2006: THE YEAR IN FILM

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BEST PICTURE OF 2006: Because it held a cracked mirror up to the thing that is killing us all: ignorance and all its byproducts — fear, hate, superstition. Because fuddy-duddies may complain “Borat” is mean or crass or contrived, but the fact is nothing is made up, everything is true, sad to say, just exaggerated with industrial-strength absurdity for potent comedic effect. Because Sartre said ‘hell is other people’ and “Borat” is full of ‘other people.’ Because Borat played the MSM like a violin, with the wacky Khazhakstani becoming a constant ghost in the news machine for months before and after its release with one faux-International Incident and not-so-faux lawsuit after another. Because Hollywood blockbusters spend millions to stake that kind of a claim on media attention and barely hold on for a week or two, and then they run out of marketing money and go away. Because “Borat” kept it up for months, and, like Miles in “Risky Business,” he didn’t have to pay for it. Because “Borat” raises the on bar on broad physical comedy, dick jokes and hairy naked-man-on-fatman grotesques to beyond the beyond. Because Sacha Baron Cohen makes Andy Kaufman look like a sad, failed wrestler. Because “Borat” is arguably the funniest fucking movie ever made.

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