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The meaning of "absolutely brilliant"

Kicking around in the comments, I see that some think there’s an anti-Inception bias here at Movieline HQ. Let me dispel that scurrilous rumor by saying I think Inception was absolutely brilliant and probably one of the best movies of the year. (Dixon Gaines, “Weekend Receipts: Inception Wakes Up At Number One,” July 18 2010)

I don't mean this as a snark, but when you say, "Let me dispel that scurrilous rumor by saying I think Inception was absolutely brilliant and probably one of the best movies of the year," as a believing listener you're kinda forced into thinking that for Inception to be absolutely brilliant and still only PROBABLY also one of the year's best, to you this has been a year chock-full of epic-brilliant movie-making. If I walked up to you in a crowded room and said to you you were absolutely brilliant, probably one of the smartest people in the room, the room had better be filled with obvious "Einsteins" for this not -- en totale -- to seem much better than, "THE COMPANY OF THIS ROOM makes you seem beyond outstanding," which may or may not make you feel objectively superior, and probably has you thanking at first and then pausing -- "hey, wait a minute..." If the room was actually full of the retarded-leaning average -- which is how many critics judge this (ostensibly) dumbest movie summer / year ever (!) (one they were hoping to be rescued by Inception) -- then you'd have to think I sashayed over to you PRETENDING a compliment but INTENDING a mock-down of an insult.

This is play, I know, and your enthusiasm (for the film) is obvious, of course: but "absolutely brilliant" you'd think would have put it CLEARLY the year's best, probably ONE OF THE DECADE'S. If you genuinely think the year was so full of really great films that a clearly absolutely brilliant may still not count amongst its very best, it's a contrarian take, and I'd like to hear more about that. Myself, I saw three films that will stay with me a good long while (Please Give, Greenberg, Cyrus, [four?: Drunk History Tesla?] -- I also kinda liked Jonah Hex some [Stephanie is right, it was very pleasantly leisurely, if not very -- or much at all -- inventive), and I count it as a decent but necessary appetizer: I've liked the year more than others seem to have.

Link: Weekend receipts (Movieline)


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