New Year’s Day is fast approaching. Dinner and drinking parties are being prepared for, and people flocking the streets for a fresh new kiss will be underway in a matter of days. The year-end lists are flooding the internet and newspapers as well. The top 10 movies, videogames, songs, books, people, etc. are churned out from every major news organization faster than Usain Bolt runs the 100 meter dash. Even lists are made that predict the best movie or game that will be coming out the next year as well.
People love lists. They act as a guideline for people who don’t have the time to see everything that comes out in a year. It’s a quick list of the top things that people should devote their time to seeing, and criticism always comes with them.
I’m not going to make a list, but for me, “12 Years a Slave” was the best movie I’ve seen this year, and it’s better than all of the movies I saw last year. It is a gut wrenching, pull-no-punches film about slavery and it has the best performance of the year from Chiwetel Ejiofor playing Solomon Northup. Despite its horrible and realistic imagery of slavery, the cinematography was beautiful, the story was fantastic, and even everyone around Ejiofor were great. It is a movie to be seen by everyone for the most realistic portrayal of slavery. It’s a lesson in history that people in this country still need to be reminded of. The barbaric events actually happened, and that is what makes it harder to endure. I love the film, but I probably won’t see it again for a long time just because of the emotional journey it took me on. It was that powerful of a film.
Will the film win Best Picture at The Academy Awards? Probably not. It’s too dark of a picture and it doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, even though everything that went into was of better quality than the other films I’ve seen this year. But I digress.
The important thing about a list that people tend to forget is that it’s just one person’s opinion. It is not meant to be everyone’s opinion. On person makes the list and that’s all it is. There are too many people who have their own personal preferences and ideas that one list is not going to satisfy everyone. What I like is not going to be the same as everyone else. It’s just the simple truth. That’s why lists should be looked at as a guideline instead of a be all and end all document.