What was your favorite movie of the year?
On New Years, we take a moment to look back and what was - and look forward to what is yet to come. As we stand on the treshold between two years, we pause in the doorway to reflect on what was great about the year and what wasn't.
I asked a few friends to do the same - to think about their favorite films of 2008. Not the best film, the most Oscar-worthy, or the most critically acclaimed, but their favorite movies.
Tony and Karen loved the year's biggest blockbuster, The Dark Knight. Liz liked Horton Hears a Who. Lisa enjoyed The Boy in Striped Pajamas. Jeff appreciated Slumdog Millionaire. Becky remembers 27 Dresses since she saw it the day before her daughter was born. Sr. Christine really enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees. Heidi liked Iron Man. DeDee said Milk was her favorite, while Janet preferred The Duchess. Jeff can quote Step Brothers. Maria and Janice both couldn't chose just one; between the two of them, they liked 21, Mamma Mia, Twight, and Four Christmases, respectively. And my wife Sarah thinks everyone should see Kung Fu Panda, her favorite movie of 2008.
This list is great not because the movies here are all Academy Award-winners. In fact, some of them were critically panned and booed on their release. Rather, this list is great because they are my friends' favorites regardless of anything or anyone else.
Our favorites are our favorites for many reasons. For Becky, it was 27 Dresses' proximity to such a special experience in her life this year; while for Sarah, it was Kung Fu Panda's fun and profound story of discovering your inner hero that made it perfect for her. For others, the reason can be as simple as enjoying the music, finding a actor or actress particularly attractive, or that it made us laugh like never before.
Favorite movies reveal more about us than they do about the films. Favorite movies remind us, in the midst of busyness, work, and stress, what's truly important to us in our lives.
So as we approach a New Year, take a good long look at your favorite movie or movies this past year - and ask yourself why they are so special to you. And when you find that reason, whether deep or simple, you will find what truly matters to you right now. Spend a moment in prayer, thanking God for that revelation, and resolve to make what truly matters to you a major part of the New Year ahead.
If each of us spent a moment doing all that, I can only imagine how great 2009 will surely be. For all those reading this blog post today, a blessed and happy New Year!