The Difference Between "My Favorite" and "The Best"

We recently recorded our Top 10 of 2011 episode for the /Filmcast (you can read my top 10 here). As the episode wound down, I made some (admittedly) objectionable remarks about why I didn't feel The Artist should deserve Best Picture this year. The Artist is a lovely, beautiful film that proves you don't need sound effects or dialogue to make an effective film. But is it really the crowning achievement of cinema for the year 2011, as the potential Best Picture designation implies? (Incidentally, The Artist just this evening picked up the Critics Choice Award for Best Picture of the year).

After the episode, Matt Singer wrote me an e-mail in which he asked the following:

So [The Artist is] beautiful and moving by your admission, but Academy voters are only going to vote for it because it's nostalgic and old fashioned? Dave your #1 movie of the year is WAR HORSE, one of the few recent movies as nostalgic and old-fashioned as THE ARTIST. What's the difference?

I had a chance to attempt to answer Matt's question in a lively AIM chat today. Here it is, slightly edited for length:

David Chen: so matt
David Chen: i've been thinking a lot about your e-mail
David Chen: it's been vexing me
Matt Singer: which one
David Chen: your e-mail about THE ARTIST
David Chen: and me giving the academy crap about it
David Chen: I mean
David Chen: I actually think I have a point
Matt Singer: Ah yes
Matt Singer: OK
David Chen: Namely that we're just a few guys dicking around on a podcast
David Chen: and listing our faves of the year
David Chen: whereas the Academy should theoretically have higher aims in mind.
David Chen: IDEALLY.
Matt Singer: Here's my point
Matt Singer: Each person voting on the Oscars
Matt Singer: Is doing exactly the same thing you're doing
Matt Singer: Listing their favorite movies of the year.
Matt Singer: You are saying if you got an Academy ballot, you would vote completely differently than you did on /Film?
David Chen: I do get your point
David Chen: but don't you think that, in theory, the Academy should be more than just a "I like this movie best" competition?
David Chen: that it should have higher ideals in mind?
David Chen: that it should be better than it is?
Matt Singer: And what should those ideals be?
Matt Singer: How do we determine what movie is the best?
Matt Singer: If not by picking the one that means the most to us personally?
David Chen: This goes to the difference between "Your favorite movies of 2011"
David Chen: and "The best movies of 2011"
David Chen: most people think that these should be distinct.
David Chen: but they can't identify why.
David Chen: That question is what I was kind of getting at with my comments on THE ARTIST
Matt Singer: I think the difference between "favorite" and "best" is frankly bullshit
Matt Singer: No one has ever explained the difference to my satisfaction
David Chen: I'm probably pretty close to agreeing with you.
David Chen: That being siad, do you agree with me that People (capital P) feel that there is a difference?
Matt Singer: Some People do.
Matt Singer: But I think those People are wrong.
Matt Singer: I still don't know how to find the objective best movie.
Matt Singer: I didn't particularly like WAR HORSE.
Matt Singer: It made you cry like a baby.
Matt Singer: Hence it was your favorite movie of the year.
Matt Singer: Which is a perfectly valid reason to love it!
Matt Singer: I imagine a lot of people feel the same about THE ARTIST.
David Chen: I guess I see your point.
David Chen: I will try to clarify this on the next episode.
Matt Singer: If you had an Oscar ballot
Matt Singer: I would want you to do exactly the same as you did on your show.
David Chen: Should Best Picture really be "What People Liked Most This Year"?
David Chen: I think those are different in some way
Matt Singer: What bugs is when people vote on the Academy Awards based on feeling what they "should" vote for.
Matt Singer: If people pick THE ARTIST because they feel like they "should" -- that's ridiculous.  If they vote for it because they genuinely were moved by it, then they should absolutely do it.
Matt Singer: If it's not "What People Liked Most" then what is it?
Matt Singer: "What Moved the Medium Forward The Most?"  That's impossible to measure a month afterwards
Matt Singer: I've heard someone make this argument, but I don't remember who:
Matt Singer: that basically the only way to do the academy awards "right" is to vote on them like 50 years later
Matt Singer: With the benefit of hindsight
Matt Singer: And that could be interesting, but that's a totally different thing anyway.
David Chen: Maybe not even "What moved the medium forward the most"
David Chen: maybe "An exemplar of the potential of cinema today"
Matt Singer: And can you give me an example from 2011 that you believe merits that title?
David Chen: Hugo?
Matt Singer: HUGO, a movie that is barely about its own main character.
Matt Singer: HUGO a movie that is largely a compilation of quotes to other movies that were more influential and important
Matt Singer: HUGO a movie in which French people talk with British accents.
David Chen: lol
David Chen: ouch
Matt Singer: AND I SAY ALL THESE THINGS AS A FAN OF THE MOVIE.
Matt Singer: I LOVED HUGO.
Matt Singer: But as an exemplar of the potential of cinema?  I dunno.
Matt Singer: I guess you could maybe argue that the Oscars should be about "timeliness," like they should feel more contemporary or more relevant to contemporary issues than THE ARTIST does...
Matt Singer: But then you're getting into the whole issue of what the point of film is, whether it's there to entertain or to enlighten, and whether one is more important than the other.
Matt Singer: And it also suggests that there's one thing that makes a movie important or contemporary.
Matt Singer: I think TAKE SHELTER's mighty contemporary and relevant.
Matt Singer: Another person might think that's bullshit -- and maybe that could make an argument for THE ARTIST's relevance 
Matt Singer: And I think an argument like that could be made
Matt Singer: i.e. THE ARTIST is about sticking to your independent voice in an age when the mass media thinks you're crazy
Matt Singer: Which brings us back to the inherent subjectivity of it all
Matt Singer: See this is why I shouldn't be online, cause then I just wind up rambling to you for hours on end
Matt Singer: I think I officially rambled davechesky off IM

***

So is there a difference between "your favorite" and "the best?" Can there be an "objective" best, by any conceivable measure? Or is it always just going to be what Academy members happen to kind of be into that year?

44 comments :: The Difference Between "My Favorite" and "The Best"

  1. I'm with Matt. Art can't be judged objectively. You're putting too much stock into silly awards, Dave! It's just a popularity contest among a select group of old people.

  2. In a way I agree with both of you. In theory the Academy SHOULD be rewarding the movies it feels are the best and not just the most likable. For example THE HANGOVER was one of my favorite films of 2009. I wouldn't call it one of the best, not because it's a comedy, but because as a complete story it wasn't as impressive to me as let's say, Inglorious Basterds.

    While the subtext of that favors Dave's argument, I reject the notion of an objective best or better movie. The degree to which a film succeeds or fails according to any number of objective criteria from cinematography to storytelling and dialogue are all ultimately based on the subjective prejudices of the viewer. Part of the reason the Oscars frustrate me so, is because of the notion that there is an objective best, and so we have THE KING'S SPEECH, which (subjectively to me) was, a fine movie, but not as good as either BLACK SWAN or THE SOCIAL NETWORK being rewarded because it felt more like an Oscar movie.

    While I'm sure I have the answer, I just wanted to say thank you. Conversations like this enrich the discourse so that we all benefit.

  3. I love this conversation. I think Matt Singer makes valid points, but I don't think that the difference between "favorite" and "best" is all together bullshit. I think there is an objective difference and we've seen examples of it when it comes to voting at the Oscars.

    Take 1976 for example, ROCKY beat ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and TAXI DRIVER for Best Picture. Some people may scream that that's the way it should have been, but I think most people looking back will agree that "Rocky" was not the "best" film of that year. It was simply the "favorite" film of that year.

    Matt is arguing that it's all subjective, which I actually do agree with, but he basically asks what the point of film is, whether it's there to entertain or to enlighten. When it comes to the Oscars, the point is to do both and well, but in the grand scheme, enlightening is always more important when it comes to the Oscars, having films be a beacon in the dark and not just a reason to sell popcorn on a Friday night.

    And that's the difference! If your movie sold the most popcorn on a Friday and Saturday night, then boffo, yours is the "favorite." If your movie got people to think or was the most artistic or was the most true to life, the most empathetic, then that is the "best."

    All that being said, there's never just one best picture in any one year.

  4. Choosing the right Best Picture winner should be like former Justice Potter Stewart's take on pornography. That is to say, more pornography should win Best Picture.

  5. I bet if we polled 100 random people, more of them would pick ROCKY than ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN or TAXI DRIVER. ROCKY has held up pretty well against the test of time, too. People still watch ROCKY, and all five of its sequels, on basic cable constantly. It might not have been my pick for the best film of 1976, but it's not a ludicrous choice.

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  7. I would say there is a difference between the best a "my favorite", and we can see that difference when we talk about guilty pleasures (we like them, but we know they are, from an objective point of view, not good movies!). The same apply when we talk about if a movie is rewatchable or not:very often I think a movie is really good, but I dont need the urge to watch it again, while other movies maybe not so good are much more rewatchables (best vs favorite). For example I think Inglorious Basterds and Pulp Fiction are better movies than Kill Bill, but Kill Bill is my favorite!

  8. Amani-

    In 25 years, we may look back at THE HANGOVER as a more timeless and more influential film than INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. Hell, I might like THE HANGOVER more than INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS right now -- and I'm not just saying it to be a contrarian. Again, subjective.

    The problem is, as Marlon said, the Oscars only awards one film the Best Picture of the Year, which bestows upon in this imprimatur of greatness. As if ROCKY was the "winner" and TAXI DRIVER was the "loser." Maybe in some ways it was. I dunno.

  9. The only difference between 'Favorite' and 'Best' is how many flaws you're willing to overlook, and how guilty your pleasure is.

  10. What a fantastic conversation between you and Matt Singer. Personally, I think I weigh much more to Matt's side though. Quality is at the eye of the beholder, and I don't think there's a way to make a unanimous "Best" Picture. Yeah, the Academy has much more stock than most other outlets but, when it comes down to it, their decision making is no different then yours.

    And my question to you Dave, is this: If not The Artist, then what? Honestly, it's been a pretty mediocre year for Oscar bait prestige pics. Especially compared to last year, where honestly all 10 of the films could have won and I'd still be happy.

  11. Laurequillo-

    I am curious. If KILL BILL is your favorite, what makes INGLORIOUS BASTERDS or PULP FICTION "better?"

  12. I think those are better movies, but I have a soft spot for Kill Bill... Of course
    I see your point and this is not the first time I have this conversation, but in my head, I still see the difference between objective quality and personal preferences. In the case of War Horse, which is not good in my opinion, David Chen really enjoyed it (maybe too much) even knowing that it was designed to make you cry, even knowing that it is not so good. So I would say that movie was his favorite but not the best

  13. Laurequillo-

    Maybe PULP FICTION and BASTERDS are more complicated narratively (then again, maybe they're not) but that doesn't make them "better" movies. If you love KILL BILL, own it man (or woman)!

    On a tangential topic, yes WAR HORSE was designed to make you cry. And KILL BILL was designed to excite you, and THE HANGOVER was designed to make you laugh. Just trying to make you cry does not a bad movie make. E.T. was designed to make me cry -- and when I watch it I cry like a baby. WAR HORSE was designed to make me cry -- and it didn't. That's the problem I had with it. But the intent doesn't bother me in the slightest.

  14. War Horse is a bad example of this in my opinion. War Horse is a fantastically made film, at least technically. People don't like the film because they think it's bad, they don't like it because the particular method of drama didn't work for them. War Horse is just the same filmmaking wise (i.e cinematography, direction, writing) as The Artist is, but what aspect makes War Horse a worse movie? (objectively speaking, of course)

    But then again, this all goes back to what makes a film "good" in the first place. Which is why I think it's impossible to be objective about this sort of thing.

  15. Matt Singer-
    Dont you have guilty pleasures? And do you think those are good movies? In my case I like Mr and Ms Smith, and I know it is not good. And what about the crowd pleasers? This year we had Warrior which I liked but I can see how it was designed (not much subtlelty there), and I consider it as not a really good movie, even when I enjoyed it

  16. Why feel guilty about enjoy something? As Chief Wiggum once said, "If it feels good, do it." (Please don't snap my undergarments at this point. Thank you.)

    I've had enough guilt thrust upon me in other aspects of my life to no longer feel guilty about movies. I used to say GYMKATA was a guilty pleasure. Now I just celebrate it as one of my all-time favorite movies, because that's what it is. Was it made with the skill and craft of some other quote-unquote "better" movies? Certainly not. But it has given me far, far more pleasure than almost all those quote-unquote "better" movies. So what counts? Skill or satisfaction?

    Some very erudite critics with exceptional taste -- including Dennis Lim, the former film editor of the Village Voice -- love MR. AND MRS. SMITH. So maybe that's a better movie than you're giving it credit for (or maybe not -- I'm not the biggest fan myself ;) ).

  17. Of course as Matthew wrote, the problem is to define what is a good movie. Maybe we should just talk about what we like and not about what is good (maybe it is arrogant to thnik that what we like it is what is good, even when all of us do the same!)
    Matt Singer-
    Of course if somebody ask me about my favorite movie I will yell "Kill Bill" in a William Wallace-ish way, but I am still not comfortable saying that is the best Tarantino movie...but tobe honest I am not sure yet about where I stand in this topic...

  18. Strictly speaking, if I was trying to figure out the "best" movie of the year, I would have to ask someone with a deep and extensive knowledge in film. Someone who has seen an incredible amount of movies and knows a lot about the art form. Now to my mind, that person right now would be David Bordwell. But if I ask Bordwell what he thinks are the best movies of the year, it will still be his opinion because, while his opinions may be more valid than some others, he would still be making assumptions about what movies do best and what a certain movie does best. I am sure his list would differ from other film scholars as well.

    The closest thing to "best" movies of the year would be a poll like the Indiewire poll that compiles a wide variety of individual lists in which critics pick their favorite/best movies of 2011. The consensus pick, which was "The Tree of Life" this year, would be the film that would make the best argument for being the objective best film of the year.

  19. I can see both points of views and I can not decide which one is better, or which one I like more...:)

  20. So, long story short, what we are saying here is that it doesn't matter if a movie is good or not, it matters if you like it. And if you like it that means that it is good (at least in your book). And we should not try to talk about objective quality but subjective quality instead, right?

  21. Matt,

    You called Gymkata one of your all-time favorite movies. If Favorite is interchangeable with Best, suppose the AFI asked you to participate in their 2012 update of the their top 100 films of all time - could you make a solid case for Gymkata?

    If so, then I would like to hear it. I don't mean that in a snarky way, I genuinely would and think it would be fascinating.

    If not, then doesn't that break down your argument?

  22. Daanish-

    An interesting question. My first instinct is to say that AFI and Oscars are two totally different things, since AFI lists consider historical and cultural context and the Oscars do not. I might not put GYMKATA on an AFI ballot but it would easily and absolutely make a top ten list for 1985.

    But then I thought some more, and I realized if AFI ever put a ballot in front of me I would ABSOLUTELY put GYMKATA on it. If only to prove this very point -- that personal pleasure comes in many shapes and sizes. Plus, it's maybe the funniest movie of all time. And shouldn't the funniest movie of all time get a vote for AFI?

  23. -Matt
    Just a remark about movies designed to make you cry (or whatever). I think that should not be the only goal of the movie, even if it succeeds at it!! For example the movie "Marley and me": its final goal is to make you cry, but it is as well its only goal!of course they show you a puppy and later a dying dog, and of course you will cry, but the movie is really bad! So, my point is, that even when a movie achieves what it was designed for, that does not make it a good movie

  24. I think the antidote to The Academy is what you guys are doing right here, and what the film journalism community does every day: Conversing. Discussing. Debating. Changing minds. Being changed. Living with differing opinions.

    I'd bet the Oscars would be a hundred times more interesting if it were published as a huge compilation of the top ten lists of every member, instead of a boiled-down reduction. But that's not going to happen.

    At this point, I just ignore the Oscars and let them do their thing (Making the general populace a little more aware of film and promoting a couple of relatively obscure foreign and animated films).

    But when I want to find out what to watch next, I go to the online film community, because it is just that: A community. Not a panel of experts issuing statements about what is and isn't good, but a living, breathing, arguing, agreeing, laughing, crying, beautiful community.

  25. I think I may have an example that illustrates a clear difference between "Best" and "Favorite", but it falls in the realm of sports, not movies.
    If you ask someone who is your FAVORITE Boston Celtic of all-time, you could answer, "Danny Ainge. Why? I dunno, he is just my favorite."
    And you would not be wrong.
    But the BEST? Probably Larry Bird. No argument.
    Very clear difference between Favorite and Best.
    In 1993, SCHINDLER'S LIST beat out THE FUGITIVE for Best Picture. Of the two, FUGITIVE is my favorite, watch it all the time. But I have no argument whatsoever that SCHINDLER was the Best that year.
    We have to stop looking at films on just ONE level to determine which movie is better than another. Look at movies not as a scale with one side out-weighing the other.
    Instead, we should look at them as we would, say, a stereo's graphic equalizer: a board with many different levels, each one contributing to it's eventual success.
    Acting+Directing+Screenwriting+Editing+Originality of Premise+Box Office Success+Critical Success; all of these things should be taken into account.
    Final Thought: I agree with Singer, in that I find it irritating that the Academy has no problems nominating films they think are weighty and poignant, whether they have seen them or not, but they won't nominate a blockbuster, which they KNOW is popular due to it's financial success.
    For me, this year's loser is HARRY POTTER 7 Pt. 2. Critically and financially successful, probably ignored come Oscar time.
    -Dan Vhay

  26. Dan-

    Through the course of this discussion, I'll admit I've found my own opinion evolving somewhat. And while I am still working out the desire to have a quantifiable "best", the fact that film is ultimately an art makes the idea of fully objective measures almost impossible to me.

    Yes we can evaluate them all on those criteria that you mention, but ultimately we are subjectively analyzing each aspect to fulfill a need to have objective measures. I can appreciate the quality and craftsmanship on SCHINDLER'S LIST, but still believe that THE FUGITIVE was more successful on those levels that you mention because of how it worked for me. For that matter, SCHINDLER'S LIST wasn't even the best Spielberg film that year for me.

    And to your analogy, I would only subjectively offer that Bill Russell is the best Celtic of all-time.

  27. Amen, Luke. Amen.

    The very nature of art is about subjectivity. Does anyone here argue that there is an objective "good" in music? Paintings? Sculpture? Sure, one could probably get a consensus that the Mona Lisa is "good", but all that really says is that a bunch of subjective opinions happened to agree. I would also argue that skill does not necessarily produce quality art. If I have the skill to reproduce the Mona Lisa, does that make my piece as high "objective" quality as Da Vinci's? Or is the quality of the two pieces just different?

    On a related note, I urge everyone to go watch Certified Copy right now (on Netflix Instant).

  28. I also urge people to watch Certified Copy on Netflix Instant...after watching Exit Through The Gift Shop :)

    Which incidentally was my favorite movie last year, and also I think the best (which do not always match up for me).

  29. We qualify film all the time, though usually segmented. The Oscars give out awards for the best editing, cinematography, direction, sound design, visual affects, acting -- shouldn't the "best" film be something of a mixture of these qualities? There will of course be subjectivity here, but your "favorite" film of the year could not be the best of any of those qualities.

    People often ascribe CITIZEN KANE as the greatest film of all time -- how many who would genuinely say that based on its technical achievement call it their 'favorite'? Far fewer, I assume.

    I enjoyed myself more at the theater seeing A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS than I did THE TREE OF LIFE -- but I can make the distinction that THE TREE OF LIFE is a technically superior film.

    As others have said throughout the discussion here, I feel 'favorite' appeals more to emotion whereas 'best' appeals more to artistic endeavor. We don't get taught 'favorites' in film school.

  30. Mr. Pinkston-

    My favorite movie is CITIZEN KANE. Not just the whole best thing -- but favorite. Besides, y'know GYMKATA.

    And even the "best" artistic endeavors are meaningless if they don't speak to us on some emotional or intellectual level.

  31. It seems intuitive that "best" should somehow have different criteria than "favorite," but, like Matt, I think this intuition is deceptive. I've never seen anyone give a convincing rationale how the two can be separated, without arbitrarily severing emotion from intellect or placing drama "higher" on the artistic scale than comedy.

    Informed subjectivity is the key, and in reality all the Academy Awards represent are the "intersubjective favorites from this particular group of people at this particular time" and nothing more.

    In the end, I can't determine for you how to like what you like(and vice versa), but we can certainly talk about it, and that's where the fun begins.

  32. I am starting to change my opinion (and that is something that it doesn't happen everyday!)...But what about this: If somebody tells you that Citizen Kane is a bad movie because he did not like it, would you say a)"Sorry, it is not a bad movie, it is a great movie, but you did not like it" or would you go with b)" It is true, the quality of the movie is somehow subjective. Maybe you are right and it isn't a master piece and just another overrated movie after all, but I like it"

  33. @laurequillo

    That would be the point to have a discussion, trying to convince the other person of your point of view. Maybe the other person doesn't have the historical knowledge you do, or is unjustly prejudiced against black & white, or simply didn't understand some plot points. There are simply "opinions" and then there are "informed opinions."

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  35. Good, but we are talking about people with the same knowledge but with different opinions. If somebody with the historical knowledge doesnt agree with your opinion about The Godfather, what would you say?
    As well if you defend movies as a subjetive art, it should not matter your previous knowledge, just the response it produces on you. On the other hand, if you think there is an objective part, then the knowledge would be necessary to objectivetly rate a movie and explain why you like it and why it is good!

  36. I agree with what laurequillo is saying...just because you like Citizen Kane and someone else doesn't, that doesn't mean that you're opinion is more "informed." Maybe he just didn't like it.

    I, for instance, I'm not a big fan of Blade Runner, which many argue is one of the greatest sci-fi films ever. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean my opinion is any less informed than yours.

  37. Just for the record I agree with Adam and I think there are "better" opinions than others (informed opinions if you will), and that means that you can objectively explain why a movie is good or why you liked a movie. But that does not explain all the different opinions

  38. The very nature of what makes an opinion "informed" or not is subjective. Some prefer the opinions of filmmakers. Other rank the opinions of film history scholars higher. Still others think the average movie-goer is able judge a film the most accurately.

    I recognize that what I value is not the same as what other people value, and vice-versa. When it comes to film, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer, no black or white, no good or bad. It's different for everyone, and the only way to deal with that is through discussion and debate.

  39. Having extra historical knowledge was simply an example of a difference; other factors could include personal experience and emotional makeup. No two people come to an artwork exactly the same way, with the same background or from the same perspective. It would be completely understandable if someone from a background of family violence would recoil from a film on that subject, and not being in their head, I may not be able to convince them otherwise.

    There are objective things about a movie: who directed and acted in it (although even those are debatable, since we weren't there to see who is directly responsible for each choice up on the screen), how many cuts were made, where the camera is placed...However, the effects of these elements upon a viewer are subjective. Rapid cutting may disorient a viewer with less immersion in contemporary media but be perfectly intelligible to someone raised in such a culture. One could talk about how effective such a technique would be in communicating the film's particular story, characters, and aesthetic, but the actual value of that story, characters, and aesthetic would be in the eyes of the viewer.

    When it comes to why someone doesn't like, say, The Godfather or Blade Runner, I'd just start by asking why, and I (subjectively) can decide whether I find those reasons valid or not. If I didn't, then I could counter with reasons of my own, and eventually something fruitful, like deeper understanding of the film and/or each other from one or both of the participants, could result.

  40. @Josh B

    In a word: yes. My valuing of "informed opinion" was merely a subjective step for further discussion.

  41. @ Adam
    Fair enough sir! Maybe it is time to change my mind...

  42. There definitely is a difference between your BEST movie of the year and your FAVORITE movie of the year. Though, I don't think that this difference has to be measured in how low your guilty pleasure sense is or how much you weeped and felt nostalgic at a film.

    For me, a favorite is a film that will stick with more than many others long after I've seen them multiple times. It is a film that I watch that allows me to exit myself into because I relate to it. For instance, three of my favorite films are The Departed, The 400 Blows, and The Fellowship of the Ring, all for different reasons. I associate a piece of myself with these films and when I want to watch a movie, these are the first ones I go to.

    A "best" film is one that has fantastic technical quality and you look at as a marvel of the technical and artistic process of filmmaking. For instance, some of the films I think are the best are Chinatown, Barton Fink, and 12 Angry Men. This is not to say that I don't like these films as well, of course I do. It's just these films satisfy all the criteria to me that a film must have to combine entertainment and art.

    Obviously, the two can overlap, as they often do. My favorite film of 2011 was Tintin. The best for me was Drive. However, Drive was also one of my favorites and I thought Tintin was one of the best.

    Favorite is, yes, a combination of pleasure (guilty or not), nostalgia, and personal resonance. Best is a combination of technical marvel, artistic ability, and presentation.

    Of course, nearly every piece of art is subjective, so the way we view criteria for best is different and there can be no definitive best, yet we use a form of a democratic system in the Academy to tell us what is the best. Kind of like the electoral college, but with less consequences.

  43. @Mezzo
    When I talked about guilty pleasures it was just an extreme example to show how your favorite and the best dont go always together, it is the same principle that you use in your examples, but lowering the quality bar

  44. @laurequiello

    I understand, that makes sense. I was just using it as a form of how most people qualify a difference. It wasn't necessarily a response to your direct comment. Many people just think that the only way to differentiate between best and favorite is the guilty pleasure factor, I just think that that is not the only factor.

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