Retrospective Rankings: Noah Baumbach

As explained in the introduction to my 2019 In Film Recap, all personal rankings are uselessly subjective.

AND YET, WITH THAT BEING SAID:

Welcome to the first in a series of Retrospective Rankings, courtesy of rep theaters in New York City’s predilection for programming retrospectives of a filmmaker’s complete body of work (remember: to me, that term encompasses everyone who makes films, not only directors). As much as cinephiles love to share ranked lists of their favorites (to not so favorites) from filmmakers whenever they release a new movie, I feel comfortable doing so only after ingesting their entire (feature-length) (theatrical) oeuvre within a reasonably condensed span of time, because who I was when I first watched and evaluated a flick hopefully isn’t the same person I am currently; how can I pass off my judgements then as how I’d asses them now?

As such, these forthcoming power rankings (to be clear, this won’t be a daily series like my aforementioned 2019 Recap; rather, I’ll post whenever a theater blesses NYC with a retrospective) are a record of and for myself to revisit later in life, to remember who I was/am, compared to who I will be, and how I’ve changed (or not); taste is a reflection more of self than of what’s being analyzed.

Now that these caveats have been caveated, let’s get to it:

Thanks to Metrograph (and, ugh, Netflix) for the Noah Baumbach retrospective! Every title below is great, except one. Oh, and Highball doesn’t count, because it’s an Ernie Fusco picture…


NOAH BAUMBACH POWER RANKINGS
  1. Marriage Story
  2. Margot at the Wedding
  3. The Squid and the Whale
  4. Kicking and Screaming
  5. Greenberg
  6. Mistress America
  7. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
  8. While We’re Young
  9. Frances Ha
  10. De Palma
  11. Mr. Jealousy

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