Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Advent Favourites: The best films of 2009

Our countdown to Christmas with the top history moments of 2009 has begun with our selection of the best films of the past year!

Paul Lay (Editor)
War and Peace – 'The reissue on DVD of Sergei Bondarchuk’s mad, sprawling 1968 version of Tolstoy’s epic novel including thousands of extras drafted in from the Red Army. Natasha’s Ball and the Battle of Borodino are unforgettable.'

Andy Patterson (Publisher)
Mesrine Killer Instinct – 'A fantastic evocation of alienation, anger and violence in postwar France.'

Shelia Corr (Picture Editor)
Bright Star - 'A moving and intelligent film about the last years of Keats’ life and his love for Fanny Brawne. Beautiful to look at, it has an exquisite sense of time and place.' Read our review.

Derry Nairn (Web Manager)
'Waltz with Bashir offered a challenging perspective of warfare at the end of the 20th century. Using an attractive style of animation, the national and personal moral dilemmas brought about by Israel’s 1982 war with Lebanon were depicted. It left a deeper mark on my conscience than any other visit to the cinema in 2009.' Read our review.

Pinar Sevinclidir (Publishing Assistant)
Hunger - 'Steve McQueen’s beautifully crafted film revisits the troubles of Northern Ireland and the horrors of the Maze prison during the IRA hunger strike in 1981. Michael Fasssbender’s performance as Bobby Sands is amazing.'

Kathryn Hadley (Web Editor)
Che: Part One and Che: Part Two – 'Both Steven Soderbergh’s films are intense and intriguing with excellent performances by Benicio del Toro as Guevara. The audience immediately warms to his father-like figure and is inspired by his ideals of equality and justice. Both films raise important questions and leave the audience eager to find out more about the controversies of Guevara’s career. Are the films over-idealised because they are based on Guevara’s own writings? Did his tragic death cause him to be remembered as a hero overlooking his faults and flaws?' Read our reviews of Part One and Part Two.


Hugh Costello said...

Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon is a brilliant study of how one generation's neuroses and pathologies shape those of the next. Set in Germany in the months before the First World War, it suggests that malice, envy and random brutality were the stuff of everyday life, reinforced by the baleful influence of religion and class. Masterful.

Unknown said...

Thank you for your nomination. I will be featuring our readers' nominations on the blog in the next couple of weeks.

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