Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Best Movies of 2009

As is the custom at the end of every year, we take a final look back at the year of movies in 2009. Of course, many of the best movies "made" in 2009 actually premiered at various places in 2008, which puts the time they were "made" somewhere around 2007. Semantics are always a part of these lists for what qualifies and what doesn't. Do festival screenings count? Does it need a domestic release or is it based on world premieres? Who knows. I kept a couple of my personal favorites I saw in 2009 (Ne Change Rien, Trash Humpers, DDR/DDR) since they were only seen at festivals. Alas, I included a set of films that were shown online and festivals only, and another that was associated with a festival, but screened elsewhere "publicly" during the festival. Just as we make it clear, it becomes muddy again.

So what do we know? Well, if these lists are any indication, there were plenty of good movies to be seen in 2009. Although it may have been a down year for Hollywood and American cinema, there was plenty to celebrate, denigrate, and shrug off. It was another year. And here is another set of lists.

(And stay tuned! Tomorrow, Out 1 will unveil the top 10 movies of the 2000s, as determined by 13 co-conspirators who have included their individual lists as part of Out 1's collective lists. Both collective and individual lists will be published tomorrow. Get excited.)

James Hansen

1. Primitive project (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
2. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
3. Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)
4. Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu)
5. Let Each One Go Where He May (Ben Russell)
6. The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch)
7. Hunger (Steve McQueen)
8. Birdsong (Albert Serra)
9. Antichrist (Lars Von Trier)
10. Jennifer (Stewart Copeland)

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical)
35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis); Adventureland (Greg Mottola); Afterschool (Antonio Campos); Beeswax (Andrew Bujalski); Crank High Voltage (Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor); Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson); Liverpool (Lisandro Alonso); Jerichow (Christian Petzold); A Serious Man (Joel & Ethan Coen); Sutro (Jeanne Liotta)

Best Performances
Female: Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist) & Maria Onetto (The Headless Woman) (tie)
Male: Michael Fassbender (Hunger)

The Hurt Locker - It’s a good movie, but, I mean, Jesus.

Crank High Voltage - Aesthetically radical (in a good way) and a total blast.

Brandon Colvin

1. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
2. The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch)
3. Adventureland (Greg Mottola)
4. Hunger (Steve McQueen)
5. Loren Cass (Chris Fuller)
6. We Were Once a Fairytale (Spike Jonze)
7. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
8. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
9. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Werner Herzog)
10. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical)
I Love You, Man (John Hamburg); Plastic Bag (Ramin Bahrani); Star Trek (J.J. Abrams); A Serious Man (Joel & Ethan Coen); Three Monkeys (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

Best Performances
Nicolas Cage (Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans) & Kanye West (We Were Once A Fairytale)

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman) & Avatar (James Cameron)

Watchmen (Zack Snyder) & Three Monkeys (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

Chuck Williamson

1. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
2. Still Walking (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
3. Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)
4. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
5. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen)
6. Antichrist (Lars von Trier)
7. In The Loop (Armando Iannuci)
8. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
9. You, The Living (Roy Andersson)
10. Afterschool (Antonio Campos)

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical)
35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis); Bright Star (Jane Campion); The Girlfriend Experience (Steven Soderbergh); The House of the Devil (Ti West); Inglorious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino); Hunger (Steve McQueen); Night and Day (Hong Sang-soo)

Best Performances
Male: Souleymane Sy Savane (Goodbye Solo)
Female: Kim Ok-vin (Thirst)

Avatar (James Cameron) & Love Exposure (Sion Sono)

A Town Called Panic (Stephane Aubier & Vincent Patar)


Tony Dayoub said...

Now I know why I love you guys so much. Between the three of you, you all manage to have some of my favorite 2009 flicks on your lists. Even James' contrarian list has something I selected.

Look forward to tommorrow's entry.

James Hansen said...

Haha. Thanks Tony. I do what I can (to shake things up and be true to my reactions as well)! Glad we have some overlap though. I try and not reside completely in a parallel universe.


Brandon Colvin said...

If we want to do a combined Top 5, in which #1 gets 10 pts, #10 gets 1 pt and honorable mentions get 1/2 pt, this would be it:

5. HUNGER - 11.5

Brandon Colvin said...

Also, Chuck, I'm gonna watch YOU, THE LIVING and STILL WALKING today. I'll let you know what I think.

Chuck W said...

Glad to hear it Brandon. Obviously, I diverge quite radically from James' take on STILL WALKING, but this is coming from an unmitigated Kore-eda fanboy. I loved it. I hope you like both of them.

I'm also itching to see POLICE, ADJECTIVE, which will unfortunately not make its way to Columbus for some time. That's obviously the most notable omission from my list this year. Well, that, and LOREN CASS (another one I haven't seen yet).

I will also publicly admit to feeling slightly guilty about snubbing HUNGER. Sorry, everyone!

Unknown said...

I feel incredibly underviewed this year. I have not seen half of these movies.

From what I have seen they look like good lists fellas. The combined top five from the comments is of particular merit I think.

Unknown said...

P.S. I would just like to throw a little love to "The Informant". It's been missing from a lot of lists this year and I think it deserves some credit.