This post exists because I cannot keep my mind on one thing for too long. What can I say, I’m an Aquarian! I’m not gonna pretend I got out to the cinema half as much as I would have liked to, but I did my best with the time that was given to me (See, I only reference films that are at least two years old).
Firstly, the poor guys that just didn’t make the cut. I liked all these films, but I liked ten even more:
Drag Me To Hell
Sam the man back to his best with my second favourite horror flick of the year.
I Love You Man
Paul Rudd + Jason Segel = laughing.
Ed Helms finally getting movie love, and a great breakout for the crazy Zack Galafiniousisisipop.
First time I saw this, the woman sitting next to me in the theater had a fit. And I was a bit drunk. Second time was at a festival in Belgium. Drunk that time too. Rocked both times.
So lets get down to it. 2009’s best, courtesy of italianplumber.
10. In The Loop
I wasn’t sure if the genius of The Thick Of It could translate to feature length craziness. The fact that it did so well is testament to Scottish writer and director Armando Inanucci, who proved that he can do anything with this material. And the current third season is the best yet too.
Considering that Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, it is no suprise to me that this film places on this list. But even I was taken aback how good Henry Selick’s adaptation was. Truly a visual feast, it showed the public that children’s films didn’t need to be afraid of being frightening, a theme that carried through many pictures this year, with most of them residing on this list. I just like scaring children, that’s all.
8. Slumdog Millionaire
Released way back in January, I noticed a lot of end-of-year lists seem to have forgotten about Danny Boyle’s masterpiece, or else they have let time diminish their opinion of it. This film is truly a miracle in modern filmmaking, as Boyle made a universal story in the heart of a unique city. SM is an old fashioned love story, albeit one with eye-gouging, torture and child cruelty.
7. 500 Days of Summer
The best romantic comedy of the decade (discounting any films made by Judd Apatow or Edgar Wright) is a rare thing: a funny yet smart film. It doesn’t revolve around grown-up man-children or zombie apocalypses, but rather two normal, flawed human beings and their brief time together. A romantic tale for our times, much like Slumdog.
6. Fantastic Mr Fox
American indie auteur Wes Anderson adapting English treasure Roald Dahl? WTF? Even weirder was the revelation that he not only made the story his own, but it proved to be the most accessible and funny film of his career. And two stop-motion critical and box office successes in one year? Geeks rejoice!
Grounded by an Oscar worthy performance by Sam Rockwell, the confident debut film by David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones (aka Zowie) is an old school allegorical sci-fi thinkpiece. It’s a truly great British film and of course, no-one seen it. But look it out, it’s phenomenal. I already blabbed about it here.
4. District 9
More great intelligent sci-fi? And it’s another debut film? On a budget? You bet your cotton socks it is. The tale of the fookin’ prawns was so great I saw it twice this year, and it blew me away both times. Christopher Johnson is one of the most interesting characters of the year, and if you like science fiction, this is a must see.
3. Where The Wild Things Are
A truly beautiful and moving film, WTWTA is all about being a child and preparing to grow up. Spike Jonze’s film contains one of the best uses of CGI and puppetry ever, and creates The Wild Things, who embody aspects of young boy’s Max’s personality as he learns life lessons on their island. Also contains one of the best child performances I have ever seen. This film is for anyone who remembers what it was truly like to be a child.
Bypassing the stunning first ten minutes (which you surely must have heard of) this is another example of the Pixar technique of mixing adventure, comedy and tender emotion together so expertly that the joins are invisible. When will they drop the ball? I really am not looking forward to that day.
1. Let The Right One In
Another film I saw in the cinema twice this year was one of the best horror films of the decade. Why? Because it’s like no other you have seen before. And yes, I realise that most of my top ten are kids films, or were made for/star children, but what the hell. A good film is a good film. And LTROI is a prime example of taking a well-worn concept (vampires) and putting a unique spin on the story (the bloodsucker is a 13-year-old). It’s better than a million Twilights.
And yeah, I’m sorry I missed stuff like The Hurt Locker, Harry Brown, Looking For Eric, Mesrine, Synedoche, New York, Red Cliff, Paranormal Activity, Public Enemies and The White Ribbon. I’m not perfect. What do you guys think? Anything I miss out/ignore?