This year, for the first (and last?) time ever, I was invited to take part in the 2012 Village Voice Film Poll, a survey of 85 critics about the best movies and performances and shit of the year. Hopefully I did not bring too much shame or dishonor upon the institution. My lowbrow tastes did not seem to affect the final tally too much, but it is funny to see that me and one other critic caused John Hyams to be tied with Ang Lee, Bela Tarr & Agnes Hranitzky, Jafar Panahi, Richard Linklater, Steven Spielberg and Ben Affleck for 6th place in the Best Director category.
I struggled with alot of my answers, especially in the actress categories, since I clearly haven’t seen enough movies with good roles for women. I mean, I love Rachel Weisz, but you guys know which movie called DEEP BLUE SEA I’ve seen, and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t in it. I’m kind of embarrassed of some of those votes. I feel pretty good about honoring Jessica Biel for THE TALL MAN, though, and definitely Salma Hayek for SAVAGES. I’m not taking that one back. One category where I thought I would agree with the consensus was Daniel Day Lewis for best actor (he played Lincoln), but he ended up #3. #1 went to Joaquin (Popeye), who was my second place vote.
I apologize to mankind for including PROMETHEUS on my list, but to me its great filmatism, memorable weirdness and all-time-classic medipod sequence overcame its dumbness to make it a great (two-time) filmgoing experience for me. It just seemed right at the time I was filling it out, all right? Cut me some slack, fellas.
And if it’s not obvious, I haven’t seen DJANGO UNCHAINED or ZERO DARK THIRTY yet. I will be surprised and disappointed if they don’t end up altering my list drastically. Also, since many or most of the movies that got tons of votes are completely off my radar, I should see some of those. HOLY MOTORS, the other ones like that, etc.
I didn’t have a vote for worst film. I went through release dates, compiled a list of everything I’d seen, and honestly there was nothing I saw that I truly hated. KILLING THEM SOFTLY might’ve made me the maddest, but partly because I loved most of it. (I gave it a couple votes in the supporting actor category too.) One of the few things I turned off without finishing was THE WATCH, but that’s why it wouldn’t be fair to vote for it. Maybe it got better.
Overall, the votes went much more arty and foreign than mine, which isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that two other people had DREDD in their top ten. Two other people also had THE RAID or HAYWIRE. I was the only one with THE TALL MAN, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING or SAVAGES. And I think even including other polls I’m probly the only person to have THE RAID and then LINCOLN at the top of a list. So… good for me?
You can see my list here. Sorry, other critics.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.