Friday, February 05, 2010

The Golden Trousers '09 - 5 Runner's Up

Also rans! Also rans! Oh I love you too, also-rans. Here's the deal, yo: I saw a lot of films in 2009 that I really dug. A lot! Despite what people-who-don't-see-enough-movies have said, 2009 was a good year for movies. And as the flip-side of what I called out when making my Worst Films list - that I don't see a lot of total turkeys because until I'm paid to write reviews I'm not paying to see any Squeakquels on my own dime - it turns out that a large percentage of the movies I do pay to see turned out to be pretty dang good. Lucky me. So I could've done a top 30 or 40 list this year and at least liked very much the flicks at the shallow end of that pool. Besides several of the films on my list of favorite horror films from 2009 that I posted yesterday which would also slip somewhere into the 20-30 range, here are five more flicks that I'd feel too guilty not saying anything about.

Antichrist (d. Lars Von Trier) - Yeah, both Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe got loved on in my acting awards. And if I gave awards for technical achievements this flick would be way up there. And make no mistake about it - I found the film as unnerving as hyped. But in the end (much to my boyfriend's chagrin - he loved the film) it left me kinda cold. As an exercise, it's fascinating. And I will suffer it gladly again, trying to work out my understanding of it. But I'm not really passionate about it in any way other than an analytical one.

Taxidermia (d. György Pálfi) - Alongside Antichrist, this is the other movie that nearly made me puke last year. Hooray! It wasn't the erection shooting fire or the giant cats eating an obese man's intestines or even the man surgically removing his own insides that did it. No, it was a simple shot of a tail-stump that almost made me have to exit the theater. I am not proud of my weakness. I simply offer it to you as a warning. As my vomit goes, so went the nation. (my original review)

Mary & Max (d. Adam Elliot) - Unexpectedly touching, and funny... you just wanna grab the little clay figures and squeeze them... you know, in an affectionate way, and not in a squish them up into a ball of play-doh way. How Mary and Max come to find each other and keep each other over the long years is magic, and the film tip-toes along a precarious path, never toppling too deeply into sentiment, but keeping a big beating heart popping in the center all the same. A lovely little thing.

Bright Star (d. Jane Campion) - I forgot about Bright Star. Until I was working on my Best Actress list the other day and realized Abbie Cornish could not be denied. And then I wrote up my thoughts on her, and remembered how dear I found the film to be. A lovely film; one that once I start thinking about it it's hard to stop. (Also, Paul Schneider has a Scottish accent. Swoon.)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (d. David Yates) - My love for this series hasn't dwindled at all through the years, and I think Mr. Yates has proven himself a fine helmsman here at the end and I can't wait to see what (wait for it...) magic (boo yeah) he works with the final two-parter. The cast's just bursting at the seams now, everybody's at their best, and the world feels whole. It's a fantastic place to be and I delight at every extra minute I can spend within it. (my original review)

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