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Monday, December 28, 2009

Curt Holman’s top 10 films of 2009

click to enlarge HIGH ROLLER: 'Up,' Curt’s pick for film of the year.
  • HIGH ROLLER: 'Up,' Curt’s pick for film of the year.

10 ) ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL Comparisons to This Is Spinal Tap were inevitable with this documentary about a has-been/never-was heavy metal band (which features a drummer named Robb Reiner and a pilgrimage to Stonehenge). The audience initially laughs at Anvil's hard luck and metal-head hyperbole, but invests enormous emotional concern in the band almost without realizing it. While the year featured powerful but depressing nonfiction films such as The Cove and Food Inc., Anvil!'s success raised the band's profile, offering a happy ending, of sorts.

9 ) CORALINE The Nightmare Before Christmas' Henry Selick presented a luminous stop-motion fantasy about a plucky young girl who discovers a magical, terrifying alternate version of her home. Based on a tale by the famed Neil Gaiman, Coraline joins Spirited Away and Pan's Labyrinth as this decade's latest, darkly imaginative variation on Alice in Wonderland.

8 ) FANTASTIC MR. FOX Director Wes Anderson unexpectedly found the ideal expression of his twee aesthetic concerns, vintage pop and father-son dynamics in a loose adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's book realized in stop-motion animation. For Anderson, midlife and adolescent coming-of-age crises turn out to be different sides of the same coin, even when rendered with heist-obsessed woodland creatures.

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(Photo Courtesy ©Disney/Pixar)

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