Here we are, time for all of us to reveal our top ten films of 2009. Many of you wondered why I only allowed you to pick five films in the nominations poll I started on Monday. Well, everything was in an effort to make sure you all held your lists until today as I reveal my top ten favorite films of 2009 and hope you will add your thoughts on my list as well as share your individual lists of 10, 15, 20 or however many films from the year that was. We have only a couple of days left before 2010 shuts the door on what I thought was a rather enjoyable year in film once you brush away a few of those lousy blockbusters that weren’t.
Before I go any further, let me once again share the schedule as I promised I would include with each posting on Monday:
Now, let’s get into it. First off, I have to admit, you guys flatter me as a few of you were trying to predict my top ten films in the comments of yesterday’s rankings of films #11 – 20. Even more eerie is how closely you have been paying attention throughout the year as a combination of your predictions actually include eight of my top ten films, while the two that eluded you aren’t exactly fair as I added my review for one of them only a few hours ago and the other was only mentioned at any real length a couple of weekends ago in one of my What I Watched columns. With that said I offer up my Top Ten Films of 2009 without any additional delay… I hope I don’t disappoint…
I’m not sure I can say much more than I have already said about Pixar’s latest addition to their running collection of animated classics. After screen it for my family over the holidays. If you weren’t convinced the story of Carl and Russell was going to make my top ten of the year after that I’m not sure what else to say.
While it’s not Pixar’s best film to date, it’s certainly their most mature and I’m anxious to see what tone Toy Story 3 touches on when it hits theaters on June 18, 2010. With that in mind, considering the enjoyment I get out of Up now, I can only wonder how it will affect me as I get up there in age and can begin to relate to Carl on that level. I have a feeling this is a film that will be with me for a long time.
I caught it twice in theaters and was practically begging our local Sony Classics rep to get us an additional screening after the first time I saw it. From the moment the film began with Floyd Cramer’s upbeat score playing over the opening titles I was in this film’s corner, and the performances of Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina and Dominic Cooper solidified my opinion and made this film one of my favorites of 2009.
I have since acquired the soundtrack featuring the smoky vocals of Beth Rowley with her original track “You’ve Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger” (hit play just above) and can’t wait to own a copy of the Blu-ray to play over and over again, even if it’s just serving as background noise. You can read my full review of the film from October right here.
James Cameron’s Avatar would have possibly placed higher on this list had I been able to catch a second screening, but time was not permitting as holiday schedules and a packed work schedule just didn’t allow for it. However, this is one film I can’t wait to own on Blu-ray. Sure, we all agree the story is extremely weak, but the entertainment value is through the roof.
I anticipate this is one of those films I’ll fall back on every now and again when I’m in need of a no-brainer effects-driven effort. However, to simply label it as a visual feast is to ignore one of the major elements that allowed me to stay with it so long and a friend of mine sent me a text just the other day that pretty much summed it all up:
Dude, Avatar is awesome. Don’t tell my wife, but I think I’m in love with a ten foot tall blue alien named Neytiri.
Zoe Saldana’s performance most likely won’t be earning her any Oscar nominations, but it will go down as one of the best performances of 2009 in my mind.