Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009: some unadorned lists

1. A Prophet
2. The Hurt Locker
3. Bright Star
4. White Material
5. Modern Life
6. Sugar
7. Sin Nombre
8. Where the Wild Things Are
9. Fish Tank
10. Only When I Dance

runners-up: Adventureland, Antichrist, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Avatar, Coraline, Everlasting Moments, A Serious Man, Thirst

Best Director

Jacques Audiard (A Prophet)
Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Jane Campion (Bright Star)
Claire Denis (White Material/35 Shots of Rum)
Cristian Mungiu and co (
Tales from the Golden Age)

Best Actress

Vera Farmiga (Orphan/Up in the Air)
Maria Heiskanen (Everlasting Moments)
Isabelle Huppert (White Material/Home)
Kim Ok-vin (Thirst)
Hilda Peter (Katalin Varga)

runners-up: Abbie Cornish (Bright Star), Penélope Cruz (Broken Embraces), Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank), Maya Rudolph (Away We Go)

Best Actor

Paul Bettany (Creation)
Mark Duplass (Humpday)
Denis Moschitto (Chiko)
Tahar Rahim (A Prophet)
Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

runners-up: Russell Crowe (State of Play), Robert Downey, Jr (The Soloist), Jamie Foxx (The Soloist), Alex Macqueen (The Hide), Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man), Adam Sandler (Funny People), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), Ben Whishaw (Bright Star)

Best Supporting Actress

Nicole Dogué (35 Shots of Rum)
Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy)
Mo'Nique (Precious)
Lorna Raver (Drag Me to Hell)
Kristin Scott Thomas (Nowhere Boy)

runners-up: Holly Grainger (Awaydays), Rebecca Griffiths (Fish Tank), Cécile de France (Mesrine: Killer Instinct), Blanca Portillo (Broken Embraces)

Best Supporting Actor

Niels Arestrup (A Prophet)
Michael Fassbender (Fish Tank)
Martin Starr (Adventureland)
Michael Stuhlbarg (Afterschool)
Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

runners-up: Liam Boyle (Awaydays), Tom Hollander (In the Loop), Paul Schneider (Bright Star)

More categories soon...


NicksFlickPicks said...

Santa came two days early! Huzzah!

Seeing three women in a list of the five best jobs of direction shouldn't be so spirit-lifting but it totally, totally is, even more so because it's those particular women. (I assume the pic/dir discrepancy around Golden Age means that you find Mungiu's segments much stronger than the others'?)

Lots and lots of places where we're in complete sympathy. Even re: A Prophet which I didn't absolutely, unqualifiedly love as much as you did (I'm still a Beat/Skip guy), it's so great to see a critic's list at year's end with a formidable piece of real artwork up at the top. And more of them all through the list.

tim r said...

I've just added "and co" to the Mungiu listing, because otherwise it must seem a bit odd. In truth, I think I know what he directed in there, and even if it's just the one it's probably my favourite. To be fair, though, the direction in general really stands out in that movie, at least until the last two segments (otherwise it would be easier to plug Mungiu for Best Screenplay, since he wrote the whole thing). Anyway, I wanted to get it in there somewhere!

Cal said...

Love the Bettany inclusion! He was so moving and the direction was great too. I can't really get behind Fish Tank, and I much preferred 35 Shots of Rum to White Material. Dogue was brilliant.

Only thing I dislike acting-wise is the mention for Maya Rudolph, who I found really boring and inexpressive.

Guy Lodge said...

Hardly a shock that I love this, given that your top 10 is awfully close to being a reshuffle of my own!

I love your acting picks -- so glad I wasn't the only person who got something out of "Awaydays." Also pleased to see that Vera's "needlessly good" (your words) performance in "Orphan" survived to the end-of-year honors, even if it needed bolstering from "Up in the Air."

(Surely "Orphan" is the leading vehicle there, though -- after watching "Up in the Air" again yesterday and being left even colder than I was the first time, I was disappointed anew by the lack of room it gives her to flex.)

Hope you're having a wonderful break.

Brook Brooks said...

I love, love, love the inclusion of Kim Ok-vin here. Thirst wouldn't be the success it is without her; she lifts it up where it most needs lifted and gives it fire and drive where it might be just Chan-wook's meandering eccentricities.

tim r said...

@Cal -- Hi! So great to find another Bettany fan, I loved him in that. Dogue I completely forgot to include in my mid-year picks, so I'm very happy to amend that now -- even if I do take the view that the movie is a little too muted for its own good, particularly up against the sterling ambition and force of White Material. re Maya, I refer you to the comments under my mid-year picks lower down, where we discussed the Rudolph controversy in detail. You're certainly not alone in your dislike, but from where I'm sitting she was much the best thing in the movie, and certainly worth a minor mention.

@Guy -- I promise this list was virtually worked out before you posted yours! Otherwise it would seem like outright plagiarism. (You'll note my alibi: the top six were already on my 100-of-the-decade list.) Sorry I can't join you on the Disgrace train or the Public Enemies train (or the Jarvis train, still! But I'm waving from the platform).

There was nothing about Up in the Air I liked more than Vera, but the movie as a whole is slipping the more I think about it: a return visit is not as enticing as I once imagined, even if I hope I hang onto my enthusiasm for that performance, and how she clicks with Clooney, at the very least. Anyway, there's a reason I put Orphan first, because like you say, that's the headline act. I saw it again. The film is not in any way a chore, and she's quite brilliant. I'd call it the most neglected turn of 2009, if it weren't for Denis Moschitto's vicious, vulnerable bulldog in Chiko, another holdover from my midyear list that people should really seek out. Renner got a bump up when I rewatched The Hurt Locker, and I'm totally persuaded by Nick's endorsement of Mark Duplass's merits in Humpday -- he booted Whishaw out at the last minute.

Hope your break's been great too! Looking forward to Rope.

@Brook -- thanks for joining in! Kim is the great surprise in Thirst, because you think the movie has found its groove of off-kilter weirdness, and then she comes in and... whatever a kilter might be, there's not much of it left to see from then on. Ravenous, knife-edge acting. My favourite kind.