Belated: my favorite movies of 2009

7 Mar

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but apparently the professional association that makes motion pictures will be hosting its annual awards dinner tonight, in which trophies are given out for excellence in various categories.

The association reportedly has this weird tradition in which the award winners are allowed to take the stage and publicly thank a bunch of people for their help or support or whatever. Obviously, no one on the planet could give a shit about the content of these speeches, but since most of the award recipients are former drama majors and misleadingly believe their day job of acting like different people makes them more interesting, they just drone on and on and on for insufferable time lengths, sometimes even crying?

It’s embarrassing, really, and of course this dinner and these awful speeches are nothing any of us outside the industry actually care about, but word is on the street that the association will actually be recording this orgy of rehearsed gratitude and fake applause and they think people will actually watch it on TV. Now I’ve heard of everything.

In honor of this celebration of inflated self-importance, offensively expensive clothing and a sad amount of prying into the lives of people we don’t know and never will and are likely not interesting anyway, I have listed my 12 favorite movies of 2009.

I’ve still not seen Precious or Crazy Heart, so the list isn’t complete, but this weekend marks the statute of limitations on discussing movies from 2009 (unless you’re the MTV Movie Awards, which typically air 18-24 months after year end), so it was now or never. You’re getting now.

Feel free to add in your critiques or favorites in the comments, though both you and I know you won’t.

74. Avatar. My brain tried to sue James Cameron for first-degree assault. I’m still sticking to “in five years, we’re going to be ashamed for liking this movie so much.” We shall see.

12. Anvil. A real-life This Is Spinal Tap that is both depressing and uplifting, and thankfully more of the latter. Good times.

11. Up. Animated movies typically have to be transcendent for me to fall in love with them, and Up fell just short. Incredibly inventive story, though.

10. Michael Jackson’s This Is It. Worth seeing just to witness how lucid Jackson was in his final days.

9. Sugar. Well-researched indie drama about minor-league baseball = a movie after my heart. One of the better sports movies in recent years.

8. District 9. Making a sci-fi flick about aliens battling humans is a dicey proposition, but this one pulled it off by scrubbing the script clean of cliches. The third act was a little too shoot-’em-up for me, but still an intense movie worth a rental.

7. Up in the Air. Smart dialogue and interesting premise, but a few too many holes/shortcuts in the story to be a classic. George Clooney totally nailed the role of “George Clooney.”

6. The Cove. A documentary edited with the intensity of a political drama. Worth seeing if only to debate the implications and fairness of Americans pushing their values on a different culture.

5. In the Loop. Saw this smart, fast-moving, tough-t0-keep-up British political satire a long time ago. I’ve forgotten most of the plot intricacies, but I know I enjoyed every last second of the movie.

4. An Education. A subtle telling of the common “young girl falls for an older man” story. Great script, but not a ton of action. I loved it, but I can begrudgingly admit others might be underwhelmed.

3. Fantastic Mr. Fox. Somehow more human than most of Wes Anderson’s other movies. Funny, clever and a helluva lot of fun to watch.

2. The Hurt Locker. Intense and confusing; exactly how war movies are supposed to feel. This one will stick with you for a while.

1. Inglourious Basterds. Crazy story, tons of action, chockfull of killer dialogue. Quintessential Quentin.

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2 Responses to “Belated: my favorite movies of 2009”

  1. Gates March 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    My favorite award show is the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAGs)…actors haven’t gotten enough figurative blowjobs from various academies, so they all get together and give them to each other as well.

  2. A.B. March 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    “In the Loop” was great, and I think you’re the only person I know who has seen it! I loved when the old British guy noted all the youngsters in the political biz and how they were “tripping over their umbilical cords.”

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