The Lumičre Reader’s film editors and contributors select the movies that mattered in 2008. Lists by TIM WONG, DAVID LEVINSON, ALEXANDER BISLEY, BRANNAVAN GNANALINGAM, JACOB POWELL, LYNDON BARROIS, ALISTAIR KWUN and STEVE GARDEN.


Tim Wong
Founding Editor, The Lumičre Reader

1. Silent Light* (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)
2. Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2007)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
4. No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)
5. My Winnipeg* (Guy Maddin, 2007)
6. The Mourning Forest** (aka The Forest of Mogari, Naomi Kawase, 2007)
7. Night and Day* (Hong Sang-soo, 2007)
8. La France* (Serge Bozon, 2007)
9. Lake Tahoe* (Fernando Eimbcke)
10. We Own the Night (James Gray, 2007)

Special Mentions: Speed Racer (Andy & Larry Wachowski); In the Valley of Elah (Paul Haggis, 2007) by virtue of the always-watchable Tommy Lee Jones, in the best performance of the year; Teeth (Mitchell Lichtenstein, 2007); 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Christian Mingiu, 2007); Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck, 2007); I Just Didn’t Do It* (Masayuki Suo, 2007); Longing* (Veleska Grisebach, 2006) ; Criterion re-issues of The Furies (Anthony Mann, 1950), Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Paul Schrader, 1985) and Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975) on DVD.

David Levinson
Senior Editor, The Lumičre Reader

1. WALL·E (Andrew Stanton)
2. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
3. In the City of Sylvia* (José Luis Guerin, 2007)
4. Redbelt** (David Mamet)
5. I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)
6. Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2007)
7. Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2007)
8. Ballast* (Lance Hammer)
9. The Secret of the Grain (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007)
10. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)

Alexander Bisley
Associate Editor, The Lumičre Reader (alexander.bisley@gmail.com)

1. A Christmas Tale** (Arnaud Desplechin)
It’s art like this that allows the world to tolerate the French! Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale is film of the year. Most elegant and penetrating, it audaciously explores life’s messy, grand unresolve. Catherine Deneuve’s matriach Junon’s cancer demands a dysfunctional French family, even Matthieu Amalric’s enfant terrible Henri, get together for Christmas’ ceremony. Jean-Paul Rousillon (patriarch Abel) and Emmanuelle Devos (Henri’s girlfriend Faunia) are similarly splendid.
Desplechin is a master, A Christmas Tale is a masterpiece, and fools like Jean-Luc Godard who pontificate about “the end of cinema” look pathetic.
Sadly, not helped by the closure of the Rialto, cinematic distribution gets increasingly conservative and limited in Wellington. Many fine films, and some wonders like A Christmas Tale, didn’t get a ‘08 Festival screening, let alone a general release. TVNZ continues to bizarrely delay and cock up the release of magisterial television like The Wire, The Sopranos and Curb. So thanks to the deities for DVD boxsets, a big, flat-screen TV and a decent flat.

2. No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)
The Coens dazzlingly, primally evoke the violent nihilism of our times. Javier Bardem is peerless.

3. Encounters at the End of the World* (Werner Herzog)
Herzog unleashes. Rarely is a grizzly, apocalyptic vision this poetic and oddly sublime.

» The Band’s Visit (Eran Kolirin, 2007)
Composed and framed with finesse, it has a beautiful feel for space and stillness. An Egyptian police band winds up in the wrong Israeli town. Deftly weighted, bittersweet and sky blue. Like the next nine, exceptionally good and too close to rank.

» Battle for Haditha** (Nick Broomfield, 2007)
Nick Broomfield rawly, rivetingly conveys both ground perspectives on this monumental fuck-up.

» Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Sidney Lumet, 2007)
Sidney Lumet owns the night, leaving the young pups in the dust, probing crime’s personal tragedy. Fiercely moral, inventively constructed; forceful, while allowing ruminative space.

» Burn After Reading (Joel & Ethan Coen)
Idiocracy hilariously satirised. “I’m from the legislative side”, “just lying there”, and other killer one-liners.

» Everything is Fine** (Yves Christian Fournier)
A sensitive, haunting, (Good) Van Santian elegy on youth suicide.

Forbidden Lie$ (Anna Broinowski, 2007)
This year’s An Inconvenient Truth. Systemic, pandemic flat earth news again exposed. Also, mad doc props to Respect Yourself: the Stax Story.

» I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)
The most imaginative, emotional, sensuous biopic of the year. Lucent yet enigmatic; sometimes exhilarating.

» The Kite Runner (Marc Forster, 2007)
Afghanisatan: vivid, literate, urgent.

» Vicky Christy Barcelona (Woody Allen)
What’s not to like? The Woodman’s still got it. Barcelona in summer. Passionate artists Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz spend quality time with the free-spirited Scarlett Johansson. Blazingly sensual escapism, ground in realism. Once again, Bardem and Scar Jo impress. Cruz, liberated from mediocre American movies, is an Almodovarian force of nature.

» Waltz with Bashir (Ali Folman)
Lebanon: cerebral, sophisticated, moving.

Turkeys:

» Gold—Sex and the City (Michael Patrick King)
Beyond the palin: life as an unrelenting, crass orgy of consumerism.

» Silver—RocknRolla (Guy Ritchie)
Shot and cut like an overlong, sleazy male fragrance ad. I like Thandie Newton as much as the next red-blooded hetero bloke, but tin-eared RocknRolla feels like it was written by David Brent; and is flaccid and tedious.

» Bronze—Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2007)
Woefully cast and muddled, the most disappointing second movie that springs to mind.

Brannavan Gnanalingam
Music Editor; Film Contributor, The Lumičre Reader

2008 has been a great for films in New Zealand. This year’s International Film Festival and World Cinema Showcase had an incredible programme (though the centrepiece was the mind-blowing Edward Yang retrospective), and even the blockbusters did their job – The Dark Knight and WALL·E justified their hype, and even films like Prince Caspian weren’t actually that bad. The Oscars in March gave Oscars to good films and the wide array of festival fare was as good as it’s been in the last decade. In fact, any of my top six films would have topped most of the other years of the previous decade and others (Silent Light, Up the Yangtze were as good as anything in the top ten).

1. Night and Day* (Hong Sang-Soo, 2007)
Hong Sang-soo’s tales of Korean ennui and angst takes a slight left-turn in Night and Day. Sure his men are sad-sackey as ever, and his females as masochistic and elusive, but his narrative shift to Paris and his array of characters probe even deeper into male/female relationships in this supposedly globalised and enlightened times. The film’s incredible, subtle ending forces you to re-evaluate the earlier behaviour – a bona fide masterpiece.

2. I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)
A biopic like no other, Todd Haynes demonstrates a sheer love of Dylan and his various incarnations. But it’s more than that – the film manages to transcend its legendary subject and say something profound and meaningful about the nature of celebrity, identity, and music. Sensory, exciting, revolutionary.

3. Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2007)
Hou Hsiao-hsien is the best director working in the world at the moment. That’s all that needs to be said.

4. No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)
One of maybe five Oscar Best Pictures to actually be any good (for the record: Unforgiven, Annie Hall, The Best Years of Our Lives, Rebecca – though I am partial to Casablanca and West Side Story) this is a dissonant and frightening masterpiece. A ridiculously dark film, the Coen Brothers manage to find a cinematic language to match the terse prose of Cormac McCarthy.

5. Hunger* (Steve McQueen)
The last six weeks in the life of Bobby Sands would make for a tough watch, and British director Steve McQueen has made one of the most formally incredible pieces of cinema of recent times. An immersive, gruelling piece of filmmaking (complete with an incredible performance by Michael Fassbender), Hunger leaves you wrung dry.

6. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Christian Mingiu, 2007)
Another brutal piece of filmmaking, 2007’s Palme d’Or winning film, might be the bleakest Eastern European film since A Short Film About Killing (though the Romanian masterpiece The Death of Mr. Lazarescu wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine). Free from moralising, the film simply shows a frustratingly idiotic woman seeking a back-road abortion and the toll it wreaks on her friend who tries to help.

7. The Duchess of Langeais* (aka Don’t Touch the Axe, Jacques Rivette, 2007)
A cruel and deceptively complex film, The Duchess of Langeais is a master at play. The brilliant acting (the late Guillaume Depardieu) carries this tale of deception, parlour games, and obsession, and Rivette’s immaculate imagery constantly shifts the terrain – maybe this will finally convince someone to release some of his ’70s experimental work for wider consumption.

8. Gomorrah* (Matteo Garrone)
There isn’t the remotest bit of excitement or sentimentality in this Mafia tale. Instead, Gomorrah is a dark, brooding tale of desperation – youth and old alike are drawn into organised crime out of boredom, bad luck, bravado – and inevitably get shat out. I didn’t like it when I first saw it (the lack of empathy and focus hard to get around) but it’s a film whose images have continued to haunt.

9. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
While not the masterpiece many critics were quick to announce in a fit of unusual fervour (formally, it was too conservative), but still so much better than what its detractors would claim (great acting, haunting cinematography), There Will Be Blood is a powerful and bravura piece of myth-making.

10. Lake Tahoe* (Fernando Eimbcke)
A wry, awkward tale of a guy who just wants to get his Mum’s car fixed but who’s left to his devices. A seemingly slight film (complete with some horrible reviews) this is actually a moving and poignant film that deals with loss and friendship.

Jacob Powell
Auckland Film Contributor, The Lumičre Reader

1. Let the Right One In* (Tomas Alfredson)
With the vampire aspect of this film somewhat sidelined by the budding-adolescent-romance/solidarity-amongst-loners plotline, this could easily have turned into an uninteresting film, but for the constant underlying tension, (restrained) downright creepiness, and stunning visual tone which makes this my pick of the year. Twilight this is not. Having subsequently read the English translation of Lindqvist’s haunting Swedish novel I am even more impressed by Alfredson’s cinematic interpretation.

2. A Gentle Breeze in the Village* (Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2007)
Director Nobuhiro Yamashita subverts the idealised romance of popular schoolgirl manga producing an acutely observed adolescent drama with some of the best cinematography to be seen this year – outstanding. Plus it’s a Japanese film that’s not dark and disturbing!

3. Somers Town* (Shane Meadows)
Shane Meadows is adept at capturing the realities of the English working class and the fleeting innocence & emotional instability of male adolescence alike. Somers Town is his most optimistic and charming film to date.

4. Dear Zachary* (Kurt Kuenne)
An emotionally wrenching and unpredictable cinematic ‘letter’ to the son of the documentary’s deceased subject and a memorial from the director who was his childhood friend. Be ready to shed some tears...

5. Waltz with Bashir (Ali Folman)
A sublimely animated docu-drama about filmmaker Ari Folman’s journey to find his lost memories of life lived during Israel’s ill-fated war with Lebanon in the early ’80s. Harrowing, prescient, and poetic.

6. Standard Operating Procedure* (Errol Morris)
Compelling viewing as always, Morris does not so much focus on the overarching war on terror but on the specific details of the Abu Ghraib photos – the context in which they were taken, what was going on outside the frame and the like. His obsessive eye for minor detail draws the inherent interest out of his subjects providing a veritable feast for his viewers.

7. Rain of the Children (Vincent Ward)
Vincent Ward’s moving docudrama is more personal than I had expected; a story pieced together as an attempt to find some sense of resolution more for himself than for the subjects. Beautifully put together, this is a haunting reminder of the past which echoes loudly in the wake of more recent events.

8. Lady in a Cage* (Walter Grauman, 1964)
An oldie and, as it turns out, a goodie. 48-year-old Olivia de Havilland comes face to face with a wild 24-year-old old James Caan – in his first starring cinema role – and the sparks fly. Chaotic, intense, philosophical; I’m surprised this film made it out of a studio in the early 60s. Thanks go to Ant Timpson for the chance to catch this in all its big screen glory.

9. The King of Kong (Seth Gordon, 2007)
This may be a doctored, feel-good geekumentary, but how good does it make you feel! Sporting a classic Rocky-esque plot trajectory, subjects who helpfully caricature themselves without any prompting, and more concentrated geekness than you would find in the average online RPG forum – you can’t go wrong.

10. Timecrimes* (Nacho Vigalondo, 2007)
Trippy surrealist Spanish time travel headspin from Nacho Vigalondo displaying both a healthy knowledge of, and disregard for its genre trappings. Fresh, fanciful and fucked up.

Honourable Mentions:

» The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
All angst and moral uncertainty, The Dark Knight is a fine follow-up to Batman Begins – even if some of the terrorism parallels are a bit heavy handed. I’m not sure about all the talk of posthumous Oscaring but if I didn’t already know that it was him playing the Joker I’m not sure that I would have recognised Heath Ledger. There’s no denying Nolan’s revitalisation of Batman cinema but I’m not sure where else they can go with it and keep it fresh; I hope the key players know how to quit while they’re ahead.

» Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Tim Burton, 2007)
Burton and co. at their stylised-gothic best. This evokes (to me) Edward Scissorhands – 20 years on with plenty of bitterness thrown in, and Burton has always been keen on a singalong!

» Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Sidney Lumet, 2007)
Taut and assured, Sidney Lumet proves that, although old dogs may not learn new tricks, the old ones can still impress. With Hoffman and Hawke in fine form, it didn’t matter that Albert Finney looked occasionally as confused as his character. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who was surprised to Marisa Tomei peaking well past expectations.

Land of Average:

» Night Bus* (Davide Marengo, 2007)
Wow. Misstep after misstep in this Italian romantic-comedy-thriller?! Playing like a made for TV feature this leapt dutifully through a mishmash of genre hoops but failed to find its own angle on its threadbare plot idea.

» Love in the Time of Cholera (Mike Newell, 2007)
God it doesn’t come much more awful than this! What should have been a reasonable cast was hamstrung by a heavy, cheese-laden screenplay leading to more wooden moments than you’d get in a cabinet-maker’s workshop. Add to this seriously misguided set and makeup departments and this movie played more like an OTT stage production than a piece of cinema.

» Cassandra’s Dream* (Woody Allen, 2007)
Following a similar trajectory as his previous Match Point, Cassandra’s Dream is a serious misstep. This was actually painful to watch due, primarily, to the awfully wooden and heavy handed treatment that Allen penned. The casting was also uniformly bad. Getting a Scotsman and an Irishman to play Londoner brothers was always going to be a risk, but when they come off sounding like your friends do when they’re ‘putting on an accent’ you know you’ve made a major mistake. Perhaps Allen’s American ear couldn’t hear the difference but I’m sure the entire cast could. No wonder I didn’t see this run in theatres here; simply embarrassing.

Lyndon Barrois
Illustrator, The Lumičre Reader

1. Lake Tahoe (Fernando Eimbcke)
I saw lots and lots of film this year, but this was definitely the one that made me want to make one of my own. Not because I think I can do it, but I was just so damn inspired. As one of the Spanish language films that stole the show at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festivals, Fernando Eimbcke presents a beautifully minimalist and focused piece of work. Quirky characters, careful visual composition, intimate relationships and clever revelations. Put the DVD on your wishlist.

» Redbelt** (David Mamet)
Classic Mamet; cerebral without pretension, main character has a lot of talent and the world on his shoulders. “There’s always an escape.”

» Timecrimes* (Nacho Vigalondo, 2007)
Everything I wanted it to be: creepy, hilarious, and awesome.

» The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
Incredibly original portrayal of an existing character. I truly forgot I was watching a comic book movie.

» Frozen River (Courtney Hunt, 2007)
A film that’s so much more that it seems.

» Let the Right One In* (Tomas Alfredson)
Extremely clever film that doesn’t even address its genre. Sorry Twilight.

» Son of Rambow (Garth Jennings, 2007)
Fun film about film. A riotous cultural throwback.

» Burn After Reading (Joel & Ethan Coen)
These fools did it again...

» The Fall** (Tarsem Singh, 2006)
I think the most lush, imaginative and multicultural film I saw this year.

» Honorable Mention—Nerdcore Rising (Negin Farsad, Kim Gatewood)
A good look into a sensible evolution of Hip Hop from up-and-coming filmmakers.

Alistair Kwun
Marketing/Communications Advisor, The Lumičre Reader

I didn’t see as many films as I would have liked this year. 2008’s viewing was marked by individuals in search of truth, identity and vengeance. My Top Ten Films of 2008 (well eleven actually – I had to include Jumper after my recent travels):

» Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster)
» Three Monkeys* (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
» Silent Light* (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)
» Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck, 2007)
» Boy A* (John Crowley, 2007)
» Ashes of Time Redux* (Wong Kai-wai, 1994/2008)
» Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2007)
» RocknRolla (Guy Ritchie)
» Munyurangabo* (Lee Isaac Chung, 2007)
» Body of Lies (Ridley Scott)
» Jumper (Doug Liman)

Steve Garden
Film Contributor, The Lumičre Reader

In no particular order, these were the films that graced my cinematic table this year.

Firstly, the Edward Yang retrospective (the heart of this year’s New Zealand International Film Festivals) was without doubt the cinematic event of the year, as essential as the Bresson, Eustache and Pialat programmes of recent times. Sadly, the miserable turnout may have ensured that future retrospectives are likely to be much more general.

» Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2007)
» The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorrise, 1951)
» La Premičre nuit (Georges Franju, 1958 – from a much copied VHS tape)
In Hou’s previous film, Café Lumičre (2003), there is a scene in which the central protagonists unknowingly pass each other on different trains. This understated moment recalls a similarly poetic sequence in Franju’s little known gem in which two 12-year-old children, each travelling on different trains, silently regard each other from their respective carriages (mere feet apart) until the railway tracks eventually (inevitably) veer off and the two are separated – perhaps forever. Flight is every bit as graceful and poetic, drawing on the weightless wonder of the Lamorrise original to create one of the most life-affirming (and art-affirming!) cinematic masterworks of the year.

» Flandres (Bruno Dumont, 2006)
This powerful work from another of the great contemporary masters of world cinema hasn’t had the attention it deserves. Neither, for that matter, did the film that preceded it, the under-appreciated and widely vilified Twentynine Palms (2003) – a generally misunderstood film, even by those who champion it. The ending of Palms isn’t as brutal as people tend to think, but the lead-up to it is so intense that the Hitchcock-like shot of a hand-wielding a knife is deeply disturbing, even though it is (in actual fact) less visually gratuitous than virtually anything in Psycho (1960), Deliverance (1972) or Taxi Driver (1975) – three of a number of films Dumont pointedly references in order to frame his argument. Flandres is much more confrontational in graphic terms, but considerably less Psycho-logical. It’s the fourth instalment in Dumont’s series of philosophically searching examinations of the disfigured soul of the human animal.

» 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Christian Mingiu, 2007)
The only other film I saw at this year’s World Cinema Showcase (although I eventually caught up with Julian Schnabel’s overrated [though not without interest] The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007), is another potent offering from the ‘Romanian New Wave’.

» Longing* (Veleska Grisebach, 2006)
This film was not only the standout of the selection of Berlin School films screened by the Film Society earlier in the year, but one of the best films I saw in 2008. Grisebach is a filmmaker well worth keeping an eye on.

» Night and Day* (Hong Sang-soo, 2007)
Another of Hong’s deliciously subtle and deeply satisfying films, proving (as if there was any doubt) that he is not only one of Korea’s great filmmakers, but one of the best in world cinema. Hong’s wit and intelligence makes up for the bombast and heavy-handedness that tends to dominate Korean cinema. Lee Chang-dong’s none-too-subtle Secret Sunshine (2007) is a case in point.

» In the City of Sylvia* (José Luis Guerin, 2007)
This fine film reminded me of Bresson’s little seen (and underappreciated) Four Nights of a Dreamer (1974), which (like Sylvia) is a paean to youthful (unsullied, and perhaps necessarily naďve?) faith in beauty, purity, honesty, sincerity, love, hope and the impulse to create art. Easy to dismiss given its superficial attractiveness, there is more to this movie than meets the eye.

» Silent Light* (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)
Cinema, cinema, cinema – like him or loathe him, Reygadas’ films are (first and foremost) love letters to cinema. His films just keep getting better, and I suspect (hope) they will continue to do so. Along with Hou’s Flight of the Red Balloon, his was one of the most exhilarating films of the year.

» No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)
» There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
These were the two strongest American films on commercial release I saw this year, but both were eclipsed by Lance Hammer’s understated first feature, the remarkable Ballast*.

» The Duchess of Langeais* (aka Don’t Touch the Axe, Jacques Rivette, 2007)
Like the best wine from Bordeaux, this is deep and satisfying stuff, complex, earthy, with rich dark notes and a long lingering finish. Cheers.

» The Sky, The Earth, and the Rain (José Luis Torres Leiva, 2007)
One of the surprise standouts of the festival, this excellent film is the work of a new auteur from Chile. If you have a taste for cinematic minimalism, this is a deliciously subtle dish.

Other strong and/or rewarding films in this year’s festival included: Alexandra* (Alexandr Sokurov, 2007); The Elephant and the Sea* (Woo Ming Jin, 2007); Lorna’s Silence* (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2007); The Man From London* (Bela Tarr, 2007, a film that requires more than one viewing, it has to be said); Christopher Columbus: The Enigma* (Manoel de Oliveira, 2007); Hunger* (Steve McQueen); Eat, For This is My Body* (Michelange Quay, 2007); Three Monkeys* (Ceylan); Blockade* (2005) and Revue* (Sergei Lozintsa); Taxi to the Dark Side* (Alex Gibney, 2007); No End in Sight* (Charles Ferguson, 2007); The Banishment* (Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2007); I Just Didn’t Do It* (Masayuki Suo, 2007); Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame* (Hana Makhmalbaf, 2007); Lake Tahoe (Fernando Eimbcke); The Romance of Astrea and Celadon* (Eric Rohmer, 2007); Dear Zachary* (Kurt Kuenne); and finally (but by no means least) Jia Zhang-ke’s delicately observed Useless* (2007). I intend catching up with Waltz with Bashir (Ali Folman) soon.

Final Acknowledgements:

Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck, 2007): another adaptation of a Dennis Lehane story notable for what it has to say more than how well it says it (although Affleck obviously has potential as a director). As with 2003’s Mystic River, Gone is an allegory about the apparent ease with which tacit acquiescence is given to specious notions that support expedient (if not downright criminal) actions designed to further the imperialist ambitions of the powerful. Alas, most of the discussion around the film concentrated on the policier narrative tropes and the relative merits of the filmmaking (direction, acting, music, etc).

On DVD I had the pleasure of revisiting Dreyer’s sublime Vampyr (1931) and Orson Welles’ fabulous The Trial (1963). From cine-literate friends came a few unmarked discs with surprises on them, including: In Public (2001), Jia Zhang-ke’s short (semi?) documentary made prior to Unknown Pleasures (2002); an excellent Sharunas Bartas short film from 1990 called In Memory of the Day Passed By; and Sohrab Shahid Saless’ Still Life, an extraordinary Iranian film from 1974 that surely must have influenced Abbas Kiarostami.

While my cinematic table wasn’t exactly full this year (most of the pleasure coming from the gluttonous mid-year banquet), nearly everything I tasted left a satisfying aftertaste. Julie Delpy’s indigestible 2 Days in Paris (2007) and Joe Wright’s flavourless Atonement (2007) were the only two I really couldn’t swallow. I’m sure if got out more it might have been worse.