My Picks For The Top 10 Best Movies Of 2009
It was a year of outer-space spectacles and inner-city dramas, animated delights and sombre period pieces. Critical acclaim may yet swirl around flicks like Crazy Heart and The Messenger, but they wont hit local screens until 2010. Thus, the following is how the best of this years celluloid lot stacked up for our movie reviewers. The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, and Up in the Air scored the most accolades with our critics, with An Education and District 9 coming in a close second.
Hair-metal has-beens, supersized pregnant teens, and crustaceanlike aliens: it was a weird cast of characters in the years best films. I wouldnt have it any other way.
A mind-blowing mashup thats equal parts chase movie, tragic love story, and politicized documentary, amped up by lush Latin American scenery and Mexican gangsters so bad-ass they make the Crips and the Bloods look like grade-school wannabes. The rail ride to El Norte has never been more heartbreaking or sangre-spattered.
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
If there is a hell, it must look something like the title characters dank Harlem flat. Disturbing yet exhilarating, Precious also has hope, whether its in the Beyonc-video-styled fantasies or one overweight teens lumbering escape from the darkness.
A failed cheerleader who cleans up gory crime scenes, a one-armed janitorial-supply salesman, and an eight-year-old who hawks popcorn with his hustler grandad: out of this ragtag crew of characters comes something close to the perfect comment on our tough times.
Never mind the epic odes to old war movies and over-the-top flights into bloody revenge against the Nazis, the most reviled targets of the last century. Only a master like Quentin Tarantino could build the kind of tension in the years two most harrowing scenes: one in a cramped French farmhouse, the other in a basement soldiers bar.
The September Issue
Breezy and engrossing, The September Issue is a lot like losing yourself in that fat fall edition of Vogue. Keep your The Devil Wears Prada; the battle of wills between Anna Nuclear Wintour and her equally passionate art director, Grace Coddington, is the real deal.
Anvil! The Story Of Anvil
From the icy suburban wasteland of Mississauga to the basement European bars where metalheads go to die, Sacha Gervasis doc rocks. You start out thinking 50-year-old Steve Lips Kudlow is a pathetic loser whos more Spinal Tap than Spinal Tap, and suddenly youre rooting for his return to his spandexed glory days.
The Necessities Of Life
Benot Pilons aching ode to cultural divides is almost unbearably moving. An Inuk man is ripped from his family and shipped to Quebec for tuberculosis treatment in the 1950s. Imagine being sent to the ice floes and youll get a sense of his loneliness.
The Hurt Locker
War is insane, but Kathryn Bigelow makes it seem even more twisted than usual, zeroing in on the lunacy of roadside bombs in Iraq. The enemy is invisible, and the job is bleaker than anything Franz Kafka could have concocted.
Up In The Air
George Clooney finds the ideal vehicle for whats normally his downfall: sleek insincerity. The brilliance is in playing his Teflon axe man off an equally driven upstart (Anna Kendrick)with a bunch of enraged and depressed schmoes thrown in for colour.
An FXpumped science-fiction movie with a scathing social message about segregation, all set in South Africa? Not only is District 9 provocative and thrilling, but you actually feel empathy for an alien that looks like the mutant child of a cockroach and a lobster.