DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: Best of 2009

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Best of 2009

Ok, I’ve chosen to bypass the preamble and go straight into my Best of 2009. You’ll find my personal choices below, and as those of my esteemed and valued DFD contributors. Enjoy.

Alan Bacchus's Best of 2009

1. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)

Quentin Tarantino admitted when he saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘There Will Be Blood’ it inspired him to step up his game. ‘Inglourious Basterds’ is as tight, focused and supremely entertainment from the first frame to the last. As close to cinematic perfection as he'll ever get to most likely. Anyone thought QT had fallen off the rails, can now get back on the train. Basterds is filmmaking of the highest order.

2. Un Prophet (Jacques Audiard)

This entry from Cannes has gone through the festival circuit and will land in theatres in February – most likely on the back of a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nod. ‘Un Prophet’s’ epic gangster tale has all the some of the same cinematic muscular attitude and bravura of ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘City of God.’

3. In the Loop (Armando Iannucci)

Armando Iannucci’s British political satire has gone completely under the radar of every major awards group. Further evidence of the disrespect for comedy has an award-worthy genre. But the fact is, ‘In the Loop’ is a cinematic force of nature, a masterpiece of comic timing, political savvy, and ensemble acting.

4. Drag Me to Hell (Sam Raimi)

Like ‘Inglourious Basterds’ Sam Raimi managed to revitalize his creativity after years of boring ol' franchise tent pole filmmaking. Raimi seems to have stored 20 years of bloody good horror and comedy material and unleashed it all with the same distinct tone of suspense and slapstick comedy as his Evil Dead trilogy

5. A Single Man (Tom Ford)

Tom Ford’s mesmerizing directorial debut –a profound and visually-stunning story of a man in the 60’s struggling with grief in a closeted world for homosexuals. Art house cinema with a pulse.

6. Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze)

Spike Jonze’s children story is made fresh with its distinct anachronistic 1980’s design Henson creatures. But it’s his adult tone of meditative melancholy which make it one of the most courageous mainstream artistic visions of the year

7. Moon (Duncan Jones)

Duncan Jones’s intellectual sci-fi picture tells a grand story of existential emotions with small scale intimacy in the coldness of space. One of the great humanist and uplifting films of the year.

8. The Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)

Like ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Wes Anderson’s foray into old school stop motion animation feels like a fresh breath air in an unlikely genre. Anderson’s unique visual and tone sensibilities match perfectly with Roald Dahl’s wonderfully surreal adventure tale.

9. Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli)

Forget Avatar, Paranormal Activity is the film event of the year. Oren Peli’s low budget creeper has an uncanny ability to get beneath one’s skin for some of the most authentic creep-out moments ever put to the screen.

10. Precious: Based on a Novel, ‘Push’ by Sapphire (Lee Daniels)

Lee Daniels’ harrowing urban character study of an inner city overweight black teenager who strives to overcome her lifetime of socio-economic despair is brought to life with earth shattering fury

The runner’s up:

11. District 9 (Neil Blomkamp)
12. Soul Kitchen (Fatih Akin)
13. Humpday (Lynn Shelton)
14. Bad Lieutanent: Port of Call New Orleans (Werner Herzog)
15. Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn)
16. Sauna (AJ Annila)
17. The Road (John Hillcoat)
18. Bruno (Larry Charles)
19. Watchmen (Theatrical Cut) (Zach Snyder)
20. Up (Pete Docter)

And from my esteemed contributors:

Greg Klymkiw’s Top Ten of 2009

Antichrist (Lars VonTrier)
Bruno (Larry Charles)
Drag Me To Hell (Sam Raimi)
Hard Name, A (Alan Zweig)
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
Invictus (Clint Eastwood)
L’affaire Farewell (Christian Carion)
Road, The (John Hillcoat)
Serious Man, A (Coen Brothers)
Time That Remains, The (Elia Suleiman)

Runners-up (alphabetically): Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Sacha Gervasi), Capitalism: A Love Story (Michael Moore), District 9 (Neil Blomkamp), Hangover, The (Todd Phillips), Hannah Montana: The Movie (Peter Chelshom), Kirot (Danny Lerner), 9 (Shane Acker), Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli), Precious (Lee Daniels), Single Man, A (Tom Ford) Soul Kitchen (Fatih Akin), Taken (Pierre Morel), Tyson (James Toback), Up (Pete Docter/Bob Petersen), Watchmen – Director’s Cut - DVD version only, not the theatrical version or the DVD "ultimate" version (Zack Snyder)

Blair Stewart’s Best of 2009
(based on what was released in the UK over the past year)

The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
Tales of the Golden Age (Uricara, Hofer, Popescu, Marculescu, Mungui)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)
Antichrist (Lars Von Trier)
Doubt (John Patrick Shanley)
In the Loop (Armando Iannucci)
Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard)
Synecdoche, NY (Charlie Kaufman)
Up (Pete Docter/Bob Petersen)
Coraline (Henry Selick)
Sin Nombre (Cary Joji Fukunaga)


T.J. Hawke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T.J. Hawke said...

Glad someone is giving props to "In the Loop". There are still about a dozen films that I want to see from this year, but "In the Loop" is the best I've seen so far. Shame.

Hart Massey said...

No doubt about it! Inglorious Bastards is Tarantino's best yet!

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

Great blog. I found the site through 600 Movie Blogs You Might Have Missed, which your site (congrats!) is on.

Clearly you have very good taste, posting "Inglourious Basterds" as 2009's top film. It won that spot on my list as well. One entry I was surprised (in a good way) to see was "Drag Me to Hell." I'm a big Sam Raimi fan and was thrilled to see him return to the horror/comedy mishmosh he does so well. (Sad was I, though, that Bruce Campbell did NOT have a cameo.) "Drag Me to Hell" was a lot of fun, and I know I'll never hear the words "here, kitty kitty" the same way again.