What's up with me and musicals? I'm a sucker for happy musicals like this one although this one is so radical that I don't even know if it's meant to be sarcastic. But you just can't stop the beat.
2. The Lives of Others
When it was announced as the winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar early this year, I didn't even know it existed. Now it's one of my most favorite films of all time. And the ending is probably one of the best in many years.
3. Eastern Promises
Didn't expect this to be this good. Perhaps better than "A History of Violence." Of course, you can't talk about this film without mentioning the bathhouse scene. It will definitely be studied in many film school classes for years to come.
4. Michael Clayton
I admire and envy George Clooney for making movies not just he wants to make but also he has to make. It's like 70's are back for a while and the movies are finally catching up.
Perhaps the best movie about Paris made by Americans. I give my applause to Pixar for creating an environment where a crazy idea like this one (cooking rat) can be encouraged and can actually be realized.
6. Towelhead (or formerly known as Nothing Is Private)
For sure, this will be the most controversial film in 2008. It created such a stir at Toronto this year. Compared with this, American Beauty is like High School Musical.
7. The Queen
It opened in Korea this spring so I'm including this one at this year's list. I'd recommend the film to every single actress alive. If you're serious about acting, watch Helen Mirren's interpretation of the character. Vulnerable and yet impenetrable.
Where the hell did this film come from? What was even more shocking was, how well it did in Korea. It grossed over $1.4 M here. Almost unheard of. Is it just music or something else? It confirms my belief in cinema, which is, make a good movie and the audience will come.
9. The Bourne Ultimatum
Who says the studios make crap? Well, they do but once in a while, they show what good can come out of the system. And that the sequels can actually be better.
10. Knocked Up
Another guilty pleasure. But seriously, it's the most honest portrayal of man-woman relationship. I wouldn't call it a classic yet but it's definitely the Graduate of our generation.
Unfortunately, many Koreans disappointed this year. Hopefully, next year I'll be able to plug some good Korean films.
Meanwhile, happy holidays to you all!!!