Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a film junkie. Not necessarily a film snob, but I do love a good flick. Falling inline with the rest of the movie critics/buffs, I wanted to present my favorite 10 films of ‘09. I was surprised this year at how much my favorites reflected the oscar noms for best picture. Normally, there are maybe two that I agree with oscar on. This year was quite different. So, without further rambling, I present my Yo’s (my oscar equvalent) of ‘09 :
10. (500) Days of Summer – Great quirky comedy without the canned hollywood ending. Loved the tunes and great performances.
09. A Serious Man – The Coen Brothers are probably my favorite working directors right now. I am interested in anything they do. This was classic Coens with wonderful dialogue, excellent characters and an ending that leaves you scratching your head for days.
08. Star Trek – I was never interested in Star Trek…until I heard JJ Abrams was on board to direct. And it didn’t disappoint. Abrams has a great knack for developing characters and throwing them into nonstop action. I also loved the cinematography with all the light blurs. It gave it a really unique sci fi feel.
07. Avatar – I was extremely skeptical about this film just based off all the hype it was getting. I thought the story was terrible, but the visuals were stunning. I think Cameron could have done a Planet Earth-style documentary just about Pandora. The neon world he created was beautiful, the characters and animal design, not so much.
06. The Hangover – Probably the hardest I’ve laughed at the theaters since I can remember (I don’t see too many comedies in the cineplex). I loved trying to figure out with the characters, how they got to where they were. No flashbacks. Brilliant. And Zach Galifinakis is comedy gold.
05. Up – Probably the most heartwarming Pixar film to date. This was probably the first time for me that I didn’t oooh and awww over the visuals as much as I just fell in love with the characters and story. And that is why Pixar will continue to win best animated feature…for the story.
04. District 9 – I didn’t really have a whole lot of knowledge about this film going into it, but by the time it finished I was completely blown away. The story was great and the special effects were done so well that you didn’t even think of them as CG. Which is exactly what most directors want: seamless CG.
03. Moon – Probably the most underrated film of the year. Amazing performance by Sam Rockwell. Just when you think that its going to be another “astronaut goes crazy in space” flick, the story twists into something completely different. Great subtle visual effects also.
02. The Hurt Locker – Easily the most heart pumping film of the year for me. I was literally on the edge of my seat for most of it, just waiting for something to blow up. I loved the fact that it was a story praising the heroics of these soldiers rather than dragging them through the mud to prove a point. Excellent acting by every cast member and I am completely shocked that Anthony Mackie didn’t get a best supporting actor nom.
01. Inglourious Basterds – I love Quentin Tarrantino. Thats it. The most fun I’ve had watching a film this year. Christof Waltz was amazing as Hans Von Luck. Brilliant screenplay. Completely not what I expected going in. Tarrantino has a wonderful ability to make you believe one thing going in and turn everything on its side. Its a big statement, but this one might be in my top ten of all time. Loved every minute of it.