2009 has been an eclectic and exciting year for film. There have been some highs and some lows (more of those later).
Of around the forty or so movies I've seen at the cinema this year, these are my five favorites.
BEST DRAMA MOVIE - AN EDUCATIONTotally charming, An Education is set in London before the 60's were quite swinging and stars Carey Mulligan in what I think is an Oscar worthy performance.
This film partly made me feel nostalgic for home, but also won me over with its wit, engaging coming-of-age story-line and wonderful cast.
BEST FEEL-GOOD MOVIE - JULIE & JULIAI can safely say that I've not laughed and smiled along so much at a movie in quite some time as I did with the beguiling Julie & Julia.
Meryl Streep's bubbly and effervescent Julia Childs is a joy to behold and Julie Powell's real life story of her turning her blogging passion into financial success is an inspiration to a fellow blogger.
It's a truly lighthearted and endearing movie that deserves to win a few Academy Awards, or get some nominations at least.
BEST SCI-FI MOVIE - STAR TREKJ.J. Abrams reinvention of the Star Trek universe could easily have also been the best action movie of the year as it's a great reintroduction to James T. Kirk and the Enterprise crew, and I think the fast pace making the film totally accessible to non-Trek followers and die-hard fans alike.
Chris Pine makes a fine young Kirk, there's unexpected sexual tension between Spock and Uhuru, plus all the other main characters get their moment to shine, especially Simon Pegg's fun portrayal as Scotty.
Most of all it felt like a big screen adventure and not just an extension of a popular TV series.
BEST BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE - 2012I was totally and utterly surprised by how much I enjoyed this holiday blockbuster. Initially I feared the worst, all CGI nonsense and nothing tangible to hold it all together.
Luckily 2012 has more substance than I was expecting, some humour and most of all stunning visuals that deserve to seen on the big screen.
It's total escapist fantasy and a perfect antidote to the real world. There's nothing like a bit of worldwide destruction to make you appreciate your own life even more.
MOST UNDERRATED MOVIE - (500) DAYS OF SUMMER500 Days of Summer was a refreshing romantic comedy that wasn't your traditional love story, in that in this film the guy didn't get the girl.
There's great performances, fun dream sequences (and a great musical number) and an engaging yo-yoing chronology to the movie.
Zooey Deschanel is as entertaining and endearing as ever and Jospeh Gordon-Levitt is surely a leading man to watch in the future (and I'll even forgive him for G.I. Joe). This quirky film with fill your heart with cheer and I think totally slipped below most people's radar this year.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What are your favourite movies of 2009?
The other contenders for my favourite films included Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, Up in the Air and Fantastic Mr. Fox both sporting the talents of George Clooney, The Hurt Locker, District 9 and Sandra Bullock's great performance in The Blind Side.
Let's hope 2010 offers as much variety and entertainment and come back soon for my worst films of 2009...