Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wendy's Top 10 of 2009

1. (500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb)

(500) Days of Summer
is a wonderful turn on the typical romantic comedy, full of colour, music and fun. The film is an affectionate glance into the life of Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he blindly falls for Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and is unable to fully understand her and her desires. Gordon-Levitt is charming and delightful, and though Deschanel could have had a bit more character development, she pulls of the character with ease and her usual magnetism.

2. Ondine* (Neil Jordan) - Ireland provides the perfect background for this beautiful, fairy-like tale. As fisherman and and father Syraceuse, Colin Farrell displays his ability to provide depth of character and like the film itself, Alicja Bachleda-Curus's performance as the mysterious woman of the water is stunning and whimsical.

3. Up (Pete Docter) - Pixar seems to be at the top of its game with recent releases like Wall-E and this year's Up, which combines adventure with a sentimental and heartfelt message about the importance of love and living life to the fullest, regardless of how old you are.

4. Up in the Air* (Jason Reitman) as a comedy I saw in theatres with my Mum, I didn't expect this one to be the thought-provoking and quality film that it proved to be. With a strong performance from Clooney, and an interesting female lead in Vera Fermiga, this film's exploration of solitude and meaningful relationships made me think twice about the future and my decisions in life.

5. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino) - As this one is on nearly every top 10 list for 2009, I need not go far beyond saying that the film is entertaining with an unexpected depth and has several entertaining and vibrant performances, namely those of Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Eli Roth and Christoph Waltz.

6. Star Trek (J.J. Abrams) - Several great performances make this one worthwhile, but add to that fun and visual brilliance and you've got one great cinematic renewal. I must add that my love of Simon Pegg only added to my praise of the film with his adorable and depiction of the Enterprise's engineer Scotty.

7. The Hangover (Todd Phillips) - Full of fun, crazy and hilarious moments, this comedy gave this year's cinematic releases a needed burst of energy after the year got to a slow start.

8. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (David Yates) - I must say I enjoyed this most recent adaptation of the J.K. Rowling books. It was dark enough to suit the book, intriguing enough to capture the audiences and even successfully added a dash of comedy to the mix. Not to mention that the trio of Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have certainly improved in their acting ability since they were wee ones nearly a decade ago.

9. Fantastic Mr. Fox* (We Anderson)- A neat film that I thought deserved more of an audience than it received on the showing I went to opening night. Anderson's most recent film might not be the tour de force that is The Royal Tenenbaums, but it's bright, funny, witty and great for kids and parents alike.

10. Where the Wild Things Are* (Spike Jonze) - Haunting, sad and beautiful, I can't see there being a more thorough and strong adaptation to a story that has less than 350 words. Perhaps a little too dark for young ones, this film seems to be more of an adaptation for adults than for children.

Films from 2009 that I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing, but which look either promising, entertaining, or both: An Education*, Coraline, Invictus*, Nine*, Whip It*, Broken Embraces*, Julie & Julia, Sherlock Holmes*, The September Issue.

*Those marked with an asterisk are not yet out on DVD, but keep your eyes peeled for future enjoyment!

1 comment:

MLClark said...

I can't wait to see Up in the Air -- great list, Wendy!