The year's 10 best movies and more: 2009 in film!

The cover of the December 23, 2009 print edition.
Photo-illustration. Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.
The cover of the December 23, 2009 print edition.
Jeff Bridges (left, seen here with Robert Duvall) may finally win the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Crazy Heart.
Jeff Bridges (left, seen here with Robert Duvall) may finally win the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Crazy Heart.
Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus in this year's Inglorious Basterds, picked as one of our critics' ten favorite films released in 2009.
Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus in this year's Inglorious Basterds, picked as one of our critics' ten favorite films released in 2009.
George Clooney (left) and director Jason Reitman on the set of Up in the Air, a significant portion of which was filmed in St. Louis this year.
George Clooney (left) and director Jason Reitman on the set of Up in the Air, a significant portion of which was filmed in St. Louis this year.

Three Village Voice Media critics agree: here are their ten favorite movies of 2009.

And since the aughts are comin' to a close, here are the ten best films of the decade.

On rental side of the movie business, the 2000s were marked by decline. Blockbuster is perhaps the best example of a once-dominant VHS and DVD purveyor hit by the waning rental market: "Rent a Wreck: For a former video-store giant, not such a blockbuster decade."

Jeff Bridges may finally get his Academy Award this year. The movie that's inspiring chatter about the Best Actor award (that has inexplicably eluded Bridges through four Oscar nominations) is Crazy Heart, a new, modestly budgeted indie by first-time director Scott Cooper, in which the actor, who plays a burned-out country-music star ripe for either salvation or damnation, sings his own numbers. "Jeff Bridges shines as a country-music has-been. Will the elusive Oscar finally be his?"

Unlike the zigzagging protagonist (George Clooney) of his latest film, Up in the Air, Jason Reitman tends to stay close to home. "If we were in a small town, you'd call me a 'townie.' I'd be the guy who's always lived within a mile of the house he grew up in," says the Oscar-nominated Juno director on a recent afternoon in his West Hollywood office, where a small sign beside the front door announces, modestly: "We Make Movies." Read "Grounded: Up in the Air director Jason Reitman has a good sense of where he's from and where he's headed."

 
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