2009 in Film

This will be a new short term feature wherein I disseminate the wisdom of my tastes from high on down with the fleeting hope that those who read it will see the light and endeavor to bring their own opinions more into line with my own.

Now, you might be inclined to say something along the lines of “But that’s always what you do here, you pugnacious jerk”. And I would reply, “Oooh, big word. Yes, but this time it’s about movies. And it’s a feature. Don’t you fucking listen?”.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep these blurbs as spoiler-free as possible. They’re not in any order, except for the best, which I’ll save for last. They are simply brief recommendations that highlight the best cinema had to offer this year. I’ll start with the most recent one I saw:

With Thank You For Smoking and Juno Jason Reitman has carved out a niche for himself using adroit and seemingly apathetic protagonists as conduits with which to explore stories that mine morbid subject matters (the tobacco industry and teen pregnancy, respectively) for the humor and humanity buried within. He continues this theme in Up in the Air, which tells the story of an outsourced employment termination officer, which basically means his job is to fly around the country and fire people for money.

This is George Clooney at his best; slick, quick-witted and somehow charming despite the fact that he’s playing a disaffected pretty-much-a-dick. And as with his two previous thematically similar films, especially Smoking, Reitman works with a sharp, fast paced, intelligent script that balances crassness and compassion as it works its way through believable character progression toward a not at all trite endgame.

I’d like to see the guy branch out a little more, but he’s very good at what he does, and consequently Up in the Air is a very good film.

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