From Owen Gleiberman‘s smackdown essay about Barack Obama‘s Best of 2018 roster (“What Barack Obama’s Year-End Movie List Reveals About Him“):
Excerpt #1: “I found it dispiriting — an example of caution masquerading as daring. The critically approved good taste that Obama displays in his list of favorite films is so impeccable that I kept combing through the list in search of a flaw in the diamond, a micro-glimmer of vulgarity or surprise, or just something a little offbeat, a dollop of idiosyncrasy that might tell us a bit more about who Barack Obama is, apart from someone with a platonically perfect record of movie fanship.”
Excerpt #2: “His taste in movies is so good that it’s too good for its own good.”
Excerpt #3: “It’s a bit strange to peruse Obama’s list for a glimpse of what’s inside his heart and mind, only to be confronted by the hive mind of the cinephile-industrial complex. Maybe that’s just who he is, but if you accept the list as Obama’s own, what it reveals about him is that he’s a man who instinctively focus groups his own taste to within an inch of its life.”
Excerpt #4: “Obama entitled his list ‘My favorite movies of 2018,’ but did he choose the movies he loved or did he get with the program? The most telling thing about his list is that there may be no difference.”
Posted on HE, 12.28.18: “Barack Obama‘s list of his favorite 2018 films reflect his sophisticated-cineaste sense of taste (he knows the turf) and eye for quality. It’s a list that Eric Kohn, Alison Willmore, Justin Chang or any scholastically correct, Sight and Sound-approved critic might have assembled.
“And yet I’m sensing that Obama chose these films very carefully, which is to say with a partial eye toward what the cool kidz on Twitter (i.e., the SJWs, the woke fascists) might say. Which is to say his list doesn’t seem entirely, real-deal honest.
“Obama’s list is partly ‘this is who I am’ and partly ‘these are the films that I know are the most critically approved and therefore the safest for me to include.'”