Monday, February 15, 2010

End-Of-Year: Favorite Films

Whoops. This sort of fell in the wayside as I got caught up on tennis, various award shows, Super Bowl, Olympics, TV shows, etc. In any case, if you want to refresh your memories on the worst and the in-between films I saw the past year, go ahead. But below are my top 28 favorite films of last year.

Disclaimer: Since making this list about a month or so ago, I've seen a few other 2009 films such as Nine, Zombieland, and New York, I Love You. Not to say any of them would actually make this list (probably not), but just wanted to point it out. And since I'm strapped for time, only brief comments for each film...

#28 Away We Go - The word "cozy" comes to mind when I saw this film.
#27 Easy Virtue - Way more hilarious that I expected. Sames goes for Jessica Biel's performance.
#26 Bright Star - Just an absolutely beautiful film top to bottom.
#25 Make the Yuletide Gay - Not groundbreaking, but unexpectedly fun and heartfelt.
#24 Sin Nombre - Emotionally resonant and gorgeous movie.

#23 Duplicity
- Had no expectations, but ended up liking how smart and perfectly paced it was.
#22 Goodbye Solo - Touching film about two different worlds colliding. Reminded me of The Visitor.
#21 Taking Woodstock - Perfect movie to see at the of summer. It was leisurely paced and completely charming.
#20 Julia - Headlined by a powerhouse performance by Tilda Swinton. Raw and gripping.
#19 The Cove - Really pulls at your heartstrings. Informative, important, and beautiful.

#18 Precious - Amazing performances from Mo'Nique and newcomer Gabby Sidibe.
#17 The Hurt Locker - A small film that requires patience. Superbly directed.
#16 An Education - A star-turn for Carey Mulligan flanked by impressive veteran and new actors alike.
#15 A Single Man - A somber and stylized film that makes an ugly situation look so awfully pretty.
#14 Moon - A fantastic sci-fi tale that had me guessing all the way through the end. Sam Rockwell nails his complicated role.

#13 Whip It!
- Fun and energetic film that reminds oneself of Juno except without being annoying.
#12 Julie & Julia - Five words: Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Her performance like the movie as a whole was utterly delicious.
#11 Inglourious Basterds - Quentin Tarantino is a risk-taker and he really brought his A-game when making this wild revisionist film.
#10 Where the Wild Things Are - I felt like a kid again when I saw this very well-adapted film.
#9 Up in the Air - Impressive and topical film with a cast full of chemistry.

#8 In the Loop
- Rip-roaringly funny film that made me cry a lot. The cast is wonderful and equally absurd in their hilarity.
#7 Star Trek - Shockingly fun and smart with an engaging and expertly-picked cast. Perfect popcorn summer movie.
#6 Coraline - The first 2009 film I saw and over a year later, I'm still completely enamored.
#5 The Brothers Bloom - Quirky storytelling with quirky dialogue said by quirky characters. Easy to fall in love with it.

#4 Up - It's Pixar. It made me cry several times. What else do I need to say? Also my first 3D film.
#3 Avatar - My second 3D film ever and what a cinematic/visual experience it was. I've yet to see it a second time, but I'm dying to see it in IMAX. Cameron hit cinematic lightning once again.
#2 (500) Days of Summer - Perfection in 95 minutes, this little "not-a-love-story" film is smartly told and the two leads are too adorable.
#1 District 9 - Totally engrossing and surprisingly touching. Never thought this would be my favorite film of the year, but it hass lodged itself into my brain and refuses to leave.

Whew! Now bring on 2010.

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