Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Films of 2009

I saw plenty of excellent films in 2009 and I cannot restrict my list to 10 or even 20 films. My short list has 57 titles that I enjoyed in varying aspects so I have decided to break things up into three categories to reflect a subjective ordering -- Gold (Favourites), Silver (Honorable Mention), Bronze (Worthy viewing). All the films in each category are listed in order of viewing and are 2009 released films or older films that only saw the light of day in my city this year (such as Zidane and Wendy and Lucy).

Gold -- 23 titles

Zidane (France, Douglas Gordon/Philippe Parreno)
Wendy and Lucy (USA, Kelly Reichardt)
Birdsong (Spain, Albert Serra)
Call If You Need Me (Malaysia, James Lee)
Buick Riviera (Croatia, Goran Rusinovic)
Be Calm and Count to Seven (Iran, Ramtin Lavafipour)
Border (Armenia/Holland, Harutyun Khachatryan)
Everyone Else (Germany, Maren Ade)
Milk (Turkey, Semih Kaplanoglu)
Karaoke (Malaysia, Chris Chong Chan Fui)
Ain’t No Tomorrows (Japan, Yuki Tanada)
The Storm (Turkey, Kazim Öz)
The Hurt Locker (USA, Kathryn Bigelow)
District 9 (South Africa/New Zealand, Neill Blomkamp)
Katalin Varga (Romania co-production, Peter Strickland)
Police, Adjective (Romania, Corneliu Porumboiu)
The Happiest Girl in the World (Romania co-production, Radu Jude)
I Killed My Mother (Canada, Xavier Dolan)
Breathless (South Korea, Yang Ik-June)
The Prophet (France, Jacques Audiard)
The Class (France, Laurent Cantet)
In the Loop (UK, Armando Iannucci)
The Limits of Control (USA, Jim Jarmusch)

Silver -- 21 titles

The International (USA/Germany/UK, Tom Tykwer)
Che, part two (USA, Steven Soderbergh)
The Blessing (Denmark, Heidi Maria Faisst)
Can go Through Skin (Holland, Esther Rots)
My Only Sunshine (Turkey co-production, Reha Erdem)
This Longing (Malaysia, Azharr Rudin)
Fujian Blue (China, Weng Shou Ming)
Lulu & Jimi (Germany/France, Oskar Roehler)
Daytime Drinking (Korea, Young-Seok Noh)
Vacation (Japan, Hajime Kadoi)
Independencia (Philippines, Raya Martin)
Mid-August Lunch (Italy, Gianni Di Gregorio)
Still Walking (Japan, Hirokazu Koreeda)
Fish Eyes (Korea/China, Zheng Wei)
Rough Cut (Korea, Hun Jang)
Revache (Austria, Goetz Spielmann)
Wrong Rosary (Turkey, Mahmut Fazil Coskun)
Man on Wire (UK/USA, James Marsh)
Firaaq (India, Nandita Das)
The Damned United (UK/USA, Tom Hooper)
35 Shots of Rum (France, Claire Denis)

Bronze -- 13 titles

Dev D (India, Anurag Kashyup)
Gulaal (India, Anurag Kashyup)
Pontypool (Canada, Bruce McDonald)
Guidance (Sweden, Johan Jonason)
Amreeka (USA/Canada, Cherien Dabis)
Genova (UK, Michael Winterbottom)
Mary and Max (Australia, Adam Elliot)
Public Enemies (USA, Michael Mann)
The White Ribbon (Germany co-production, Michael Haneke)
The Last Lullaby (USA, Jeffrey Goodman)
Cooking History (Slovakia co-production, Peter Kerekes)
Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis (France, Dany Boon)
Tulpan (Kazakhstan co-production,Sergei Dvortsevoy)


Reel Fanatic said...

Very happy to see the love for "Zidane" ... I suppose to be a certain kind of soccer geek to fall in love with that one, but the way it synchs up with the music is purely hypnotic

Sachin said...

Yeah being a soccer fan certainly helped :) and yes the music was quite amazing. I cannot imagine loving the film as much without the music. Also, the music properly tuned out at times to let us hear the crowd as well. But the film answered something that I had wondered for the longest time, what a great soccer player does during an entire game? Stats keep saying that on average a player might touch the ball for a total time of 2-3 minutes during a game but the great players have the ball longer than that. Also, the great players make each touch count and that film certainly showed that. Interestingly, the film also gave a preview about the other side of Zidane that most people remember from the 2006 world cup.