we movie to canada

Welcome to the first wmtc movie awards!

I'm going to rate the movies I have seen this Movie Season (late October to April), and while I'm at it, last Movie Season, too. Instead of a star rating (5 stars, 4 stars...), I'll assign each movie a Famous Canadian. 2007-08 will be rated by musicians; 2006-07 will be rated with comedians. My rating system is bound to get me in more trouble than my opinions on movies.

I'm very discriminating about what movies I see. I only see movies that I think will interest me, I never see movies just to see them or because they're popular or because I'm bored. So if the list is top-heavy, it's not because I'm an easy critic.

Also, I'm trying to rate each movie on its own terms. So if, say, "The Simpsons Movie" gets a higher rating than "The Journals of Knud Rasmussen", it's not that I think The Simpsons movie is a more important than the Inuit film. But the filmmakers behind those movies have totally different intentions and goals. How well did they succeed on their own terms? That's how I want to judge the results.

As always, there were dozens more movies I wanted to see, but I ran out of time - and occasionally Zip left me stranded. But we did see many on my top list, and many others, and now I'm happy Baseball Season is here.

[I'm not providing links to all these movies, but you can look them all up on IMDB, Zip or Netflix.]

2007-08 Movie Season

The Joni. This is five stars, the highest rating, the greatest excellence, the must-sees.

In the Valley of Elah
This is England
Away From Her
The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)
The Son (Le Fils)

The Band. These are very good movies that I highly recommend. They didn't rise quite to the level of a Joni, but four stars is pretty damn good.

Into The Wild
Michael Clayton
Hot Fuzz
The Simpsons Movie
Shaun of the Dead
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Notes on a Scandal

The Tragically Hip. Three stars. Not outstanding, but a very decent effort. Worth seeing.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (somewhere between The Hip and The Band)
The Hoax (same)
The History Boys (same)
Amazing Grace (now we're back to solid Hips)
Futurama: Bender's Big Score
Half Nelson
Shattered Glass
Silver City
Kinky Boots
Little Miss Sunshine
Lila Says
The Queen

The Lightfoot. Two stars, below average. These movies don't completely suck, but, like Gordon Lightfoot, they were wildly over-rated. Nothing special.

Year of the Dog (borderline Lightfoot/Hip)
The Darjeeling Limited
James Bond 21: Casino Royale
Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family
Paris, J'taime (worth seeing only for Paris)

The Celine. Hated it!

The Squid and the Whale
The Journals of Knud Rasmussen
Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing

2006-07 Movie Season

Kids In The Hall. My pinnacle of Canadian comedy.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
An Inconvenient Truth
Why We Fight

The Short. Honestly, it was a toss-up for who would be five stars and who would be four, The Short or The Kids. The man is hilarious, and tremendously talented. In the end, a four-star rating is nothing to sneeze at.

Keeping Mum
The U.S. vs. John Lennon
The Departed
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson
Inside Man
Owning Mahoney
Mysterious Skin
Nine Queens

The Catherine O'Hara. A solidly good movie. She's even in one of these.

City Of God (halfway to a Short)
Highway 61 (same)
Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine
For Your Consideration
Thank You for Smoking
Gaz Bar Blues
Whole New Thing
Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story
Seducing Doctor Lewis (La grande seduction)

The Rick Mercer. Why do so many people love this man? I'll never know. I didn't make him last place, because there is someone I like even less.

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
Hard Candy
Neil Young: Heart of Gold
How To Irritate People
Eight Below (and only because the dogs are so cute, other than that, it's even lower)

The Howie Mandel. Do us all a favour and go away!

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (which we only saw because I knew someone in it)

And Special Bonus Awards...

The Pierre Berton for the best historical movie:
Why We Fight
[Runner up: The Wind That Shakes The Barley]

The Tommy Douglas for the most inspiring:
An Inconvenient Truth

Rick Mercer gets his own award, for most over-rated:
[Runner up: Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing]

The Corner Gas for biggest surprise:
This Is England

The Neil Young "Living With War" Award for best intentions with a poor execution:
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
[Runner up: Redacted]


L-girl said...

Special thanks to Allan for being more creative than me.

redsock said...

Mercer > Mandel ????

We should judge these men as you judged the movies -- within their own context and on their own terms.

Mandel is simply an annoying idiot, but Mercer attempts to be intelligent and clever and funny. He is a complete and utter failure.

He's actually worse than that because you can tell that he truly believes he's being intelligent and clever and funny -- and he comes off as extraordinarily pleased (smug, even) with himself for how well he's done it.

L-girl said...

That was my one surprise for you.

You're right that Rick Mercer thinks he is clever and erudite but is full of shit. And the smug factor is out of control.

But I completely loathe Howie Mandel in a way that not even Rick Mercer sinks to. I may have laughed once or twice at something Mercer has said. Not so for Mr. Mandel.

Mandel is pretty smug, too. And he's just GROSS.

L-girl said...

And I used to watch St. Elsewhere, so my dislike of Mandel has the weight of history.

Lone Primate said...

The Howie Mandel. Do us all a favour and go away!

He did! He went to the States! :)

Amen. :D

L-girl said...

But you know how it goes, he's still Canadian! (Cross-reference your recent comment on an earlier thread...)

Wild English Rose said...

'The Queen' is one of those films whose interest/enjoyment is probably significantly enhanced if you were in some way part of the events.

Diana was killed in the summer between my leaving high school and going to university. It felt like almost the entire country had collectively lost the plot and nobody knew what was going to happen next. The film evokes this atmosphere really well and was very realistic.

L-girl said...

I can see that, but a movie has to be able to stand without that. If "you had to be there", then it's not really achieving its aims, I think. (I vividly recall all the events of that time, although I didn't live in England.)

The movie was all right. But I felt it was too much of an apologist for the royal family. And the Blair family was portrayed like cartoons.

L-girl said...

Also, the movie may have been spoiled for me by hype. Everyone I know loved it and praised it very highly... so my expectations were too high. I hate that!

Jere said...

I'm WAY more in touch with the '06-'07 you than the '07-'08 you for some reason.

Did you see my review of seeing Martin Short at a Q&A? Just going back to it now, I see I told people to look at some article, only I forgot to link it. And there are several comments, and no one said anything!!! I'll never find it now...

Ryan said...

Nuh uh. You didn't just bash Lightfoot. A pox on your house. You fail the test of citizenship. And the Tragically Hip rank higher than him!?



Nigel Patel said...

Loved Superbad.
But then, Seth Rogan can do little wrong in my eyes.

And I also like "Canadian Railway Trilogy".

L-girl said...

My rating system is bound to get me in more trouble than my opinions on movies.


Nuh uh. You didn't just bash Lightfoot. A pox on your house. You fail the test of citizenship. ...

Bingo. :)

And the Tragically Hip rank higher than him!?

Yeah, and I don't even like them!


One of my least favourite songs ever written. Ghastly.

redsock said...

You fail the test of citizenship.

Hey, if that's what it takes to become a citizen ... Swear an oath of loyalty to the Queen? Sure! But saying I like Lightfoot's music? ....

James said...

Nuh uh. You didn't just bash Lightfoot. A pox on your house.

BTW, on Saturday I attended the launch party for Nash the Slash's latest album, In-A-Gadda-Da-Nash, which features covers of Iron Butterfly (obviously), Pink Floyd, King Crimson, The Scorpions, and Gordon Lightfoot (The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald).

impudent strumpet said...

Howie Mandel is supposed to be a comedian????

I saw him on some talk show recently. It was like...have you ever had your parents try to give you advice about something that you know way more about than they do? And the advice they give you is not at all helpful and just a little bit...off? It was like he had received that kind of advice on how to be funny on a talk show, and followed it to the letter.

Sylvia said...

Nine Queens! That one ranks pretty high on my list of movies that more people in the English-speaking world should see. The director (as you may know) made one more feature, The Aura, before dying quite suddenly last year. The latter is also a crime movie of sorts, but in a different vein.

L-girl said...

Sylvia, thank you for reminding me to put The Aura on my list!

I heard Nine Queens was in the vein of House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner. We both *love* House of Games, and also like crime caper movies, so it seemed like a natural. It did not disappoint.