Once again, I feel that I am at an impasse.
I am reminded of my struggle with Meryl Madness, wherein I had to negotiate determining the best Meryl performance and not the best Meryl overall film. I have one film to represent each woman, but the competition is ultimately about who is the best director.
If there was an overall algorithm for best film percentage (based on a system I completely made up because THIS IS MY BRACKET AND I FUCKING CAN), Mira Nair would win:
Babbit had a perfect movie.
A PERFECT MOVIE, Y'ALL! Do you know how rarely that happens? Let me give you a quick rundown of some of Sarah's All Time Favorite Perfect Films:
Have I scared you away yet, now that you know my taste is probably out-dated and trashy and not as cool as yours? Unclear.
Surely you can see a common thread, however: unique aesthetics, iconic female characters, an epic plot about otherwise "mundane" people, and just a dash of sci-fi-, fantasy, whimsy, or satire (and while we're here, dope scores/soundtracks). They are dark and humorous, riding that razor-blade edge between hitting too close to home and scratching right around the itch. These are movies that I could watch over and over and over again, and always find something new and exciting.
In the article You Give Out Too Many Stars, Roger Ebert defended his take on film criticism by saying:
I am inclined to agree. And although this is somewhat of a digression, I am now compelled to share another one of my favorite Ebert quotes, because it so aptly sums up my position on film criticism:
"I like movies too much. I walk into the theater not in an adversarial attitude, but with hope and optimism (except for some movies, of course). I know that to get a movie made is a small miracle, that the reputations, careers and finances of the participants are on the line, and that hardly anybody sets out to make a bad movie. I do not feel comfortable posing as impossible to please. Film lovers attend different movies for different reasons, all of them valid."
You'll notice a lot of my Perfect Films were actually made on fairly small budgets. I work as a freelancer on a lot of smaller projects, so it's hard for me not to see the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into these indie darlings. My heart beats twice as strong for directors like Babbit AND Nair (particularly on their earlier projects), who had to really fight to make these films.
And the winner is...
This was not an easy choice to make. Both of these women have such strong and unique voices. ...But only one of them made A Perfect Movie.