Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Ten (Not That Ten)

No time like early March—indeed, no time like Oscar morning—to finally announce a Top Ten List for 2009. I can't possibly see how this will get lost in the shuffle of Oscar blogging, can you? But since I don't have time to write any fuller endorsement of these titles, and since the top half of the list has been evident in other ways for a couple of months, I figure it'll help me get through the evening to have this little photobook to look through. If that doesn't work, I'll have to pull out all the stops on those Na'Vi Martinis I'm supplying to the viewing party I'm attending. Never has Bombay Sapphire gin been put to such noble use. Hopefully I'll still be cognizant when Bigelow blasts that gold-plated glass ceiling off the Best Director Oscar. I'm really looking forward to that.

Best wishes for that and other moments worth revisiting (or even visiting!) in tonight's Oscar show, but if they prove few and far between, that's okay, too. Once awards season is finally over, we can all settle down and study the movies we really love, and those that have the most to teach us. For me, they were these:

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Blogger Robert Hamer said...

Ha! I *knew* you wouldn't divorce yourself from the Oscars completely. How could you? Your (and my) #1 film of the year could actually take it!

Seriously, how awesome is that? How elated will you be when Kathryn Bigelow takes the Oscar for The Sexy Locker? I mean, it would's...I don't even want to think about it in case something horrible happens and they give it to James Cameron or something.

2:03 AM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Guy Lodge said...

I knew more or less what films to expect here, but had no idea in what order they would fall ... I'm delighted that our #1 choices (using the U.S. release calendar, at least) match.

Wouldn't it be rather a supreme irony if tonight, after your self-imposed exile from awards season, your actual favourite film of the year took the big one? Maybe you should do this every year.

4:35 AM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Okay, fine, you've convinced me to tackle Bujalski again despite feeling a part of me die during Mutual Appreciation.

Also, your Julia review is fantastic.

8:32 AM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Robert: Well, even in my Grinch post, I never made bones about the fact that of course I'd watch the Oscars; I just didn't want to throw them any promotional time on this site. I'm rather smugly proud of myself for holding to it, because I secretly thought I might buckle a while ago.

@Robert and @Guy: Of course I'll be happy if The Hurt Locker wins, but Best Picture has become such a polluted category over the years that I'm not sure how big the rush from that one can actually be ("...because Oscar is a drug"). I think the Bigelow victory will actually matter for more, and not just because of the gender breakthrough or the excellence of the film, but because, Tilda-style, I've been a fan of this artist for well over ten years, a mad disciple raving in the streets about Strange Days and taking two or three trips through even a flawed work like The Weight of Water, and I never expected her to be anywhere near Oscar's radar. O, sweet victory!

@Goran: Thanks! I haven't seen MA, so I can't speak to Beeswax's relative merits, but I just thought it was fresh, funny, emotionally credible, and kind of intoxicating. How do Austin movies always turn out so well?

8:38 AM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger James T said...

OK, this is the last time I'm changing my name. I'm Dimitris, ex Jim T.

I am sorry to say that I've only seen two films from your top 10. Julia and The Hurt Locker. Luckily, I liked them both and although I have to rewatch the Locker, I think Julia is my number one this year. Yes, Tilda is the strongest reason (that performance was the only thing that really shook me in 2009) but Zonca knew well how to handle this powerful tool.

I really want to watch Thirst and The Maid. They seem like delicious meals for actressexuals (or, as Guy would have put it, actressors).

Here, in Greece, few people will be up during the show (it will be early in the morning), so I might have a party with my cat. I think he's rooting for Tarantino. He really likes violence.

10:10 AM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Lev Lewis said...

So much to see! But how will I ever find "Beeswax" and "You, The Living"? C'mon, DVD.

Our lists differ quite drastically at points (although I haven't been able to see quite a few of yours and "The Maid" would qualify as a 2010 release for me) but yours is as unique as one could hope for, and I don't mean that as anything except a compliment.

Woo for "Lorna's Silence", "Bright Star" and "Thirst"!

11:47 AM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Tim said...

As you suggested, a bit light on surprises, but it's a damn strong list nonetheless, at least as far as I've seen it (though outside of Swinton, I don't have much use for Julia). I'm really starting to hate myself for skipping The Maid, given how much love it's been getting from smart people.

Re: favorite films winning Oscars. I wonder if I'm rare in sometimes actively rooting against one of my favorites of the year to win Best Picture, just to avoid the taint that comes from being on the same list as Cimarron, Gentleman's Agreement, and A Beautiful Mind. Certainly, I remember in 2007 when my darling No Country won, feeling absolutely nothing inside, one way or the other.

3:07 PM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Robert Hamer said...

And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day.

11:05 PM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Mr. K said...

Thanks for having the Maid on your list (I assume? too tired after the Oscar to read more). It's on my top 3 of the year. I love Julia (especially Swinton, electrifying), but I thought the movie starts out very exciting and tense, but going to Mexico lost me a bit....

12:40 AM, March 08, 2010  
Blogger Mr. K said...

BTW, have you checked out Ann Hui's films yet? Or was I commenting on some other blog? LOL

12:41 AM, March 08, 2010  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

ewww. i wish you wouldn't be proud of not talking about the Oscars. I SO MISSED YOUR INIMITABLE VOICE ON THE MATTER.

sorry. just thought it was worth shouting. you were missed.

9:46 AM, March 08, 2010  
Blogger JKlorfein said...

Ummmmm... did you think it was a little creepy how Mark Boal kept grabbing Bigelow by the arm on stage?

3:59 PM, March 08, 2010  
Blogger Guy Lodge said...

Given that she was visibly shaking, and that he's her boyfriend, I'd say it was acceptable.

5:04 AM, March 09, 2010  
Blogger Burning Reels said...

Not sure I liked You, Living as much as yourself but it's playfulness was quite charming. Additonally, I was a little disappointed with the latest Dardenne picture, although was quite enamoured with the lead performance (are there any bad acting performances in their films?!)

Share the Bright Star love of course and see, based on the grade, you quite liked Silent Light too, which was just about my number one for '09.

9:23 PM, March 10, 2010  
Blogger Nick Duval said...

Solid list. "The Hurt Locker" and "Julia" factor big on my list as well. I watched some of but didn't finish "You, the Living." I agree with what you said earlier about the "tablecloth trick." I also thought the scene with the guy getting his wallet stolen was interesting and very powerful. "Bright Star" falls just outside my list. Good movie, but not great. Same with "Anvil!," which started as one of the best new docs but fell into a stream of depression about halfway through.

I want to see "Beeswax" and "The Maid." Both came to my area, but you hadn't hyped them then, so I didn't know to check them out.

Also, BTW, ran through "Eternal Sunshine" again last night and realized furthermore how unbelievable it is. As you said, I think,"no dialogue is false."

11:01 AM, March 17, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that you have the screenshot from "Julia" -- what a killer role for Tilda Swinton, and she took my head off, she was so good. She simply refused to soften the character until the end, and even then we're not sure if she's changed because she wanted to or because circumstances forced her hand.

2:40 PM, March 31, 2010  

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