleagues (those who are both friends and film critics, and who like to engage in friendly but passionate debate) to offer their lists and their reasons. And then we debate the night away.
Here are the results of the Axman’s Tenth Annual Seattle Film Critics Top Ten Party, an unofficial, purely personal event that in no way stands in for the critical consensus of the Seattle Film Critics at large, merely those few critics that I prefer to spend a few hours arguing with. This year, those few included: Jim Emerson, Kathy Fennessy, Robert Horton (unable to attend but sent his list), Richard T. Jameson, Dave McCoy, Kathleen Murphy, Jeff Shannon, Tom Tangney, Andy Wright (unable to attend, sent his list), and me, Sean Axmaker.
What follows is the compilation list of films. There is no “weighting” of points (as in the Village Voice list), merely a simple hierarchy: a first place pick receives 10 points, a second place pick 9, and so on to a tenth place pick of 1 point. Ties are weighed accordingly, assigned two spots on the list and then the added points split between them. This has no official standing or bearing on anything. It’s just interesting to see the critical mass of this particular gathering. And the critical mass – in 9 of 10 lists – is weighted overwhelmingly toward…
2) (tie) There Will Be Blood (39 points, 5 lists, 1 “Best Film” pick)
– Zodiac (39 points, 6 lists)
4) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (27 points, 5 lists)
5) Away From Her (26 points, 4 lists, I “Best Film” pick)
6) Into the Wild (25 points, 4 lists)
7) Once (23 ½ points, 5 lists)
8.) I’m Not There (21 points, 3 lists)
9) Inland Empire (19 points, 3 lists)
10) Grindhouse (18 ½ points, 3 lists)
11) 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (17 points, 2 lists)
12) Margot at the Wedding (16 points, 3 lists)
No other films appeared on more than two lists. The top films that appeared on two lists follow:
Eastern Promises and Superbad (12 pts), 12:08 East of Bucharest (11 pts), Exiled (9 ½ pts), Breach, The King of Kong, Atonement (8 pts). The Wind that Shakes the Barley and Lust, Caution placed highly on a single list apiece for 8 pts.
The following lists are as presented and adjusted for ties – the list is 10, no more, no less, unless the person stacked multiple titles in the “10” spot and split the votes accordingly.