CINEMATIC PASSIONS’ TOP 10 FILMS OF 2008

brideshead_revisited031

Here it is, kids.

These are my TOP 10 FILMS OF 2008.

Enjoy…

priceless-hors-de-prix-0
10. PRICELESS

PRICELESS is the perfect summer film that you can fall madly in love with regardless of the season. The French do excel at these types of relationship farces and this one – sharp as it is – goes down as smoothly as a flute of champagne. It’s a brightly coloured gem in a sea of fake contenders.
happygolucky_17
9. HAPPY GO LUCKY

Of all the MIKE LEIGH films I’ve seen, this was not only the most accessible but definitely the most enjoyable. Lighthearted and whimsical, this gracefully flowing slice of life features wonderful acting from ALEXIS ZEGERMAN and EDDIE MARSAN. But the centrepiece is the star making performance by SALLY HAWKINS as the sweetly optimistic POPPY.
thereader
8. THE READER

THE READER is made up of monumental secrets and complicated lies. In Germany during the late 1950s, an innocent 15 year old boy is seduced by a stunning woman twenty years his senior. He will never completely recover emotionally from the trauma of the intense summer he spent with her. But he will find that some connections are not so easily broken. Contains one of the greatest performances KATE WINSLET has ever given.
visitor-3
7. THE VISITOR

THE VISITOR is about how a chance encounter can put you back in touch with your own humanity. WALTER VALE (the magnificent RICHARD JENKINS) has lost his passion for everything and he’s just drifting, existing. When he finds two young people living in his New York apartment (it had been rented to them illegally), his life changes forever. Satisfying and tremendously engaging.
tell205
6. TELL NO ONE

This is one of the most impressive thrillers I’ve ever seen. The fact that it came out of France is even more surprising. There is so much plot (layers of it) and innumerable twists and turns. But it never comes close to going off the rails. It also says a lot about true love and how nothing can ever separate you from the people that you care about – including death. If that ending doesn’t bring you to your knees, you couldn’t possibly be breathing regularly.
milk
5. MILK

This is the gloriously moving account of HARVEY MILK’S rise to achievement and nationwide recognition. He was the first openly gay man to hold public office when he was elected as San Francisco’s City Supervisor in the 70s. This is a realistic motion picture that pulls no punches and allows you to understand and experience the world as it was thirty years ago. Harvey was a hero. His influence is still felt very strongly in this new century.
in_bruges_1
4. IN BRUGES

IN BRUGES is hysterically funny, darkly foreboding and a rip roaring modern noir all rolled into one. You’ll be quoting the lines for days. It’s also filmmaking at the most exquisite levels on every imaginable front: acting, directing, writing. You never know where it’s going or how it’s eventually going to end up. It’s also quite possibly the most witty, dark, seamless blend of comedy and tragedy since THE APARTMENT.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
3. VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA

Two lovely young women with privileged backgrounds descend on Spain for the summer. One is blonde (SCARLETT JOHANSSON’S CRISTINA) and the other is a brunette (REBECCA HALL’S VICKY). They initially appear to be as different as their respective hair colours. But their similarities are actually endless – up to and including their taste in men.

Suffice to say that lots of romantic angst ensues. But the actors and their surroundings are so ravishing and seductive that the film casts a powerful spell. Certainly the best movie that WOODY ALLEN has made in the last ten years.
my-blueberry-nights
2. MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS

This is WONG KAR WAI’S masterpiece of colour, mood and feeling. It possesses the most expressive cinematography – so luscious and ethereal it’s simply breathtaking. It’s a symphony of mythical romance, startlingly beautiful imagery and an intense poetic spirit. It’s the kind of film where consuming ice cream on roof top gardens under a black velvet night sky – with someone who adores you or that you hope to lead into temptation – seems like the perfect way to finish off the evening after seeing this. It’s an unforgettable experience.
brideshead_revisited04
1. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED

This film had such a marvelous resonance to me (even more than the fabled miniseries, which I also own) that I had absolutely no choice in the matter. It simply had to be at the very top of this compilation.

It’s dream like in its sumptuous well rendered gorgeousness – the clothes, the cars, the art direction. The acting is impeccable. I understood all of these characters and their motivations so well that it was impossible not to relate deeply. Catholicism is not easily shaken off. It can make you or break you.

Charles Ryder was merely an innocent unassuming atheist when he first met the Marchmains and went off for his initial visit at Brideshead. He’ll never get over it. There is a part of him that is lost there forever.

BRIDESHEAD REVISITED is haunting, compelling, exquisitely made and ultimately incredibly heartbreaking. It makes you long for golden days that you will never get back and the times and people that made you what you are today.

It’s a masterpiece.

For all of those reasons, BRIDESHEAD REVISITED is the best movie of 2008.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: