My Movie Year is a blogathon created by Fandango Groovers. The goal is to choose a favourite year in movies, and present our top 5 films from that same year. After many, many lists – mostly of films from the 1990’s and 2000’s – I’ve managed to cut it down to 2007 and 2009. Though they were both amazing, I must choose one.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was the first movie I went crazy for. I couldn’t stop talking about, I’ve watched it countless times, I even made a presentation about it in high school – that’s how obsessed I was. A few months later, I made another oral presentation: There Will Be Blood. And sure enough, a few months later, another one: I’m Not There. Needless to say I grew fond of speaking in public. With these three gems I learned more about Bob Dylan, opened my eyes to how insanely talented Daniel Day-Lewis is, and found my life-long project: to defend Casey Affleck’s trembling voice.
In 2007 I also discovered Ryan Gosling’s talent before he became a super-hero (Lars and the Real Girl), one of my favourite music artists, Edith Piaf (La Môme), a way to enjoy a western film (3:10 to Yuma), a reason to love Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), and yet another one to stalk scottish men (Atonement). I fell in love with naked gingers with the british comedy Death at a Funeral, and my adoration for the Coen Brothers grew stronger thanks to No Country For Old Men – and with it I found a spaniard that I could bear. Into the Wild reinforced my belief that veggies are insane, Zodiac spiked my interested in serial killers and lobotomies, and with Funny Games I learned that loosing my life can sometimes be fun!
But if I were to be truly objective about this, I’d go with 2009. It was a year of remarkable films, from all around the world, whether with big budgets or independent. Films like Io Sono l’Amore, and Coco Avant Chanel had impressive scenes that stood out and still remain in my mind; some films introduced me to incredible artists like Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan (An Education), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), and Sam Rockwell (Moon); others provided me with a different perspective on artists that I already loved, like Andy Garcia (City Island) and George Clooney (Up in the Air).
But five other films did even more than that, and became instant favourites. I was, and still am, mesmerised by Haneke’s dark, cold tale in Das Weisse Band and I never left the theatre more satisfied about spending €10 than when I watched Inglourious Basterds. A Single Man is a wonder to the eyes, with an absolutely perfect sense of beauty and style – and we’d expect nothing less from Tom Ford. 2009 was also the year I had the Francis Ford Coppola right in front of me when attending an uncomfortable, but rewarding, screening of Tetro, at the Estoril Film Fest. And then there’s Andrea Arnold’s hypnotising direction in Fish Tank, featuring one of Michael Fassbender’s most brilliantly subtle performances.
That said, objectivity has never been my strong suit, so I’m gonna go with 2007.