Two weeks ago, I settled myself into the airplane seat, fired up my laptop, and prepared to start working on my holiday Cinematical articles. With earphones masking the cabin's noises, I began to go through my work and whip up some words. A mere fifteen minutes in, I was slapped with the blue screen of death and watched my hard drive bite the big one. I can't, for the life of me, remember the list I came up with for my best movies of 2006. Perhaps that's a sign of quality, but I think it's more a sign of egg nog.

After a little wracking of the brain, I've come up with a list that I whipped up off the top of my head, old school style -- with a pad and paper. From The Top of My Head 2006 is a mixture of light laughs, disturbing realities and quirky strangeness coming mainly from 2006 releases, as well as a few TIFF picks that I couldn't bring myself to leave any personal year-end list. There's a little local flavor (local to the US at least), as well as some foreign gems. These are the first films that popped into my head, when I thought of great movies this year, and I would love to hear what 10 films to pop into yours.

In no particular order after the first:

1) The Proposition

Nick Cave's film about nineteenth-century Australia was an utter delight, mixed with haunting music and disturbing scenes. Being a bit allergic to western motifs, I was coaxed into watching the film, and I came out mesmerized. It's an impressive feat that Cave penned the script in three short weeks. Between his words and music and impressive performances from the likes of Danny Huston and Guy Pearce, the tale of familial bonds and the pressure of duty flowed like an oasis of water in the dust of the land Down Under. However, what truly makes the movie sing is its honest portrayal of the story without the need for picking sides and choosing heroes. Both the men of the law and the lawbreakers shine as more than just good or evil.

(More after the jump. ...)