Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Films of the year

A little late with this but after due consideration & spurred on by a debate with cineast pals in SanFrancisco last week here's my top 5 of 2009, in ascending order:

Fashion designer Tom Ford impresses with his super stylish & assured directorial debut.  Interesting cinematography (the use of colour draining in & out is effective), period perfect production design & a towering performance from Colin Firth.



Documentary following Slovenian national hero Martin Strel as he swims the Amazon with only a skinful of beer & wine to protect him from the piranhas.  Driven crazy by the sun, polluted waters & ill health this is a testament to will power & the human spirit. A film like those Werner Herzog used to make before he hooked up with Nicolas Cage (this just beats out boxing documentary Facing Ali-an excellent portrait of the opponents Mohammed Ali faced in the ring.







In a strong year for sci-fi movies District 9 showed what you could do on a relatively low budget with imaginative fx while Avatar showed the sky is the limit when the money is no object.  But Moon showed them both that real-life model moon buggies still rule!  Sam Rockwell gives performance of the year-twice!









I was blown away by Let The Right One In early in the year-just when you think the cinematic vampire genre is moribund the most original horror pic in years comes out of Sweden.  The use of shallow focus & compositional framing in this flick is masterful.  I re-watched it recently on dvd & the director's commentary reveals that she is really a he!





And my film of the year is actually two- Mesrine: Killer Instinct/Public Enemy is a dazzling, brutal account of  infamous French outlaw Jacques Mesrine.  This is everything Michael Mann's Public Enemies should have been-dynamic, sexy, shocking and Cassel burns 1000 times brighter than Depp's Dillinger.  Along with Jacques Audiard's Un Prophet the French reclaimed the movie-gangster crown in 2009.

10 comments:

Jess said...

I loved "Let The Right One In". I haven't seen any of the other films yet but I will put them on my to-watch list now. Thanks for these interesting reviews!

k. borcz said...

I've been wanting to see "let the right one in". Thanks for reminding me to Netflix it. The rest look really interesting. I'll watch Moon too.

limbolo said...

Haven't seen any of these but I'll shoot my mouth off anyway... To whit:

Can there be a better Movie than Tarentino's INGLORIOUS BASTERDS?

And Johnny Depp as Dillinger!? Can there ever have been a worse Michael Mann movie?

limbolo said...

The Vincent Cassell twofer looks right up my alley. Death instincts, dazzling brutality...Thanks for the tip, Matt.

JP said...

Wicked list, _none_ of which I've seen. damn. Looking forward to checking out the Cassel flick

Matt J said...

Inglourious Basterds would definitely be in my top 10-along with FANTASTIC MR FOX, The Hurt Locker, In The Loop & UP

limbolo said...

You should get some nice girl pregnant Matt. You're obviously in need of kiddywinks to take to the movies.

Olivier Ladeuix said...

thanks for sharing. I didn't know about Moon and BigRiverMan and will definitely check them out.

Matt J said...

Big River Man may be harder to find but worth the effort. If you like 2001, Solaris, Dark Star you'll dig MOON.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Loved District 9 and Moon, not so much Avatar !!!