5 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

By forging a new mythology for Britain, Danny Boyle's Olympic opening ceremony earns our culture critic's pick for best art event of the year

Was it the paean to the NHS, or the gay Brookside kiss that did it? Was it Simon Rattle solemnly conducting Rowan Atkinson, or the nod to Ken Loach's films? Perhaps it was the procession of great British pop hits (Olympic gold for that ticked off)? It might have been the moment when Conservative MP Aiden Burley tweeted that the whole show was "multicultural crap".

But for me, the spellbinding thing about Danny Boyle's Olympic opening ceremony was the way it forged a new mythology for Britain: not the tired old stuff about cricket and spinsters bicycling to evensong, but something that was rich and strange, and embraced Shakespeare and Blake and children's books and Tim Berners-Lee and, yes, cricket. Plus the weather and suffragettes and Monty Python. »

- Charlotte Higgins

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