Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in Review 2008: Top 10 Movies (Let the Right One In, Slumdog Millionaire)

Presenting Top 10 Movies compiled by MSN Movies Contributors. Well, the list is subjective. It's quite a shame, though, that out of the so-called Top 10 Movies, I only managed to watch one i.e. The Dark Knight.

Anyway, here are the Top 10 Movies:
10."Slumdog Millionaire"
9. "Wendy and Lucy"
8. "WALL-E"
7. "Pineapple Express"
6. "The Dark Knight"
5. "Let the Right One In"
4. "The Edge of Heaven"
3. "In Bruges"
2. "The Wrestler"
1. "A Christmas Tale"

Reading their description, I find my self interested in catching no.5, "Let the Right One In":

There is something both chilling and world-weary in the eyes of Eli (Lina Leandersson), the 200-year-old vampire trapped in the body of a 12-year-old girl in director Tomas Alfredson's haunting "Let the Right One In." Embedded in her gaze are both a familiar ache of loneliness and the impenetrable wisdom of a being almost beyond human comprehension. The tension between the known and the unknown has always been at the center of every great horror film, and now this Swedish import can be added to that esteemed list.

It's been a rough couple of years for fans of the genre, but a film like this -- about Eli's budding relationship with a forlorn, alienated little boy (Kare Hedebrant) in a bleak suburban development, set in the dead of winter -- reminds us why it's still so viable. Simultaneously moving, frightening and poetic, "Let the Right One In" and its two astonishing young stars (neither of whom have appeared in a feature film before) stay with you long after all the bloodbaths and remakes that Hollywood churns out.

Forget "Twilight"; this is a vampire love story for the ages. -- Don Kaye

Also tempted to watch--this perhaps because I've read the novel by Vikas Swarup from which it's adapted, "Q&A"--is no. 10, "Slumdog Millionaire":

Danny Boyle's big, sprawling, movie-mad spectacular mashup film brings in everything from Bollywood to British TV, from Charles Dickens to Thomas Friedman. Poor, striving "slumdog" Jamal is this close to winning it all on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" when the cops take him in to beat the "How are you cheating?" out of him. But he's not cheating. He explains how he's been winning, with stories from his life that illuminate how he knew the right answer to every question.

Dev Patel's performance as the steadfast, noble Jamal gives Boyle's pulsing, pounding film a true and beating heart. Some knock "Slumdog" as cultural condescension, but Boyle's portrait of Mumbai is half love letter and half critique; Boyle shows us the love and life on the streets but also the crime and chaos. With the romantic story curves of classic literature, it feels delightfully classic; with its multicultural, globalized speed and rhythm, it feels fiercely present.

The film tells us something we already know: Love conquers all, maybe, but there are plenty of things for love to conquer: hate, greed, loss, injustice, cruelty. "Slumdog Millionaire" has one of the happiest endings of the year, sure, but what makes it great is how Boyle and his actors earn it. -- James Rocchi

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