Wednesday, December 31, 2008

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Top Ten of 2008

Yes, another year has come and gone. It's been one of "those" years for movies, a year where it seemed like everything was destined to make me sob. And the release dates were so wonky. What in the fuck was with the December glut? I spit at thee, studios. Well, no, I guess I don't, since I love your films. But I do shake my head.

This is my Top Ten of 2008, but again, it was one of "those" years. I will post them alphabetically, not in order of preference, for there is a HUGE chance that this year's Top Ten will actually wind up as the leading nominees for the Hollmann Awards.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
For making a ridiculous premise unbelievably real. For astounding me (AGAIN!) with the abilities of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. For making FX necessary. For referencing a recent disaster with taste. For reassuring me that David Fincher is one of the greatest directors working today.

The Dark Knight
For taking a comic book movie as seriously as I do. For making a superhero movie into the biggest hit of the decade. For providing material for one of the best supporting performances of the year (No, not Heath Ledger). For giving a great actor a phenomenal swan song. For feeling fresh and new after six viewings.

For making Nixon a man, not a monster. For making me believe in the Ron Howard myth. For building off of a somewhat shallow script. For making the 1970s feel as pressing as tomorrow. For Michael Sheen's amazing TV Voice.

Married Life
For balancing comedy and drama effortlessly. For making the Other Woman more than a slut. For providing the most memorable score of the first half of the year. For realizing people can fall back in love. For Patricia Clarkson's sexy, sexy self.

For making the biopic formula feel new. For Sean Penn's smile. For reestablishing Gus Van Sant's greatness. For invoking the look and feel of a 1970s flick. For being unashamedly GAY.

Rachel Getting Married
For reflecting life so realistically. For making Rachel just as irritating as Kym. For making the music part of the action. For making me sob. For making Roger Corman an extra with a video camera.

Speed Racer
For willing to be cheesy. For being sincere despite it all. For giving me my childhood back. For capturing the spirit of the TV series. For making me sob for two hours.

Synecdoche, NY
For making me feel every emotion simultaneously. For that final monologue. For that magnificent ensemble of women. For putting all my hopes and fears up on the screen. For Dianne Wiest.

For creating suspense when I knew the ending. For not caring about accents, just acting ability. For John Ottman's absolutely brilliant score. For a superb supporting cast. For making my heart beat dangerously fast throughout.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
For reminding me why I love Woody Allen. For making me actually love the Spanish language. For giving its actresses great material. For the beautiful cinematography. For making Woody Allen seem young and hip and sexy.

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