A year in movies

December 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm (Movies, Tops)

2009 has been a great year for movies, at least for me. There were at least 6 films I really loved, more than in the previous year, plus many other very good films – most of them didn’t even make this list.

I have chosen the film of the year based on my current mood, but to be honest, any of these first 6 films could’ve been film of the year. They’re all outstanding and I recommend them to everyone.

I have taken into consideration only films that have been released in Romania (in theaters or in festivals). This is why some films I’ve seen and loved at Sitges, like The Road (to be released in 2010), Enter the Void or Mr. Nobody (still without a release date – not even for the States), are not on the list.

Anyway – here we go.

Film of the year:

Inglourious Basterds (dir: Quentin Tarantino)

After a fun film not to be taken very seriously (Death Proof), QT is back – and what a return! Basterds is thrilling, exciting, thoughtful, playful – a perfect proof of the mature-yet-not-really director Tarantino has become. It’s pure cinema entertainment, that contains some of the most memorable scenes of the year, and – by far – the most memorable character of 2009 (Hans Landa, obviously). It’s so good that, despite its unorthodox story and bloody violence, it snatched a bunch of noms for the Golden Globes – to be followed, hopefully, by some Academy love as well.

Rest of the Top Ten:

2. District 9 (dir. Neill Blomkamp) – part thriller, part SF, part political satire, part everything else you can think of, D9 is possibly 2009’s biggest revelation. Watch out for Blomkamp – something tells me there’s more to come.

3. Moon (dir. Duncan Jones) – a perfectly written story and an outstanding performance by Sam Rockwell in this surprising homage to SFs from the 80s. Big winner at Sitges & shown at the Iasi Festival in Romania.

4. The Wrestler (dir. Darren Aronofsky) – don’t get fooled by the title. This is a character drama, not a wrestling action film, with a great performance from Rourke.

5. Avatar 3D/IMAX (dir. James Cameron) – the 2D version of Avatar, despite being really good, wouldn’t have made the top ten. However, in 3D, this is a movie-going experience like nothing you’ve ever seen.

6. Zombieland (dir. Reuben Fleischer) – Harrelson hunting down Twinkies and Zombies, in the funniest film of 2009

7. Up (dir. Pete Docter) – I still think I like Wall-E better, but Up keeps the tradition of Pixar’s masterpieces. A lock-in for both Oscars and Golden Globes.

8. Watchmen (dir. Zack Snyder) – everything I ever wanted from a comic-book adaptation. Snyder’s visuals still amaze me.

9. Drag Me to Hell (dir. Sam Raimi) – what a joy for old-school horror fans! Raimi is back to his genre, with a great, fun flick that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.

10. The Hurt Locker (dir. Kathryn Bigelow) – gripping, powerful Iraq war story.

For comments, well, use the comments. I will be back later, with my most anticipated films of 2010 list.


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