Canons change minute-by-minute, but here’s my list of the films that have most intrigued or moved me recently (in no particular order).
1. The Hurt Locker (2009). I have mixed feelings about many of Kathryn Bigelow’s films, and this one is no exception. But once again she pushed the boundaries, and that’s why I like her work.
2. Australia (2008). Over-hyped, but Baz Luhrmann’s challenging treatment of his country’s history lived up to his motto ‘A life lived in fear is a life half lived’.
3. Inglourious Basterds (2009). I’m not a big Tarantino fan, but this one was inspired.
4. Vals im Bashir (Waltz with Bashir) (2008). Profoundly moving, and one of the best anti-war films I’ve ever seen.
5. Marie Antoinette (2006). Much maligned and misunderstood reinvention of the historical bio-pic with lashings of style and more than a little attitude.
6. The Wrestler (2008). Welcome back Mickey Rourke.
7. Waitress (2007). An inventive update on romantic melodrama from talented writer/director/actress Adrienne Shelly, who is greatly missed.
8. Entre les murs (The Class) (2008). Revealing and disturbing insight into classroom experience from both sides of the fence.
9. Two Lovers(2008). Poignant in many ways, not least by featuring what may be the final screen role for a great actor, Joaquin Phoenix.