10. (500) Days of Summer --- This shameless indie rom-com puts a smile on the face of this Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel and The Smiths fan. Toying with time and the fourth wall, this is a wry and very fun story about love (not a love story).
9. Balibo --- Robert Conolly's taut, captivating political thriller had better enjoy a cracking DVD life, for it went scandalously unnoticed at the cinema. This fascinating look back to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor and the Australian journalists caught in the middle absolutely deserves to be seen.
8. Genova --- Michael Winterbottom's langorous, contemplative ode to grief is as sophisticated as it is simple. The slow pace and observational style allows the audience to take part in the mourning and healing that takes place within Genova's winding streets.
7. Che --- Steven Soderbergh's biopic of the infamous revolutionary is an epic achievement. Beautifully realised on the RED camera, Benicio Del Toro embodies the icon as well as the distinctly more fragile man.
6. Inglourious Basterds --- Though overly talky and utterly self indulgent, there's no question that Tarantino delivers. His heretically revisionist take on WWII is stylishly shot, with brilliant banter and great performances (excepting Eli Roth, who shouldn't give up his day job). Oscar for Christoph Waltz please.
5. District 9 --- Neill Blomkamp's explosive debut is a near-perfect sci-fi action adventure as well as a provocative parable of post-Apartheid South Africa. Oh, and a kick-ass shoot-'em-up. I'm no gamer, but someone needs to let Blomkamp make Halo. Stat.
4. An Education --- Lynn Barber's youthful dalliance with an older man makes for superb viewing in the hands of Nick Hornby and Lone Scherfig. Pitch-perfect performances all round. Oscar for Carey Mulligan please.
3. Moon --- Zowie Bowie (aka Duncan Jones) delivers a stellar debut with his one man meets moonrock play. The Sam Rockwells shoulder the story superbly, while Jones' restrained pacing doesn't overstay its welcome on the moon.
2. Bright Star --- Jane Campion's latest portrait of a lady is utterly sublime. Grieg Fraser's resplendent cinematography and evocative lead performances breathe life into the love shared of Fanny Brawne and John Keats, as well as the luminous letters and poetry it spawned.
1. Up --- Pixar perfection. It's as simple as that. Though it's still baffling to note how the story of a cantankerous old man, a boy scout and a talking dog can be fodder for the funniest and most touching film of 2009. Point!
What are your faves of 2009?
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