AFI Announces Official Selections for Movies of the Year

12/14/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

2009 has been a pretty strong year for cinema, and to further prove, that the American Film Institute has announced their list for the ten best films of this year.  The list, from AFI (alphabetical):

"The Hangover"
"The Hurt Locker"
"The Messenger"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"A Serious Man"
"A Single Man"
"Up in the Air"

I've seen an awful lot of movies from this year, but there are still a few on the list I haven't managed to catch yet: "The Messenger," "Precious," "A Single Man," "Sugar" and "Up in the Air." But other than those, I can definitely say the list is pretty great. The two animated inclusions, "Coraline" and "Up," though not quite on par with Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox," are both absolutely wonderful and all three will very likely be deservedly going on to compete for the Best Animated Film Oscar (probably along with Disney's "Princess and the Frog," which I haven't seen just yet).

"The Hurt Locker" is one of the best films about the Iraq War made yet, if not the best, and Kathryn Bigelow shows more assured and mature direction than in her entire decades-long career. As many have said, Jeremy Renner gives an absolutely incredible lead performance.

"A Serious Man" is pretty easily the best film I've seen this year. The most unique and intriguing work from the Coen brothers in decades, and their toying with the audience and questions regarding fate, faith and responsibility make it one of the most thoughtful and undoubtedly bleak entries in their oeuvre.

"The Hangover" is probably the most unexpected entry in the list. I wasn't completely blown away myself, but it's definitely one of the funniest films of the year and it's one of the most refreshing and well-acted comedies I've seen in a long while. Many moments do fall into more broad comedy, though, and that hinders it somewhat. Still, entertaining is entertaining--and "Hangover" was most definitely that.

Regarding the entries I haven't seen--"Precious" holds very little of interest for me, but I'll likely give it a look anyway just to see what all the talk is about. "A Single Man" looks excellent if only for what is surely Colin Firth's best performance. I don't know much about "The Messenger," but I greatly admire lead actor Ben Foster and will definitely look into it further. I have a vague interest in "Sugar" simply because I adored the filmmakers' previous film, "Half Nelson." And "Up in the Air" is easily my most anticipated film of this season. I love Jason Reitman and George Clooney, so I'm sure to enjoy it in some capacity.

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  1. Diana said...

    Im not so impressed with their choices for best movies this year. I think their were much better movies out. Like Star Trek should have been on the list. Some of them are good.. like UP was good. I wonder if they use box office intake as part of their decision or if its just their interpretation of whats good. Its really unfair though. Lots of movies come out when there is really bad weather and dont get the take they would have if they were released in better weather.. like in the fall. Lots of peole dont go in the summer, too many other things going on then.