A number of DC insiders — including Paul Begala, Katherine Kennedy, Margaret Carlson, Peter Fenn, George Vradenburg, Winston Lord, Strobe Talbott, Grover Norquist, Jim Moran, Dana Perino, Steve Clemons, and others — shared their thoughts on movies that “tickled their fancy” for the year in Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin’s Yeas & Neas column today in the DC Examiner.
My list was:
Steven Clemons, New America Foundation
“Milk,” “The Dark Knight,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “War Child.”
I also liked “Valkyrie” and “Iron Man” but not as much as those above.
“War Child” is not out yet on national distribution but the moving story of hip-hop artist Emanuel Jal who made it out of the bleakness of a conscripted child soldier in Africa is sweeping a lot of film awards out there and was directed by my friend Karim Chrobog and co-produced by my colleague Afshin Molavi.
But there are some DC outsiders (who nonetheless are mostly local and who allow me honorary membership) have their own best movie of the year contest.
Will Bower, now infamous for helping to launch PUMA (go research it on your own) in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss in the Democratic primary to Barack Obama, launched some years ago the Annual Willoughby Awards for best films of the year.
Bower has about three dozen diverse friends — from all walks — who go through a rigorous process of movie and performance selection. First, before the end of the year, nominators have to select “two best movies” and “two best performances”. No supporting and primary actors — no division for men and women — no distinction between comedies and musicals and documentaries and independents and major features.
Then they get a chance to redo their choices — which I just did — and resubmit by January 6. Then there is another round in a few weeks.
So, for fun, here are the Willoughby 2008 choices as they stand at this moment:
The Dark Knight
I’ve Loved You So Long
King Fu Panda
Colin Farrell (In Bruges)
Ralph Fiennes (The Duchess)
Frank Langhella (Frost/Nixon)
Heath Ledger (Dark Knight)
James McAvoy (Wanted)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long)
Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road)
I’m on a movie kick this week, and I know many other TWN readers are as well. Sometimes I do need a distraction from the economic and foreign policy morass that the US is in today.
I will be seeing “Doubt“, “Revolutionary Road“, and “Australia” this weekend with friends — and before closing, I should say that I have now seen “Bottle Shock” about six times this last month on long-distance United Airlines flights. Has anyone else seen it?
The more I had no movie choices on the flights other than “Bottle Shock“, the more I really liked it — and feel like I should have added it to my roster for the DC Examiner.
— Steve Clemons