April 03, 2010

(five) top flicks of 2009

Okay it certainly took me long enough to finish this post (some 4 months of it sitting in my drafts lists) but finally, here is a round-up of my top 5 flicks of 2009...

1. An Education

I will never be able to explain my love for this film, how or why. The question continues to elude even me. It's the type of film that on my first watch, it made me reevalute even the smallest of things. Life started to make sense. Jenny, the 16-year-old girl in the film reminded me much like myself, a naive girl who is still young enough to lick the batter of her mother's eggbeaters, but old enough to smoke French cigarettes and dream living the Parisian lifestyle. It made me realise that most educations are founded outside institutions. They are found through living and through experiences. And, as simple as this sounds, the film concludes that you can make mistakes when your young and overcome them. You learn from them, and become a better person from it. Coupled with this, I fell head-over-heels in love with the 60's outfits.

2. Paper Heart
I wasn't expecting to love this film at all, like, yes perhaps, but loving it, loving it even more than the much anticipated (500) days of Summer (which came in a VERY close third place) was very unexpected. My love from this film sprung from the very form of the film. Documentary or film? You see, it's deceptive. Its not exactly reflecting reality, like a conventional classic hollywood film, nor is it documenting it, like a documentary. It's a combination of the two, giving credit to the rising form of documentary whilst still being limited to the realm of the imagination, as it is scripted. And thats what makes this film so incredibly special. Its characters are unconventional too, a dorky asian with questionable fashion sense and Micheal Cera, the dorky, socially awkward boy that reminds me of the typical teenage nerd. However, since Seth Cohen in The OC this nerd appeal, may I call it, has sent girls into a frenzy (myself included) to the box office. Whatever the form, this film is one that will not be forgotten soon, and created history through the formation of the 'fake documentary' genre. The innovation, coupled with a cute love story is why this film ranked in the second best of the year for me.

3. (500) Days of Summer

I stumbled across this film whilst browsing a random blog that i'd found after clicking on link after link, I fell in love with this film in the preview alone. I frantically did several google searches, with not much information coming up let alone a release date. That's when my obbsessesion began, week after week i'd prowl Zoeey Deschanel fan sites for news. I'd watch the preview whenever I needed a pick-me up. I found a torrent for the soundtrack, downloaded it and fell even more in love. I played it on repeat for practically 4 months until the film came out. The opening dialogue was memorised by word, the narrative flow as depicted by the soundtrack alone was banked up in my mind. Perhaps it was this obsession that made the film come in at only 3, and not the 1 that I would've assumed it would've 12 months ago. As the narrator warns the audience in the very first seconds of the film, this is not a love story, it is however a story about love. The film has a dazzling soundtrack, and it brutally honest concerning the pitfalls of love and life. It is a refreshing romantic comedy, and even though he may not get the girl, it provides hope through honesty. My one protest to the film was the characterisation of Summer, underdeveloped, perhaps. She was a character that in order for the film to suceed in defining its central theme (that being, that true love doesn't exist) the audience needed to like. Despite not living up to my exceedingly high expectation, this film was amazing. The narrative flow, the music composition, and the themes of love and life. And the ultimate conclusion that autumn is always just around the corner.

4. The French Kissers

I went to see this film for a laugh, and must say that it was one of the best teenage-orientated films that I have seen in a long time. To begin with, it was freaking hilarious and captured the essence of being a socially awkward teenage quite perfectly (and, might I add, brought back some terrible memories of being 15 myself). The indefinite ending and spineless narrative merely added to the actuality of the production, making it just a snippet of reality as opposed to a glamorized version of teenage life with the classical hollywood narrative that resolves the big problem that was brought up in the opening scene. It wasn't a film that took reality to its extremes. It didn't portray teenage life to be more excruciating then it perhaps was/is, or on the other hand portraying it to be an idealized time of one's life. In fact, I must admit it, atleast for me, it was/is both. It showed that being a teenager is just a time for growing up, experimenting and finding your feet (as cliched as that sounds, its a diffilcult task to capture on screen and something that has been achieved here).

5. Bright Star

Just making my cut-off for 2009, I expected so much more from this film. Jane Campion is one of my director idols, and her 1993 film The Piano is one of my favorites of all time. However, Bright Star only delivered half of what I had expected.


  1. I haven't seen any of those films, but most are on my 'to watch' list.
    I'm gonna do a mass update on my blog so you should have a look tomorrow.

  2. je regarderai avec toi quand je reveni :)

  3. I will watch them with you when I return?
    Mon francais est merde?