Borat. Every bit as funny, and not nearly as offensive, as I expected from the hype and outcry. I do hope the nation doesn't become overrun with people imitating this type of filmmaking, but I admire Sasha Baron Cohen and associates for being the *very* bold pioneers in the field. And really, all boring realtor conventions need a pair of angry nude men running through the room.
The Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep rules as the worst boss ever, and yet gives the part enough nuance to make it riveting to watch. Also, I looked at my wardrobe and drooped in shame after seeing this film.
Frida. I expected pretentious artsy wankery, with a lot of annoying political posturing, so I was pleased to find how human, approachable, inspiring, and beautiful this film was. Considering I knew so little about Kahlo beforehand, it was educational too.
Jean de Florette and Manon of the Springs. Caught up to the film versions of these after reading the books in 2006, and found them just as wonderful. Major human drama disguised as a pastoral tale about groundwater, set in gorgeous Provence.
Lady in the Water. I tend to love M. Night Shyamalan's stuff, and this was no exception. It's mythological and weird and unique and scary and pretty, and it bugs me that people pick on his movies for being exactly those things.
Little Miss Sunshine. Wow, talk about well-drawn characters each with their own interesting arc, battling and interacting throughout, all in service to the story. And making it funny--really, really funny. The talent show scene had us on the floor laughing.
Marie Antoinette. I'll paraphrase what I posted when I first saw it: I gather it really didn't work for some people, putting '80s music to the glitz of the Versailles court, but to me it was something new, thank God; and anyway I loved the music. And how can I not love a director who intentionally had a rakish character costumed to look like Adam Ant? I smelled the wig powder and the fresh lilies, tasted the cream puffs, felt the silk skirts. Delicious.
The Prestige. A movie deserves to make the list if I lay in bed thinking over the plot afterward and making sure I understood all its tricky twists accurately. Goes to show that not all films are being dumbed down, and I applaud that. Also, it was fascinating to watch the characters fluctuate from seemingly good to seemingly evil and back again, as new information came to light. Plus, David Bowie as Tesla! All movies get extra points for David Bowie.
Stardust. Liked Gaiman's book as well, of course, but the film version had the eye candy of not only a beautifully realized fantasy flick, but of Charlie Cox in an adorable dork-turns-hero role. I think he's my new Orlando Bloom. The film had a lovely Princess-Bride-like humor throughout, too, keeping the mood light and charming.
Stranger Than Fiction. A novelist's whimsical dream of a movie! What if your characters were really out there, and you were really pulling the strings, and you didn't realize it? What if you were someone else's character? Will Farrell, as the probably-doomed character, manages to be sweet and human and serious, not at all his usual type of role, and it works. Really cool.