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Movies of ’08

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I’m a wee bit reluctant to admit my favorite movies of ’08.  Mostly because The D.M. and I are engaged in an ongoing debate over mainstream studio productions (which I tend to like and D.M. suspects are evil) and short-run, poorly-distributed, (often) foreign films (which I also tend to like, and D.M. would prefer to see more of). 

I’m easy to please movie-wise, so unless the film I’m watching is unbearably boring, I usually leave the theater happy.  And if half the fun of seeing a movie is discussing it afterwards, then there’s your argument for buying tickets to whatever’s opening big that weekend.  Like Mama Mia!  (which I liked!) or The Dark Knight (which was fine – even though the plot was stupid).  I hadn’t seen a James Bond movie in years, so Quantum of Solace had me at  “naked ladies made out of sand, Danial Craig pointing a gun, White Stripe-y theme song” hello.  It was a total surprise  when Sex and the City didn’t suck.   Same with Benjamin Button, which was sort of pointless and kind of interesting.  I still can’t figure out why they would make this movie about a guy who ages backwards and pretty much lives a normal, boring life.  Aside from the whole turning into a baby thing (I didn’t even realize he actually should have turned into a old baby man).

But now I must admit that even though I enjoyed everything listed above, The D.M. wins when he insists that all these movies range from mediocre to pretty awful, that they don’t stand up when compared to anything really good  and that there are amazing movies being made which no one is seeing, and it sucks.

So lo and behold, out of all the movies I saw in ’08 (most of) the best of them were short-run, poorly-distributed foreign films.  They are listed below – and I really wish that more people would watch them, since they are all great:



4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

It’s that Romanian abortion flick!  And it’s amazing – really the best movie of the year.  Here are some links to reviews:

New York Times
New Yorker

There’s so much to say about this movie,  it’s complicated and intense and emotional but never feels manipulative, the acting and directing are incredible .  It deserves to be seen and you should see it.  Maybe not on your birthday, and definitely not on a first date – but seriously – go rent. 




Still Life

New Yorker
New York Times

Still Life is, simply, a beautiful movie, where two people wander around a town on the Yangtze River looking for their spouses.  The town is 2,000 years old, and will soon be underwater, flooded as part of the Three Gorges Dam project.  That’s basically the whole story – there’s not a lot of dialogue, which is fine since the movie is so visually stunning.  It’s also crazy to think when you’re watching it that the town where it was filmed two years ago is indeed, now completley under water. 


 OK – not every movie I liked this year was depressing.  The next two are fun.  I promise!


You know what Sofia Coppola movies do for dreamy blond teenage girls?  I think Reprise does the same thing for ambitious 20-something Norwegian boys.  Except Reprise is way more fun (and way less annoying) than any S.C. film.  I’ve also heard this movie compared to Trainspotting, except with writers instead of heroin addicts.  I see that – its got the same fast-paced style.  It’s also super enjoyable to watch.  And funny.  Reprise makes you want to go to a party with a bunch of your friends and get drunk and dance around.  Wooooo!

New York Times



Man on Wire

Hey meanies – this movie is in English!  Well, most of it.  Except for a few interviews (in French) with members of a merry band of tightrope enthusiasts who helped fellow frenchie Philippe Petit wire walk in between the World Trade Center towers in 1974.  Man on Wire is a documentary but it feels like a heist movie and is, like the poster says, exhilarating. 

New York Times




I suspect I’ve missed out on a lot this year (still haven’t seen Wall-E, heard good things about A Christmas Tale) and I also left off a few filmies that I really really liked (Milk, Rachel Getting Married) but these four were the best.  And out of the four, D.M. picked the first three.  So he chooses better movies.  Blah, I like to think I read better books.


Written by rarface

December 30, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Posted in besties

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3 Responses

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  1. The only thing on your list that I have seen is Man on Wire and it made an astounding act come off as a boring research project. If this is the reviewers’ idea of an exhilarating heist film, then the reviewer must not watch many films.

    Sober capitalist

    December 31, 2008 at 1:05 am

  2. blog more or im boycotting!!!


    January 7, 2009 at 7:37 pm

  3. Teresa, aren’t you supposed to be on vacation? Get off the internet, b.


    January 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm

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