Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Best Films of 2008

The Dark Knight. Directed by Christopher Nolan.  The best of all the Batman films, It goes beyond the tradition of the superhero action film becoming a serious drama that demands great acting. The film sets new parameters for the development of this genre. Heath Ledger was particularly great in the film.


Iron Man. Directed by John Favreau.  This is another great reinvention of the super hero genre. Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic as the more contemporary version of Tony Stark as an eccentric, complex, genius. The film is very successful in every way, as a story, as an action film and the terrific effects.


Doubt. Directed by John Patrick Stanley. This intense drama about the opposed points of view in terms of tyrannical and perfectionist rules of two people in a Catholic grade school.  A young nun is caught between them, as the catalyst to show can assumptions can always be doubted. It is a film about how the mechanisms operate when deciding where the truth is.


Milk. Directed by Gus Van Sant.  What I like about the story is the fact that shows someone with a great spirit and a genuine desire to help change things. At age 40, Milk was determined to do "something different" with his life. He's open to change. S very inspiring film. Sean Penn is terrific.

Slumdog Millionaire. Directed by Danny Boyle. This is a strange combination of a quiz-show suspense and the upsetting life of a Mumbai orphan. Staring from the garbage pit to the potential winner of a fortune, this anti-hero uses his survival instinct to struggle against the odds. A film that finds exuberance despite the tragedy it also gives full weight to. Editing format


Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Directed by David Fincher.  The strong part of the film is the way the narrative develops. The way the film starts from opposite ends and they meet at certain moments of the film. I am not a fan of Brad Pitt but he is not bad in this film, the interaction with the character played by Cate Blanchett is pretty good. 


Elegy. Directed by Isabel Coixet. This film focuses on a relationship between a well-respected college professor who specializes in Roland Barthes and his former student.  The main character complex man whose past experiences with women have destroyed his ability to have a healthy relationship with a woman he is infatuated with. The film has a masterful performance by Ben Kingsley.

WALL-E. Directed by Andrew Stanton.  The best animated science-fiction movie in years. WALL-E is a solar-powered trash compacting robot, left behind to clean up the waste after Man flees the earth. I personally loved the different robotic in aesthetics between WALL-E and Eva.


Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Directed by Woody Allen. Vicky Christina Barcelona shows that Woody still has something to say. It is Woody Allen's most solid film in nearly a decade and by far his sexiest. The film is about seduction, task greatly executed by Javier Bardem. The film is very fast and never boring. The screenplay has in a certain sense is a classic Allen type, concerned with re-arranging the configurations of lovers.
Bardem and Cruz are great. However, Scarlett Johansson has no acting range.


The Reader. Directed by Stephen Daldry.  A drama taking place within the mind of a postwar German man who has an affair at 16 with a woman he later discovers is a war criminal. The film addresses the moral confusion felt in those who came after the Holocaust but whose lives were painfully twisted by it.

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