Every year, as December draws to a close and everyone charts their "Best-Of" inventories, I prefer rather to reflect on the mistakes I made throughout the year. After all, the good was good. It probably won't happen again anyway.
While there are many reasons to praise the $14 million six-day opening of The Debt, the most surprising thing about it is that Focus Features debuted the film wide enough to achieve that kind of opening in the first place.
The pacing and flow of the movie are very much musical in nature, and over and over again pieces of classical music surge into the foreground, or recede into the background, sometimes in harmony and at other times in contrast to the images.
I'm pretty religious and knew that "The Tree of Life" tackled what are sometimes ominously called "Big Questions" about religion. But I was unprepared for the power of the film, which is like living inside a prayer.
Eminently lyrical and rapturous in the cinematic manifold that it kaleidoscopically brings into and out of focus onscreen with each turn of the Terrence Malick lens, Tree of Life is one of those singular cinematic milestones.