Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My favorite movies of 2008

I'm sure several of these movies were released prior to 2008, but of all the movies I watched this year, these were my ten favorites. I wanted to do a six list, but couldn't stand leaving off the last four.

1. THE NUMBER 23: Original, intriguing story. Perfectly suspenseful. If Jim Carrey was born to do comedy, then I'm glad he stuck around to do drama (The Truman Show or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, anyone?).

2. THANK YOU FOR SMOKING: Being a non-smoker, I mistakenly believed I'd be severely disinterested in this film. Instead I was delighted by a creative and intelligent satirical comedy. And I don't know if anyone else noticed, but throughout the entire movie, not a single person was shown actually smoking (except on a TV screen showing a black & white movie). I found their creative ways to exclude the visual in a film full of smokers very interesting.

3. THE HOLIDAY: The best way to describe this movie: ADORABLE. Every protagonist as cute as the next, each moment more tender than the one before it, while remarkably circumventing the gag factor. Clever. Fun. Charming.

4. THE DEPARTED: This sat around in our DVR for months before we finally decided to watch it. LOVED IT far more than expected, even with the brutal Scorsese ending. Kept thinking about it for days...the ultimate sign of a very good movie.

5. SWEENEY TODD: Grotesquely gut-wrenching. Passionately heart-wrenching. Perfectly cast, performed, and artistically designed. This ain't no Rogers & Hammerstein musical. Sondheim, Burton, and Depp form a magical trio.

6. WAITRESS: More spiritually profound than expected. Very witty, honest, and an overall delight from start to finish!

7. 3:10 TO YUMA: Western flicks, not usually my favorite. It took me about 20 minutes to get connected with the plot, but from then on it was awesome. However, it was a shame to have Christian Bale looking so horrid for 2 hours.

8. AUGUST RUSH: I thoroughly enjoyed this film, in spite of the child's strange raspy intonation throughout. The acoustic guitar pieces were incredible, and both love stories enchanting.

9. THE FOUNTAIN: Poignantly mind-blowing. Asks those questions in life that can't be answered. A uniquely inventive story told through breathtaking visual imagery.

10. JUNO: I really enjoyed this story because it seemed gritty and real, despite a few instances of contrived comedic dialogue. I still thought it was funny and found myself identifying in a strange way with the central character. And I just learned that Juno was directed by the same man (Jason Reitman) who wrote and directed Thank You for Smoking. Coincidence? I think not.


Bridget said...

I loved Waitress and 3.10 to Yuma. The original Yuma is very good, too (and less brutal).

I'll have to track down a few of these others and watch them. I don't think I could stomach The Holiday, however, considering that 3/4 of its top-billed cast bugs the heck out of me. I do love me some Kate Winslet, though.

Kristen said...

Your comment implies that you don't appreciate the handsome (although hairline-receding) Jude Law! I think you should check out The Holiday. There was a surprising story between Winslet and an elderly Hollywood writer, and another unexpected twist behind Law's character. So it was not a trite story, in my opinion. Jack Black was more grounded than usual, and even Diaz kept her annoying traits to a bearable minimum.

I hope you will watch these movies and let me know what you think!

Beware that Sweeney Todd is very gruesome in parts. But so is The Departed, and they were both movies that my mind kept wrapping around for days after watching. I love those kind.


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