Speed Reads

that argument you like is going to come back in style

The best film of the decade was a TV show, French film critics decide

It is happening again: the debate over whether Twin Peaks: The Return can reasonably be considered a movie.

The esteemed French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma on Friday released its list of the best films of the 2010s. And what's at the top? None other than Twin Peaks: The Return, the revival of David Lynch's acclaimed series that aired on Showtime in 2017.

Lynch himself at the time described The Return as a film "broken into parts," and some critics in 2017 placed it on their list of the year's best movies, despite it having aired weekly on a TV network over 18 episodes.

"It is not a movie, and saying it's a movie, whether your name is David Lynch or Booboo Fluffernutter, doesn't turn it into a movie," critic Matt Zoller Seitz wrote at the time. "And why do you need it to be a movie?" Vox's Emily VanderWerff agreed, writing that The Return was "specifically crafted so each hour had a specific tension and release and concluded in roughly the same way," and this "is what makes the best case for it as television."

Cahiers du Cinéma actually already staked its claim in the debate back in 2017, when it also named Twin Peaks: The Return the best movie of that year. The magazine only doubled down Friday, reigniting the argument, not to mention plenty of Twitter jokes.

"THERE IS NO DEBATE," The New York Times' James Poniewozik wrote. "There is a sad gatekeeper-y attempt to preserve a false hierarchy of art forms, and then there is the fact that it is an actual freaking TV series."

"I like Twin Peaks: The Return, too," The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum tweeted, "but I consider it a sandwich."