Regrets and condolences on the passing of director Michael Apted, 79.

I know I’m expected to hail the long-running Up documentary series as Apted’s greatest achievement. It may well be, but my favorite Apted film has always been Coal Miner’s Daughter (’80). Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones are perfect in that biopic; ditto Levon Helm as Loretta Lynn‘s coal-miner daddy.

Apted’s hot streak was from the early ’70s to late ’80s, and the highlights were Stardust, Agatha, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Continental Divide (arguably John Belushi‘s best film), Gorky Park and Gorillas in the Mist (which I wouldn”t mind seeing again). I can’t remember a single, stand-out element from Apted’s Bond film, The World Is Not Enough (’99).