Ann Abeyta here. Last year I posted my top 10 list on this blog and I got nothing out of it, so thanks for having me back to continue my slide into obscurity, Suzy. And no cracks about my new headshot.
This has been the strongest year for films in probably a decade. If you missed these, run, don’t walk to Netflix. So, in no particular order, these are the top ten movies of the year:
1. The Kite Runner – This is the story of the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy in the 1960’s and of two boys who are best friends. Adapted from the national best-selling novel of the same name, we witness the devastation of a friendship based on an extreme act of brutality against one of the boys, an act that will forever alter their friendship and the path of both of their lives.
2. Michael Clayton - George Clooney, welcome to my loving arms! I know you tried so very hard with Syriana. You were kinda fat and gross in that movie and I rejected your Syriana love. This, my friend, was more than a girl could hope for… except for that part where Tilda Swinton was sniffing her sweaty armpits. What the hell was that all about?
3. King of Kong, A Fistful of Quarters – You would be hard pressed to find a more compelling film this year than King of Kong. Steve Wiebe, the star of the film, is my hero. In the past, roomfuls of big budget writers couldn’t come close to capturing the intrigue, the trophy wives, the mullets, and the backbiting that occurs behind the scenes of the competitive gaming world. But this movie does. It simply is the greatest tale of good vs. evil in a long, long time.
4. Juno – So. Fucking. Great. Who knew Jennifer Garner could act? Seriously. Nobody saw that shit coming. Vegas wouldn’t have even taken that bet. You would have had an easier time trying to convince me that the Village People weren’t gay than trying to convince me that I would one day say the words, “Jennifer Garner is flat out incredible in this film.” Don’t even get me started on the genius screenwriter that is Diablo Cody. Juno was her debut screenplay and she sold it the first day she sent it out. She also wrote a best selling book and has a blog called ‘The Pussy Ranch.’ (That sound you just heard is all the men surfing away and heading to Google) So she went from being a stripper to a Blogger to a best selling author to a screenwriter. It has to make you smile that a girl who once charged sketchy Middle Eastern men for lap-dances will soon be looking for mantle space for an Oscar. Mark down that Ellen Page (made last year’s Honorable Mention list with Hard Candy) will be the greatest actress of her generation.
5. Once – An Irish busker boy meets a girl, falls in love, and all is right with the world. If you ignore the fact that she’s 17 and he’s 39 then all is right with the world. But don't let that minor fact cloud your thinking or you and your moral high ground will miss the most beautiful and touching film of the year.
6. No Country For Old Men - Javier Bardem’s hair should get an above the line credit and I should have hated this film since I’m Mexican and all the Mexicans in it are drug dealers, dead drug dealers, or soon to be dead drug dealers. I know somebody is going to say Javier is Mexican but he’s not playing one in this film. No self respecting Latino would have that haircut! He’s either an angry Eskimo or Russian, but not Mexican. Seriously, you would have to be Sweeney Todd to give that haircut to one of my people. Shit! I just watched the trailer again; I think he might be Samoan.
7. There Will Be Blood – That’s all my Mom said to me when I turned twelve.
8. Atonement – A beautiful film about a single moment that destroys three lives. I loved this film not only for how beautiful it was - that green dress was a showstopper - but for how courageously it embraced the story it was telling. This wasn’t some cheesy Hollywood tripe with a buttoned-up ending and a hero riding off into the sunset. This one got down to the real business of telling a heartbreaking story of wrecked lives and the consequences of knowing that in a single moment you can make the wrong choice and will have to live with it.
9. Zodiac - Classic film making from David Fincher, (Fight Club, Se7en, Panic Room) who never fails to amaze and inspire. Robert Downey, Jr. will tragically be overlooked for a best supporting Oscar nomination but he deserves one.
10. The Diving Bell And The Butterfly – So, this guy has a stroke and becomes completely paralyzed except for one eye. That is one fucking eye, people. They had to sew the other one shut because the muscle wasn’t working right and it dried out. With one good eye he blinks out a novel. Why don’t you take a second to re-read that sentence? Oh, screw it. I’ll re-type it for you… HE BLINKS OUT AN ENTIRE NOVEL! I didn’t do my dishes for five days last week, how big of an ass did I feel like after seeing this?
The Host, Black Snake Moan, Super Bad, 3:10 To Yuma, The Lives of Others, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Into the Wild, Hoax, Enchanted, The Savages, Sweeney Todd, Knocked Up, The Darjeeling Limited, The Orphanage, 300, Shoot ‘em up.