Screens Top 10s

<i>Where the Wild Things Are</i>
Where the Wild Things Are

1) 'WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE' The No. 1 spot is reserved for the movie that took my breath away, a most involuntary response. Where the Wild Things Are did and does.

2) 'THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS' Agnès Varda's beaches are festooned with mirrors and scarves and her courtyard with sand and umbrellas. Her film autobiography, like her life, is alive with possibility, passageways, and progress.

3) 'A SINGLE MAN' Acclaimed fashion designer Tom Ford (who was born in Austin) delivers a first film that defies expectations of dilettantism and proves that there can be second acts in American life.

4) 'A SERIOUS MAN' Apart from enjoying the Coens' engagement in ontological questions, this film, more than any other, filled me with the joy of identity: Jewish culture and Jefferson Airplane. L'chayim!

<i>The Hurt Locker</i>
The Hurt Locker

5) 'THE HURT LOCKER' So taut, no movement unpurposed: This movie shows what it really takes to be ready for war.

6) 'SUMMER HOURS' This French film is a lovely rumination on the meaning of things, one that reminds us that meaning is created by human beings and not inherent in the objects themselves.

7) 'AN EDUCATION' Like A Serious Man, An Education is, for me, another experience in identity filmmaking. I recognize too well this movie's young girl who wants nothing more than to shed her mediocrity.

<i>Up</i>
Up

8) 'UP' An instant classic: From the second this one was out of the gate, you could see it was going to be a timeless family jewel, one that spanned generations and seasons.

9) 'ANTICHRIST' Agony, guilt, and psychological suffering are fearlessly expressed by Lars von Trier, Willem Dafoe, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. They truly go where angels fear to tread.

<i>Bright Star</i>
Bright Star

10) 'BRIGHT STAR' Sensuous and voluptuous, Jane Campion's story of the tubercular poet John Keats and his lady love Fanny Brawne recasts the hackneyed old stanza in refreshing new verse.


NEAR MISSES

Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Goodbye Solo, The Baader Meinhof Complex, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire


MOST OVERRATED

Paranormal Activity, Observe and Report, Up in the Air


<i>Drag Me To Hell</i>
Drag Me To Hell

MOST UNDERRATED

The Limits of Control, Brüno, Drag Me to Hell


ACTING KUDOS (MALE)

Colin Firth (A Single Man), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), Stanley Tucci (Julie & Julia, The Lovely Bones), Alfred Molina (An Education), Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)


ACTING KUDOS (FEMALE)

Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Julianne Moore (A Single Man), Catherine O'Hara (Where the Wild Things Are)


<i>The Beaches of Agnès</i>
The Beaches of Agnès

BEST DIRECTOR

Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are), Joel and Ethan Coen (A Serious Man), Agnès Varda (The Beaches of Agnès)


BEST SCREENPLAY (ORIGINAL)

Bright Star (Jane Campion), A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen), The Hurt Locker (Mark Boal)


BEST SCREENPLAY (ADAPTED)

<i>An Education</i>
An Education

A Single Man (David Scearce and Tom Ford), Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers), An Education (Nick Hornby)


WORST FILM

The Ugly Truth. This reactionary movie about acquiescing to outdated sexual stereotypes in order to find happiness is also indicative of the bad screen choices made by America's newest rom-com princess Katherine Heigl.


<i>Precious</i>
Precious

WILD CARD

Ensembles Make the Movie: Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Summer Hours, An Education, Where the Wild Things Are

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Top 10s
Top Books of 2018 for American Road Tripping
Top Books of 2018 for American Road Tripping
Two novels set on the open road and two accounts of life in Trump's White House all made for journeys deep into America today

Jay Trachtenberg, Dec. 28, 2018

Robert Faires’ Top 10 Treasures in Theatre of 2018
Robert Faires’ Top 10 Treasures in Theatre of 2018
It was a year in which theatre making the political personal left the deepest impressions

Robert Faires, Dec. 28, 2018

More Top 10 Films
Feast Your Eyes
Feast Your Eyes
Introducing the banner crop of 2013 films

Marjorie Baumgarten, Jan. 3, 2014

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Pika pika pika? Pika pika pika pika pika pika pika.

May 10, 2019

Sunset
Period drama keeps the techniques of Oscar winner Son of Saul but loses the emotional weight

April 26, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Top 10s, Top 10 Films, Where the Wild Things Are, The Beaches of Agnès, A Single Man, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Summer Hours, An Education, Up, Antichrist, Bright Star, Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Goodbye Solo, The Baader Meinhof Complex, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, Paranormal Activity, Observe and Report, Up in the Air

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle