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In 2009, I watched 320 films. Only four featured oldish leading characters ... and that included Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button
In a perfect world, we would all hit our 60s like Meryl Streep in It's Complicated – having affairs, baking croissants and adding extensions to our lovely Santa Barbara homes. Sadly, our dotage is more likely to resemble that of the couple in Tokyo Story, repeatedly given the brush-off by adult children who see them as a nuisance, or of poor old Umberto D, unable to pay his rent.
Statisticians are predicting that, soon, a quarter of the UK population will be more than 60 years old, but we're unlikely ever to see a similar proportion of senior citizens in significant movie roles. In 2009 I watched roughly 320 films. Other than the aforementioned Streep, only three could be said to feature oldish leading characters: Hirokazu Koreeda's Still Walking, 71-year-old Dustin Hoffman getting it on »
- Anne Billson
Chicago – The staff at HollywoodChicago.com met with some living legends and some rising stars in 2009. As we prepare to bring you even more in 2010, we thought we’d look back at a few of our favorite quotes from the year. Enjoy.
Highlights of the year in chronological order:
Writer/Director Kyle Newman on the troubled production of “Fanboys” - ““It was very disheartening to watch everything that you’ve done positive be undermined in a week by a bunch of idiots, this team that was brought in to do this. Mainly just the director who they brought in to re-shape it who was opening his mouth online and really offending our core audience. So, I was shocked. I was like, “Oh my God.” It was just getting out of control and here we are on the sidelines and I’m watching the movie fall apart. I’m watching our fanbase dissipate. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
/Film reader Ezequiel G points me towards a video that was recently uploaded to the official Disney/Pixar youtube page. The video is a flashback to 1995, fifteen years ago, as we get to listen and watch a conversation between John Lasseter and Pete Docter as they figure out the how to best bring to life what a character says through their movements for the original Toy Story film. Of course, this is years before Docter went on to direct Monsters Inc or Up, and a look at Lasseter, making his feature directorial debut, before he became a major force in Hollywood.I've always preferred these more "fly on the wall" looks at the movie making process, and wish more movie studios would release this kind of footage as opposed to glossy featurette documentaries. I really love the fact that Disney is beginning to put this kind of stuff online. The »
- Peter Sciretta
A new decade begins on a high note as we look back at an exceptional year in film. 3D and the IMAX format have finally taken hold. What was once gimmickry and the sole realm of documentaries are now exciting cinematic experiences for audiences of all ages. Leading the charge was James Cameron's visionary Avatar. The long awaited science fiction epic surpassed considerable expectations with its breathtaking special effects and scope. But while the colossus reins supreme, smaller films like Lee Daniels Precious and Jason Reitman's Up in the Air resonated with their captivating performances. I am optimistic for 2010, but wonder where the hell are the flying cars and hover boards?Top Ten Films of 2009#1 Avatar There are not enough superlatives to describe this film. Writer/Director James Cameron has once again taken us to a new frontier. Jake Sully's (Sam Worthington) odyssey on Pandora is akin to Dances with Wolves in space. »
As we say good-bye to 2009, we reflect back on a year of space opera spectacles, animated allegories and protracted period pieces. The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds and Up in the Air were favorites among critics in 2009, though one of those films actually didn't make our list of the twelve most entertaining films of 2009. We'll let you read on to figure out which one was omitted—you can feel free to chastise us in the Comments section below if you think we were unfair for leaving it out.
How do we interpret "entertaining," you ask? Not necessarily the best, or most influential…or most "important"…but what we considered to be the dozen most enjoyable and/or absorbing films of 2009—broadly defined, films that pulled you into the story for one reason or another, and weren't forgotten 10 minutes after leaving the theater. Films that elicited an emotional reaction, not through manipulation, »
The joy of list-making continues today as I’m running down who I thought gave the best performances of the year plus what I thought were the best quotes and kills of 2009. Please keep in mind that regarding the performances, I haven’t seen a few key films that could have very well changed the winners and runners-up: Crazy Heart (Best Actor), The Last Station and Bright Star (Best Actress), and a few others. If you think there was someone who clearly should’ve won or been nominated, shout out in the comments section and I’ll let you know whether I saw the film or not.
With this disclaimer out of the way, I present to you my picks for the best performers, directors, quotes, and kills of 2009. Hit the jump to check them all out.
- Matt Goldberg
Pete Docter’s Up (Disney / Pixar) (top); Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox (Fox Searchlight Pictures) (bottom) Although Pete Docter’s Up was expected to have the animation year-end awards field all to itself, it ultimately had to face tough competition from Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, which features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Jason Schwartzman, among others. Up has won awards from at least 14 Us-based groups, while Fantastic Mr. Fox has won 7. Both are up for a Golden Globe and for a best animated feature Annie Award. Coraline is the only other animated feature to win an award this season, from the San Francisco film critics. It’s also up for a Golden Globe and an Annie Award. Tomm Moore’s [...] »
- Andre Soares
With the proliferation of Top Tens and Best Of lists on the internet at this time of year we wanted to try something a little different.
2009 was an important year for the business of cinema; games were changed with the acquiescence of audiences to the notion of 3D, low budgets met with large returns, old franchises spawned reboots and rebakes with varying success, the British film industry remained strong and gave us some bright new stars in our sky.
We asked our writers to come up with an alternative set of awards which would honour those films, directors and actors who made 2009 such an enjoyable year. Strong emotions are rendered in strong language, be warned if words offend.
So, here now, I present to you our awards for 2009 – The Truffles.
- Jon Lyus
In many ways, 2009 was a yearlong echo of 2008. The recession that began last year may have ended, but unless you work for Goldman Sachs, you probably didn't notice. Meanwhile, so-called "new media"—a moniker that as time passes sounds more and more like it was invented by somebody's grandpa—continued to imitate a fast-moving glacier carving a canyon across the old-media landscape. Nearly every major story of 2009 sprang from these two reservoirs, already well tapped in 2008. But at the very least, this year was no less interesting than the one it followed. Here are 10 reasons why.10. Equity's swinging doorMaybe former Actors' Equity Association executive director John P. Connolly, who resigned Nov. 30, and former Equity president Mark S. Zimmerman, who resigned Dec. 12, really did decide within two weeks of each other to leave their union posts to focus on their respective acting careers and personal lives. Maybe not. But for Equity, »
From action to science fiction to animation, we discuss our favorite frames of celluloid from the past year.
By Josh Wigler
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Even as moviegoers look ahead towards 2010, it cannot be denied that 2009 was a banner year for blockbuster cinema. Hot off the heels of the domestic box office's single most lucrative weekend ever, there is no question that both Hollywood and the indie scene alike had their best game-faces on this year, resulting in a science-fiction renaissance through the likes of "District 9" as well as more intimate (though no less dangerous) affairs as seen in "The Hurt Locker."
While a movie is only as good as the sum of its parts, it's clear that the films of 2009 had some very, very good parts. From intergalactic space battles to an intense conversational showdown over a glass of milk, these are our nine »
We've arrived at the very end of 2009, which means it's finally time to unveil our hotly-anticipated 25 Hottest and Lamest lists of 2009. Tonight we're kicking things off with our 25 Hottest of 2009 list, which includes a number of movie-related events (films, actors, actresses, trends, scenes) that we all thought were the hands-down hottest things to happen in Hollywood over the past 12 months. Joining us from the Cinematical staff for this year's lists are Eric D. Snider, William Goss, Monika Bartyzel, Dawn Taylor, Elisabeth Rappe, Jen Yamato and Peter Hall. We'll be back tomorrow night with our list of the 25 Lamest of 2009. Enjoy!
25. Up's tear-jerking silent vignette
With each new film, Pixar finds some way to top itself. The marvelous innovation in Up was the wordless sequence near the beginning, set to Michael Giacchino's wistful score, depicting Carl and Ellie's entire life together -- including the sad fact that they can't have children. »
- Erik Davis
We are leaving Kubrick behind and fast approaching Hyams. If you get that reference, go grab yourself a cookie. It is time for us to reflect back on the decade that was. On January 1st, 2000, Disney released Fantasia 2000. On Wednesday, December 30th, 2009, The White Ribbon is set to bow. Between the release of these two films, thousands of films came and went, and some of them were far more memorable than others. It was a long trek getting this list together, but here are our collective top 100 films of the past decade.
Quick Year-to-Year by the Numbers:
2009 – 11
2008 – 11
2007 – 7
2006 – 14
2005 – 12
2004 – 8
2003 – 7
2002 – 12
2001 – 10
2000 – 8
93. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’S Stone (2001) – Chris Columbus
90. Tasogare Seibei »
- Movie Geeks
Having just turned eighty a few weeks back, actor Christopher Plummer has been having quite a phenomenal year, and it isn't over just yet. Earlier this year, he provided his voice for two of the year's most innovative animated films, Pixar's Up and Shane Acker's 9 , and this month, he stars in two movies that couldn't be any different - he plays Russian author Lev Nikolayevich (Leo) Tolstoy in Michael Hoffman's The Last Station as well as the title character in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus , the latest fantasy tale from Terry Gilliam, visionary filmmaker of Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen . When ComingSoon.net sat down with Mr. Plummer a few weeks back, it was mainly for The Last Station , which explores the relationship between Tolstoy and his »
Best Films Of The Decade (aka The Naughties) From Alex & Terry
List # 1
By Alex Simon
When Terry and I initially discussed writing these lists, I had a tough time thinking back on 20 films over the past decade which I was really taken with, thinking that movies have sunk so low over the past ten years, that even choosing a dozen would be a short-order job. Thirty minutes into it, my list had nearly 60 titles! After much cutting, pasting, and re-cutting and pasting, here are my top 20 films (in no particular order) of the first decade of the 21st century, dubbed by many as “the naughties.” --A.S.
1.No Country for Old Men (Coen Brothers, 2007) An elegiac blend of stark beauty and full-throttle despair from two of our finest filmmakers, set in the contemporary American West. Every frame is damn near flawless, and would have been an even more perfect vehicle for the late Sam Peckinpah. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
In past years I have sort of enjoyed the slow trickle of critics organization announcements, but this year they all gushed through journalism's infrastructure so quickly I lost track immediately in the deluge. I'm also slightly suspicious that nobody cares this year (or am I projecting?) since it's about the fifth year in a row with a large degree of consensus. Some years consensus makes a great deal of sense. Others, not so much. Since this happens every year now, I think it's a sure sign that all we ever needed was a few big groups. I'm still a bit perplexed why all of these little groups don't merge to become something more awesomely super-sized.
But in case you do care (and because I have a photoshop problem) here's a few more chosen because these are cities or states where I've actually lived or visited frequently.
Chicago Film Critics
- NATHANIEL R
"The Hurt Locker" swept another critics association awards, this time, it's for the Chicago Film Critics Association. The film won all five awards that it was nominated for namely Best Picture, Best Director (for Kathryn Bigelow), Best Original Screenplay (for Mark Boal), Best Actor (Jeremy Renner) and Best Cinematography (Barry Ackroyd).
Here's the complete list of winners:
Picture: "The Hurt Locker"
Supporting Actress: Mo'nique, "Precious"
Foreign-language Film: The White Ribbon"
Animated Feature: "Up"
Documentary: Anvil: "The Story of Anvil"
Pixar has released a set of six photos from the Color Script of Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3 on The Pixar Blog, Upcoming Pixar, and PixarTalk. For every Pixar movie, a color script is created, which is essentially an at a glance look at the color keys and tones for the entire film. A color script gives you a good look at how the color arcs in a film relate to the story. Previously on the site, we've featured some of Pixar artist Lou Romano's amazing color script for Pete Docter's Up. The Toy Story 3 color script was crafted by Pixar art director Dice Tsutsumi. None of the imagery is spoilerish, as most of it seems to come from the flashback sequences seen in the last movie trailer. Check out the higher resolution versions of these images on The Pixar Blog, Upcoming Pixar, and PixarTalk. »
- Peter Sciretta
Hurt Locker walks away with five wins, including best picture. The documentary Anvil: “The Story of Anvil” won but isn’t available for an Oscar nomination. Up in the Air, the one with the most nominations around the nation right now wasn’t empty handed, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner won for Adapted Screenplay.
Picture: “The Hurt Locker”
Supporting Actress: Mo’nique, “Precious”
Foreign-language Film: The White Ribbon”
Animated Feature: “Up”
Documentary: Anvil: “The Story of Anvil”
Original Score: “Up, »
- Jeff Bayer
With six nominations apiece going to Up In The Air and Where The Wild Things Are, it was Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker that pulled off a 5-for-5 sweep of The Chicago Film Critics Association 22nd Annual Awards. A winner for Best Picture, Director, Actor (Jeremy Renner), Original Screenplay (Mark Boal) and Cinematography (Barry Ackroyd), the Iraq war thriller once again laid claim to the film with the most victories during this awards season. From critic's groups not mutually exclusive to one type of film or one type of film critic/journalist, The Hurt Locker is up 32 awards to Inglourious Basterds' 30 and Up In The Air's 29.
Quentin Tarantino's film picked up another in the long stretch of victories by Christoph Waltz for Supporting Actor. While Up In The Air's two supporting ladies, Vera Farmiga & Anna Kendrick, were beat out once again by Mo'Nique Dearest for Precious, »
- Erik Childress
Chicago – Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” swept the Chicago Film Critics Association awards for 2009, winning in every single category in which it was nominated, taking home prizes for Best Picture, Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow), Best Original Screenplay (Mark Boal), Best Actor (Jeremy Renner), and Best Cinematography (Barry Ackroyd).
Other multiple winners for 2009 include “Up,” winner for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score, and “An Education,” winner for Best Actress and Most Promising Performer, both awarded to Carey Mulligan.
Photo credit: Jonathan Olley
The adapted screenplay award went to “Up in the Air” by Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman. Best Foreign Language Film was awarded to Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” and Best Documentary went to “Anvil! »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
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