Here's the second part of my review of the 2009 film year, including screenwriting categories, editing and directing.
Just missed my final list: The Messenger (Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman), Sugar (Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck), A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen)
5- A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufaillit)
4- The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
3- About Elly (Asghar Farhadi)
2- Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
1- Mary and Max (Adam Elliot)
The ending might be a little predictable, but even that is written so intimately that it brings tears to our eyes. A universal and imaginative story of love, friendship and alienation.
Just missed my final list: None Really, My five favorites were solid and I had no doubt in choosing them, but “Where the Wild Things are”, “Two Lovers” and “District 9” were in my 6-8 spots.
5- Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (Geoffrey Fletcher)
4- An Education (Nick Hornby)
3- Fantastic Mr. Fox (Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson)
Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner)
Loop (Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, Ian Martin)
Up in the Air is a light hearted and accessible film yet a mature and thoughtful one, thanks to this smartly written screenplay. It has the perfect balance between tragedy and comedy, human drama and humor and the beauty of hope and the harshness of reality.
Loop is one of the funniest screenplays to come in a long long time. The movie’s strength comes from the wit and sharpness with which it captures the reality and vulgarity of the political world and the cultural differences on either side of the pond. (You can download this screenplay here and I suggest you do. It’s a funny read.)
Just missed my final list: Up in the Air (Dana Glauberman), The Cove (Geoffrey Richman)
5- Avatar (James Cameron, Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua)
4- Inglourious Basterds (Sally Menke)
3- A Prophet (Juliette Welfing)
2- About Elly (Haydeh Safi Yari)
1- The Hurt Locker (Chris Innis, Bob Murawski)
It’s the work of this editing team that keeps the tension high and the audience engaged throughout this superbly crafted war film. When it’s seemingly slow, the repetitive structure only serves to depict the reality of war. When it’s fast-paced and full of split-second cuts, it never feels forced or chaotic, but only suspenseful. A perfect example of how good editing can elevate the already brilliant work of a director. Bravo!
Just missed my final list: James Cameron (Avatar), Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank), Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon)
5- Adam Elliot (Mary and Max)
4- Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
3- Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
2- Jacques Audiard (A Prophet)
1- Asghar Farhadi (About Elly)
Farhadi’s direction is so precise and so energetic, it even reaches far beyond the limits of his very powerful script. With true mastery of the craft, he manages to bring out the best in his actors and with an enormous amount of detail, he makes great use of the setting and sound work to never lose the sense of mystery and unease.
Next: Best of 2009: Part III