Alex's top ten movies of 2009

Well, the Oscar nominations will be announced Monday. Here are my top ten movies of 2009, all four-starrers:

1. The Hurt Locker. Kathryn Bigelow's taut, gripping Iraq War story with Jeremy Renner's career-making star turn. This film deserves to win Best Picture and Director, at least.

2. A Serious Man. The Coen Brothers don't disappoint with this deep, sparkling gem.

3. Precious, Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire. Beautiful story of betrayal and heartache, priceless, with outstanding acting work from Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique.

4. Funny People. Judd Apatow's apex, a brilliant work with some of Sandler and Rogen's best performances ever.

5. Public Enemies. Michael Mann's perfect, terse gangster pic is deepened and revealed by passionate performances from Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup and more.

6. Soul Power. Muhammad Ali and James Brown at the heights, a brilliant, rocking doc about a time and a place. Not to mention B.B. King and more!

7. Moon. Layered and complex sci-fi with the amazing Sam Rockwell in dual roles, a class act.

8. Fantastic Mr. Fox. Wes Anderson's faithful yet original animated tribute to Roald Dahl and the sixties and seventies. It probably won't happen, I'd predict, but Best Supporting Actor consideration should probably be given to Eric Anderson, Jason Schwartzman for this.

9. Jennifer's Body. Really quite good high school horror metaphor with perfect script by Diablo Cody and perfect casting. It probably won't get a screenplay nomination, but it's deserving.

10. Extract. Jason Bateman heads a great cast in Mike Judge's perceptive and hilarious morality farce.

Since these are, in my opinion, the ten best films of the year, I will view it as an injustice if any are not nominated for Best Picture, as there are ten open slots this year. But there are always Oscar injustices, you just have to factor that in, so whatever....I'll be glad to see some of them get some recognition.

And to round out a full top twenty for 2009: Ninja Assassin, Harold Ramis's Year One, Pedro Almodóvar's Broken Embraces (Los abrazos rotos), Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, Grant Heslov's The Men Who Stare at Goats, Jane Campion's Bright Star, Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, and Watchmen.

Estimated number of viewings in total for these twenty films: 67.

Would definitely still like to see: Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, John Hillcoat's The Road, Tom Ford's A Single Man, Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon, and maybe a few others.

UPDATE: I saw A Single Man Feb. 13, and it enters my list at number four, just below Precious, Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire. I saw An Education Feb. 23, and it enters the list after Bright Star. And I saw The Last Station Mar. 5, and it enters the list after Extract. So the current top twenty or so looks like this:

1. The Hurt Locker
2. A Serious Man
3. Precious, Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
4. A Single Man
5. Funny People
6. Public Enemies
7. Soul Power
8. Moon
9. Fantastic Mr. Fox
10. Jennifer's Body
11. Extract
12. The Last Station
13. Ninja Assassin
14. Year One
15. Broken Embraces (Los abrazos rotos)
16. Ponyo
17. Inglourious Basterds
18. The Men Who Stare at Goats
19. Bright Star
20. An Education
21. Where the Wild Things Are
22. Taking Woodstock
23. Watchmen

The Magic of the Movies


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw right, I can dig it. But still waiting for most of these to crawl into Carolina. Geez, I am the world's most informed hermit.

2/5/10, 6:14 AM  

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