Best of 2009

1 03 2010

There are still a few films I haven’t seen that could have an impact on this list, however I have no way of seeing these films for at least a couple of months and don’t want to be posting a best of 2009 list during the summer of 2010.  Those films are Tetro, A Single Man, Bright Star, The Last Station, The Secret of Kells, 35 Shots of Rum, The Princess and the Frog, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  So with that in mind, here’s my top 10 with a few honorable mentions thrown in:

10.  SUGAR

9.  PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

8.  CRAZY HEART

7.  THE WHITE RIBBON

6.  THE COVE

5.  PONYO

4.  ANTICHRIST

3.  AVATAR

2.  FISH TANK

1.  UP

Honorable mentions:

The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man, Up in the Air, In the Loop, Sin Nombre.

Feel free to post your own top 10 below!





On DVD: Sin Nombre

30 12 2009

A gritty Mexican film about a boy on the run in an attempt to escape gang life and an immigrant family’s overwhelming journey to America.  The two stories meet halfway when the family’s young daughter, Sayra, and the boy, Casper, form a special bond.

If only everyone who views immigrants simply as “illegal” people coming to steal our jobs and futures could see this movie.  It gives such a real and powerful glimpse into the lives of families trying to escape violence and hardship  so they can pursue a life of happiness.  Putting themselves in constant danger travelling great lengths only to be deported.  Sin Nombre means “without name,” showing how in many cases illegal immigrants are viewed only as “pests” rather than people.  Maybe a film like this could give some insight to the Minutemen and others who are trying to “protect” our borders. 

It’s worth noting that director Cary Joji Fukunaga spent time travelling with immigrants by train for preparation, and considering how authentic the film is I’d say the ample amount of research payed off.  It manages to be a great study of gang life, immigration, and poverty while also being genuinely entertaining and thrilling.  Of what I’ve seen this is my favorite directorial debut of 2009, and has maybe the most beautiful cinematography.  It’s one of those films where just about every shot deserves to be hung up on the wall or turned into a poster. 

I also have to mention that this was produced by Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal.  I think that fact will give a few people I know a little extra motivation to see this.

RATING:  8.5/10