Friday 1 January 2010

Best films of 2009

Here’s my pick of the year’s best films. To be fair, I should say that the best filmmaking of 2009 lay in the first half of Avatar and the first half of District 9. But both these films were irredeemably flawed: District 9 quickly forgot its own stunning documentary style, degenerating into an increasingly mindless and preposterous shoot-em-up; while Avatar’s brilliantly imagined fantasy world was sadly eclipsed by James Cameron’s astonishing inability to unimagine the necessity of military violence. This is a real shame, since both of these could have been among the greatest films of the decade, if only they had been half as long! But anyways, I’ve still included both these films on the list, but not in the top places. Here are my top 10:

1. Mary and Max (Adam Elliot, Australia and US)
2. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, Denmark)
3. Zombieland (Ruben Fleischer, US)
4. Avatar 3D (James Cameron, US)
5. District 9 (Neill Blomkamp, South Africa)
6. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, US)
7. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, Germany)
8. Brüno (Larry Charles, US)
9. Samson and Delilah (Warwick Thornton, Australia)
10. Mao’s Last Dancer (Bruce Beresford, Australia and China)

Worst film (my wife forced me to go see it, and it was a damaging experience): Twilight Saga: New Moon


Brandon Lee said...

Though a frequent visitor to your blog, I have to confess that this list only confirms my recent suspicion that you have no taste (and certainly the wrong taste for a theologian).


Anonymous said...

Just what I was thinking, a real theologian would have placed Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel number one on his list.

Ben Myers said...

Brandon, I'm sure all your fears will be confirmed if I admit that I was within a hair's breadth of making Zombieland #1 — I thought it was one of the year's most delightful and flawless films.

Anonymous said...

This is Jo

Best film of 2009 Samson & Delilah. Can't say I've seen all of the others though, including, thankfully, New Moon.

Rory Shiner said...

Zombieland was truly a great film. Good call.

J said...

New Chipmunks manga?? Cool.

Haven't seen any of the Top 10 flicks, but Tarentino's latest pack of pseudo-noir kitsch and ...prevarication....doesn't belong there. (and DeFoes soft-core, gothy ~(JC) sux from what ah hear).

Bruce Hamill said...

I would have included Disgrace (Jacobs, based on Coetzee novel). I saw it alongside Samson and Delilah, loved both but preferred it.

Robert Angison said...

I am curious, and hopefully this won't come out wrong.

How can a theologian of the church advocate for movies like "Antichrist" or "Bruno" that display such a despicable form of sexuality, immorality, and sinfulness?

I am honestly asking a genuine question. Any help in understanding this would be appreciated.

You are the Church!
Robert Angison

Nathan said...

Yes, Mr Theologian... how can you possibly be interested in the way the sinful heart interprets topics the Bible talks so much about?

myleswerntz said...

I saw Zombieland twice in the theater, and used it as an example in talking about theological anthropology in my Intro to Theology class.

Loved it. Top 5 of the year for me.

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