I’ve been too busy lately to post, but in honor of the Oscars on Sunday I thought I would finally list my favorite movies of 2008. Some of them I’ve been able to write about already; others are only going to get a quick mention here. I wish I had more time to write all of the posts I want to write. Maybe once this quarter is over I’ll have more time.

My favorite movie of 2008 is Gus Van Sant’s Milk. I blogged about it previously. I love the politics of this movie and its call for the gay community to organize and fight for our rights. I also love Sean Penn’s performance especially. His Oscar for Best Actor was certainly well deserved.

My second favorite movie of 2008 is Les Chanson d’Amour. I love this movie and it’s quickly become one of my favorite films of all time. First off, I love musicals. Second, I love Louis Garrel. And finally, I love this movie’s queer plot. I blogged about it here.

Slumdog Millionaire is my third favorite film of the year. I love this movie’s love story and optimism that contrasts with the deplorable living conditions its characters find themselves in. Dev Patel is especially good as Jamal, the poor, uneducated slumdog who competes so well on a gameshow that he is accused of cheating. The romance is total fantasy, but I enjoyed the modern-day fairy tale element of the film. I would have voted for Milk for Best Picture and Director if I had had the chance, but I’m glad Slumdog Millionaire won. It’s a great, enjoyable movie. Here’s the trailer:

Number Four on my list is Brideshead Revisited, a movie that most people didn’t like. But I thought it did really well with Evelyn Waugh’s novel, which is a difficult one to adapt into a movie. I blogged about this movie as part of my summer movie round-up.

[Now that I’ve seen Rachel Getting Married, I am adding it here as number five on my list. You can see my review here.]

The documentary Man on Wire is my fifth sixth favorite movie of the year. It’s about Philippe Petit, a tightrope wlker who illegally walked on a wire from one of the World Trade Center Towers to the other. I thought this movie was totally fascinating. Petit himself is a real character. Hearing about him and his friends pulling off this stunt is just crazy. It deserved its Oscar for Best Documentary.

Number Six Seven is Wall-E, a brilliant animated film. As much as I don’t really like most animated films, I was surprised by how much I loved this movie. It deserved a Best Picture nomination. I blogged about this movie here.

Next is Doubt, which I thought was a much better film than most people gave it credit for being. Meryl Streep was miraculous in this movie, and Viola Davis was a revelation. Both were robbed of their Oscars on Sunday. Since I didn’t blog about this one, here’s the trailer:

This movie was actually much more complicated than the trailer makes it look. In particular, I had one vision of Streep’s nun based on the trailer; in the movie she turned out to be different. I especially liked this movie’s feminist and somewhat queer take on the priest sex abuse scandals. It’s a really, really, good film.

Number eight nine is The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger along makes this movie worth watching. I wrote about it previously.

Gran Torino was my ninth tenth favorite movie of the year. Clint Eastwood has the old, heterosexual, white guy sentimental film down pat. He creates characters that we can’t help but care about and then puts them in bizarrely interesting situations. I’m not quite as big a fan as PJ is, but I really liked this movie overall. Here’s the trailer:

And finally, my number 10 11 movie of the year is Sex and the City. PJ and I recently rewatched the entire series and then ended with a second viewing of the movie. It was even better the second time around. I was less frustrated with Big’s character the second time. It’s a fun, lovely movie. I’m looking forward to the sequel. I originally wrote about it here.

So that’s this year’s list. Maybe PJ will add his list, as he usually does.

PJ’s Favorite movies of 2008:

1. Milk: In the aftermath of Prop 8, the right film at the right time. A beautifully filmed and acted challenge to gays to fight for their rights!

2. Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood’s a master of the macho tearjerker. Like his Million Dollar Baby, a great example of sentimentalism at its most effective.

3. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days: This abortion drama is simply grueling. My favorite foreign film of the year.

4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall: The best comedy of the year. Another masterwork from the Apatow bunch.

5: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: A real charmer and close runner-up for the best comedy. This star turn by Michael Cera is quite a  love song to Manhattan.

6. Love Songs: This French musical features Louis Garrel, a gay romance, and fun songs. Who could ask for more?

7. Doubt: This movie surprised me with its complicated dilemma, unexpected feminist politics, and masterly performance by Meryl Streep.

8. Frozen River: Melissa Leo’s amazing performance is the highlight in this gritty, “desperate times call for desperate measures” border drama.

9. Slumdog Millionaire: This fairy tale set in Mumbai was a lot of fun (especially its closing dance number).

10 (tie). Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Woody Allen’s sexy film set in Spain. Hot Javier Bardem, pouty Scarlett Johansson, and a lunatic Penelope Cruz with Barcelona as their background make for an enjoyable time.

10. (tie) The Visitor: Another small movie, this one about illegal immigrants in New York, featured wonderful performances, especially by Richard Jenkins and Hiam Abbass.

Some of the movies that I wanted to see from 2008 but haven’t yet include The WrestlerSynecdoche, New York;  Wendy and Lucy; The Class; Happy Go LuckyReligulous; and Revolutionary Road. Perhaps after I see these movies some of them might make it onto this list.

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