Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Top 10 Films of 2009 and Top 20 of the Decade

Okay, I’m a little late getting to this. But I’ve finally seen pretty much everything being mentioned in awards talk with the major exception of A Serious Man. There were many terrific films as always. Perhaps my taste is changing, but it seems that more than ever I’m most impressed by the less obvious films – independent, foreign, Canadian, and documentary films.

Mind you, I still like a good blockbuster, and I’ll defend Avatar against its current backlash. Yes it has flaws, but its achievements are extraordinary and impressive. No one except Cameron could have pulled it off. I’m in agreement with Roger Ebert that even though it doesn’t make my top 10, it’s worthy of a Jury Prize. 

As I’ve already pointed out, I’m blasé about An Education and Inglourious Basterds. I also think Crazy Heart is pretty average, great acting aside. So was (500) Days of Summer. I’ve never “gotten” Wes Anderson and find his movies frankly dull, with unimaginative style that uses symmetry and straight lines ad nauseum. So no, I don’t care much for Fantastic Mr. Fox, and think Mary and Max was the far better and funnier stop-motion film. A Single Man looked beautiful, but didn’t add up to much more than an over-long mood piece. Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire and The Blind Side were just plain lousy.

So here's my pick of the top 10 pictures this past year. And I've included my top 20 for the past decade - it was impossible for me to cull it down any further. Even just narrowing the year's best down to 10 is always an enormously difficult task. My long list of runners-up is as follows: Anvil! The Story of Anvil; Antichrist; Avatar; Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex); Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans; Cairo Time; District 9; Food, Inc.; The Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould; The Informant!; Julia (with Tilda Swinton, not Meryl Streep); Mary and Max; Moon; Séraphine; Le Silence de Lorna (Lorna’s Silence); Tetro; Tokyo Sonata; Tulpan; Up!

Top 10 Films of 2009
The Cove

/ Il Divo
The Hurt Locker

In the Loop

Politist, Adjective
(Police, Adjective)

Un Prophète
(A Prophet)
Up in the Air

Das Weisse Band
(The White Ribbon)

Worst of the 2009
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Top 20 Films of the Decade
4 Luni, 3 Saptamâni si 2 Zile
(4 Months, 3 Weeks, and Two Days)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
(The Fast Runner)
Before Sunset
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
The Betrayal – Nerakhoon
Children of Men
Cidade de Deus
(City of God)
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Fa Yeung Nin Wa
(In The Mood For Love)
Les Invasions Barbares
(Barbarian Invasions)
Mulholland Drive

No Country for Old Men
Rachel Getting Married
Le Scaphandre et le Papillon
(The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
There Will be Blood

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your top 2009 films. I will not bother with the films of the decade as it is too difficult to judge. As for 2009, I loved An Education, Hurt Locker and Up In The Air. To me, these are the films that make up the year. 500 Days of Summer was also one of my favorites. Avatar should not win best picture although Cameron should deserves best Director. Hurt Locker should win all the way, but wont.
    What bothers me about critiques today is that along with the movies, they are lowering their standards as to what a good movie should be. And that`s a shame. Thanks for sharing.