Uh … where was I. Really? Not so important. When I was so rudely interrupted by real-world endeavors, I was smack dab in the middle of expressing my love for any number of films released in 2009. I find it fascinating that such a crappy year (and awful decade) produced so many great films. Certainly, the correlation is a natural one: many great artists are tortured or, at the very least, bit-time complainers. But not everything in the world of film 2009 centered on morose melancholia or seriously issue-oriented; not even close.
The 10 films I listed as the best of 2009 in my last post were really just the sprinkles on top of the cinematic sundae that was 2009. Cutting to the required 10 only made me wish Mel Brooks’ joke in History of the World: Part One was actually history (or mythology, I suppose): that there truly were 15 commandments as then, our “top” lists likely would have 15 slots. And really, was 15 even enough? I count seven films that live on my next tier and each, at some point, spent time in my top 10 before I finalized my list and rankings. And beyond those seven, there were another 13 that popped into momentary consideration as I first pulled together all the titles I would consider.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of other films that don’t belong to this additional group of 20 that I still thoroughly enjoyed watching and while heavily flawed and even denigrated by many, I would still describe as “good” movies if only for pure entertainment value and/or as semi-innocuous comfort film. (Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans fits into this category; but so do It’s Complicated and Julie & Julia, two easily dismissed pieces of fluff that really shouldn’t be and aren’t … even though both have tremendous problems. And if I get around to a post on some of the films I consider most overlooked of the year, I’ll be sure to mention Bandslam.)
So here and now, I would like to devote a little time to acknowledging the films that are Top 10-adjacent (my favorite term originating from Los Angeles real estate). In the 2009 Book of Aaron, they’re all still winners.
Top 10-Adjacent (Click on title for further comments)
Those were my “next seven,” and while I simply don’t have the patience (nor time, right now; the primary goal for 2010 is to do less, better, while not over-extending myself, so let’s start – sort of – now). Among the other distributed films I really liked in 2009 (in alphabetical order), I must mention Antichrist, Anvil: The Story of Anvil, The Cove, Duplicity, Food Inc., Forbidden Lie$, The Girlfriend Experience, The Headless Woman, The House of the Devil, The Hurt Locker, I’m Gonna Explode, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, Night and Day, Outrage, Racing Dreams, The Road, Sugar, A Town Called Panic and Two Lovers.
After the jump, more comments about the adjacents, and coming soon, more comments about the year and decade in film as well as the year in decade in television; and, who knows what else. (Well, I do, but no more promises without follow-through. So there.)