Tuesday, February 10, 2009

#5 to #1 in 2008

5. Tell No One. French thriller that is already in discussion to be remade by Hollywood (ugh!). The film has a simple hook: man's wife, presumed dead, contacts husband. Or does she? Is she alive? It's a roller coaster that had my heart pumping with adrenaline as the tension increased. Humdinger!

4. Man On Wire. Only documentary to make my top ten is this film about Philippe Petit's 1974 wire walk between the World Trade Center. I just can't fathom the idea of doing something like this--and Petit uses NO safety cables! He falls--he dies. When Petit steps out onto that wire my eyes were filled with tears for the sheer audacity and power of being a dreamer. Exhilarating. Full review in August 2008 archives.

3. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Gripping, bleak and powerful are words to describe this Romanian film about two women attempting to procure an illegal abortion in 1987 Bucharest. Intense, haunting and unforgettable are some more words for it. If you want upbeat--look elsewhere. But if you want brave, unflinching honesty that will hurt your heart as you watch it--this film is for you. Full review in October 2008 archives.

2. The Wrestler. Much like the previous film--this is an honest, straight ahead tale that some may call depressing. I call it an incredible foray into despair, loneliness and lost (and last) chances. The buzz is about Mickey Rourke's performance and it is a raw piece of work. The rest of the film is just as good with terrific behind the scenes wrestling action and a great supporting turn from one of my all-time favorites Marisa Tomei. By far, and I mean way ahead, Darren Aronofsky's best film. Longer review will be posted soon.

1. Let the Right One In. I saw this Swedish film months ago and I can not stop thinking about it. Set in the heart of a Swedish winter, the film is about a 12 year old outcast named Oskar who meets Eli, a new neighbor. Oskar's life will never be the same. Did I mention that Eli is a vampire? Let the Right One In is not just a "vampire" film as it is so much more than that. It's a coming of age film and a wonderful romance and it's flawlessly conceived and executed and it's my favorite film I saw in 2008. Full review in January 2009 archives.

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