A day-late “welcome back!” to N.Y. Times Oscar columnist David Carr, a.k.a. “the Bagger.”

Carr has run a “comment of the day” from Kate who complains that little if anything in the way of late fall prestige movies have hit her local plex so far. HE’s reponse: Kate, the key to 21st Century moviegoing is to give up on the old lofty pedigree/ warm-emotional-bath feelings that award-level films have given you in the past. Forget about movies soothing your soul. You’re not going find deer and rabbits in the North Pole, and the state of things right now is probably about something other than what you’re looking to find right now.

David Lean is dead, Francis Coppola is in creative remission, James L. Brooks is apparently spent (or taking his time with the next thing, whatever that may be), Tom Hanks has became “Tom Hanks”…the empire is collapsing, we’re in the End of Days and you have to get your movie nutrition according to the terms and ingredients of the New Order.

On top of which there are many who feel that ’07 is one of the best movie years in a long time…since ’99 perhaps. Zodiac (have you seen it?) is a masterpiece. Control is close to that. No Country for Old Men is a landmark film. Have you seen Once? (I’m betting you haven’t.) Sidney Lumet‘s Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead is a Greek tragedy for the ages. Things We Lost in the Fire, The Assassin- ation of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Atonement, I’m Not There, In The Valley of Elah, Ratatouille…all stirring, all exceptional.