Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in The Other GuysRunners-Up to the 10 Favorites: Exit Through the Gift Shop, Fair Game, Get Him to the Greek, The Ghost Writer, I Am Love, Inception, The Other Guys, Restrepo, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Waiting for "Superman."

Runners-Up to Those Runners-Up: Babies, Brooklyn's Finest, Despicable Me, Going the Distance, Hot Tub Time Machine, The Karate Kid, The King's Speech, Megamind, Please Give, The Town.

And Since it Was Such a Good Year ... : Cyrus, Easy A, For Colored Girls, Iron Man 2, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Ramona & Beezus, Salt, Tangled, Unstoppable, Youth in Revolt.

Best Actress winner Sandra BullockAll told, I thought this year's Academy Awards telecast was awfully satisfying, and I'm not saying that because I predicted 18 out of 24 categories correctly.

Yup. 18 out of 24.

Tying my personal best.

And three of my incorrect guesses were in the short-film categories, where no one knows what the hell is going on.

But I digress.

Jeremy Renner in The Hurt LockerOkay, yes, we've been trying this for years. But this time, I think I've finally figured out how you can score 24 out of 24 in your office's annual Academy Awards pool.

Granted, I was in Illinois when I watched this morning's announcement of the 82nd Annual Academy Award nominees. But I'm still reasonably sure that, as Anne Hathaway finished reading the list of 10 Best Picture nominees, I could hear Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science President Sid Ganis sigh with relief - along with the Academy's Board of Governors, Oscar-telecast producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic, and everyone at ABC.

Jeremy Renner in The Hurt LockerA Best Picture slate for the Oscars with twice as many titles as usual? A female front-runner for the Best Director trophy? Not one, not two, but three science-fiction films potentially up for the big prize? What the hell is going on this year?!?

We'll know more when the nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards are revealed on Tuesday, February 2. In the meantime, there's no harm -- although there is the possibility of an eventual loss of dignity -- in my making a few predictions... .

After telling friends and family members that, for 2010's first issue of the Reader, I'd be compiling a list of my 100 favorite movies from the last 10 years and ranking them in preferential order, a few of them asked me, "So how do you do that?"

Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in Inglourious BasterdsAs one calendar year ends and another begins, it feels like a good time to give thanks. And amidst the lame romantic comedies and thrill-less thrillers and unending stream of remakes, sequels, and - in the case of Rob Zombie's Halloween II - even the remake of a sequel, there was actually quite a lot that I was thankful for in the movie year of 2009.

Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsRunners-Up to the 10 Favorites: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, District 9, Duplicity, The Hangover, The Informant!, 9 - the animated one, Paranormal Activity, The Princess & the Frog, Public Enemies, Star Trek.

Runners-Up to Those Runners-Up: The Cove, An Education, Good Hair, He's Just Not That Into You, Humpday, Julie & Julia, Michael Jackson's This is It, Taking Woodstock, Up, Zombieland.

The first thing to say about this list is that because of my nature, my favorite 100 movies from 2000 through 2009 are culled from viewing that would under no definition be considered comprehensive.

How little do I see? Of 45 Best Picture nominees so far this decade, I've taken in 31. So I've missed nearly a third, including winners Gladiator and Million Dollar Baby. (The other nominees I've so far skipped: Atonement, The Aviator, Chocolat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Finding Neverland, Frost/Nixon, Gangs of New York, Juno, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Reader, and Seabiscuit. For something drawn from broader experience, look at Mike Schulz's list.)

It is certainly possible that some of these movies, if seen, would be on this list. Based on what I know about myself and these movies, though, there's a far greater likelihood that bypassing them was a sound choice. That's a sign of a less-than-fully-open mind, certainly, but it's also a matter of priorities: Do I think this movie would reward my time investment as much as [a different movie, sleeping, Wii, etc.]?

My 100 favorite movies of the decade follow, with links going to essays written for CultureSnob.net. After that are discussions about five filmmakers with multiple movies on this list.

The Top 10

Memento1. Memento
2. Pan's Labyrinth
3. Requiem for a Dream
4. Oldboy
5. The Royal Tenenbaums
6. No Country for Old Men
7. The Mothman Prophecies
8. Mulholland Drive
9. Donnie Darko (original theatrical version)
10. The Descent (international version)

image from Grand Canyon Adventure"I think in this country, and particularly for those of us living on a huge river, we take water completely for granted," says Kathryn Allen, chief organizer for the Quad Cities' annual Environmental Film Festival. "We turn on the tap, and it's always there, and it's always drinkable. We don't think about it."

Yet when it came time to schedule features for this year's festival, Allen states that she and fellow event planners were hard-pressed to not think about it.