Best of 2009

[this is a work in progress]

film still

Burn, baby, burn - it fired me up

1. Inglourious Basterds – because it reignited my excitement with cinema

2. The Hangover – because it afforded me a fine evening of laughter with the Enfants Terribles
3. A Serious Man – for the uncompromising ending and beautiful cinematography by my former boss Roger Deakins
4. Moon – for being intriguing and thought-provoking
5. District 9 – for realising an inventive concept well
6. An Education – for a supercharismatic central performance
7. Nowhere Boy – for fine performances all round

1. Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) – couldn’t take my eyes off him

2. Sam Rockwell (Moon)
3. Christian McKay (Me & Orson Welles) – not an easy persona to capture
4. Aaron Johnson (Nowhere Boy)
5. Andy Serkis (Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll)
6. Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man)
7. Adam Sandler (Funny People) – got papped behind him leaving BAFTA (that’s no way to live)
8. John Travolta (The Taking of Pelham 123)

1. Carey Mulligan (An Education) – old school screen charisma

2. Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy) – did a great, feisty Q&A for us at The Phoenix, East Finchley
3. Emma Thompson (Last Chance Harvey)
4. Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank)

Supporting Actor:
1. Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) – captured the humour whilst retaining the character’s intrigue

2. Alfred Molina (An Education) – also a close second, helped pull off the ending with a pivotal moving scene
3. Ed Helms (The Hangover)
4. Thomas Sangster (Nowhere Boy) – striking screen presence
5. Peter Capaldi (In the Loop)
6. Fred Melamed (A Serious Man)

Supporting Actress:
1. Kristin Scott Thomas (Nowhere Boy)

2. Claire Danes (Me & Orson Welles)
3. Rosamund Pike (An Education)

1. Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds) – gets it on the strength of the opening scene alone

2. The Coen Brothers (A Serious Man)
3. Neill Blomkamp (District 9)
4. Todd Phillips (The Hangover)
5. Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)
6. Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino)
7. Duncan Jones (Moon)

1. The Hangover

2. A Serious Man
3. District 9
4. Up in the Air
5. Moon

Gavin & Stacey

1. Hothouse Flowers – Community hall, Baltimore, West Cork

Bat for Lashes – The Roundhouse
Christy Moore – Festival Hall
Lisa Hannigan – Festival Hall

Blur – Hyde Park (The Enfants Terribles’ first gig)
Michael Franti & Spearhead – Empire Shepherd’s Bush
David Gray – The Roundhouse

Sea Sew – Lisa Hannigan

The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

1. Glass – Bat for Lashes

2. Say Hey – Michael Franti & Spearhead

The Great Lover – Jill Dawson

Dream – Jaume Plensa

Anish Kapoor – Royal Academy

August: Osage County (NT)
Prick Up Your Ears (The Comedy)

Sports event:
1. Ireland winning the 6 Nations

2. Spurs 9-1 victory over Wigan


Saddest loss:
John Martyn

28 comments so far

  1. practicalpsychologist on

    Album of the year:
    ‘Vagarosa’ – Ceu,
    ‘Tres Tres Fort’ – Staff Benda Bilili
    ‘New York Days’ – Enrico Rava
    I would have added London Undersound by Nitin Sawhney but it seems to have come out in 2008. Could have sworn it was this year.

    ‘Echos Hypnotiques’ – Orchestra Poly Rhythmo De Contonou
    ‘Francophonic Vol 2’ – Franco et le TPOK Jazz

    Promising first album:
    ‘XX’ – The XX

    ‘Mercy’ – The Third Degree (what she should have done with it).

    Live music:
    Fleet Foxes at Wolverhampton Civic Hall

    (Musical Note: At my age I tend to come across the great stuff about 3 years after release)

    ‘Art in Russia’. I would love to see Andrew Graham Dixon attempt an updated ‘Civilisation’.

    I spent way too much time on

    Broke a habit and went to the cinema twice this year. ‘In the Loop’ was seriously overrated.

    Federer winning the French. The darts for atmosphere and the announcer who has a permanent case of laryngitis. Watching my 9 year old daughter come second in Wycombe Swimming Championships in an Olympic size pool – she lost out by a micro-second and I am ashamed to say that everybody in the crowd must have known I was her father in the last ten metres. Sadly for me my favourite sport, rugby, has become close to unwatchable. The soul has gone.

    It is also unacceptable to me that 5Live is not fulfilling it’s remit – it has become a rolling football news channel and when there is no news they invite one-eyed football fans to give us their thoughts on phone-ins.

    Noticing that over 200,000 people have joined the facebook group ‘I have slept with Tiger Woods’.

    The Economist (although they call themselves a Newspaper). Private Eye has stopped being funny although its continued coverage of the Lockerbie sham justifies purchase.

    Passing on:
    John Martyn, Clement Freud.

    Most annoying:
    Almost continual announcements when on a train: ‘please don’t leave cases and parcels…’, ‘the buffet is situated…’, ‘you must have a ticket for your journey…’, ‘we apologise for (add whatever you like)…’, ‘will the guard please contact the driver…’, ‘the next station is…’ and so it goes on.

  2. ArkAngel on

    Agree about The 3rd Degree. Roberts Elms put it up front on his review of the year’s music on New Year’s Day –

    Going to check out some of your other recommendations (haven’t heard of most of them, so all the more exciting).

    Also agree about In The Loop (but not with your habit of avoiding the cinema) and about Clement Freud (but not with his habit of avoiding his painter brother).

    So what’s gone wrong with rugby? (Did you see my adventures on the Saracens’ bench last weekend? )

  3. practicalpsychologist on

    My single of the year…if I can have Buckethead’s tribute to Michael Jackson that he has posted on his website I will have that.

    Cinema – making a major effort this year but I don’t really like acting. I am obsessed with what is real and cinema rarely is. So it is with apprehension I will go to see the Ian Dury biopic.

    Freud – yes, but probably stuff we don’t know about their relationship. I meant to add Keith Waterhouse to that list.

    The music. The xx may well be your thing. All the African – probably not.

    Rugby. Kicking, domination by referees, over-developed musculature on players. I went to Twickenham in the autumn and it was a disgrace. Nike performed a deeply offensive advertising stunt, the crowd seemed uninterested in the rugby and some microphoned fool never shut up. I watched England earlier this year too and missed the 1st england try because of a Mexican wave taking place in front of me. Rugby seems to be attracting those who want what the marketeers call ‘the experience’ rather than the game itself.I go and watch 4th, 5th division games now and thoroughly enjoy them.

  4. ArkAngel on

    You’re one of life’s purists!

  5. practicalpsychologist on

    I did see your two Noahs! I think Noah Cato is a very good player but my feeling is that he may just be a step below international standard. How about the other Noah? FEP? (that’s another 3 letter one!) ‘Future England Player’.

    Currently darts seems to be the only sport being played in Britain. I trust you saw Barney’s 147 just before Christmas and Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor winning the World Championships! No? You are missing out on the Titans of Tungsten – in the words of Sid Waddell.

  6. ArkAngel on

    I like to think the other Noah may be an FEP:

    FEP is now official:

    I appreciate your passion for it but darts is a game not a sport 😉

  7. practicalpsychologist on

    I agree with you – it is a game. I remember many years ago, in my student days watching a rotund Jocky Wilson (on about his 10th bottle of pils judging by the state of him) and Sid Waddell describing him as a true sportsmen and making comparison with the likes of Carl Lewis etc. Marvellous. There was a player on the TV the other night who was so large that his stomach could expand no further and he therefore appeared to be growing a second stomach on the back of his neck. Darts is i admit an inverted snobbery thing on my part but I love it.

    Do you know the classic Dexy’s/Top of the Pops/Jocky Wilson story?

    And I assume you have seen the classic Not The Nine O’Clock News Darts Sketch?

  8. ArkAngel on

    Nope, don’t know that story – do tell…

    (The NTNON sketch is etched in my memory – the role Mel Smith was born to play)

  9. practicalpsychologist on

    If you click on the link below you will see Dexy’s playing VM’s ‘Jackie Wilson Said’ on Top of the Pops circa 1982. In the background you will see a giant picture of ‘dartiste’ Jocky Wilson. Apparently the producers got confused between the great soul man Jackie Wilson and darts legend Jocky Wilson.

  10. ArkAngel on

    Ah, that rings a bell now – but genuine cock-up or someone ‘avin a laugh?

    We should make some up – like the time they put a painting up of a tortured artist with his ear sliced off behind Sweet Gene Vincent or that time when there was a photo of a Steinway in the background of Visions of Johanna or that big picture of a balding MOR American singer behind Ode to Billie Joe…

  11. practicalpsychologist on

    I think the latter although no-one has ever said so. So perhaps a genuine cock-up. Might be the kind of thing Kevin Rowland would think up though…

    That sounds like a good parlour game to me. Shame Christmas has gone.

  12. Alex Fallowfield on

    Found a link where you can watch all gavin and stacey episodes for free 🙂

    Just click the link below!

    Watch Gavin and Stacey Online

  13. practicalpsychologist on

    I should now add the Florence and the Machine album to my albums of the year. And the single ‘Dog Day’ goes in too. Both terrific. I am hoping to see her live in May – my companion currently searching for tickets.

    I went to see one of the best concerts I have seen in this or any other year on Saturday night. Electronics, visuals and trumpet from Nils Petter Molvaer. A truly great evening and I am still internally ‘shaking’ from the experience.

  14. ArkAngel on

    Taking your advice on Flo and ordering up her LP. Did you see her with Dizzee Rascal as a small oasis of class on the Brits?

  15. practicalpsychologist on

    I think they are both great. I don’t go out on New year’s Eve so I stayed in with laydee and watched Jools Holland. Both Flo and Dizzee were on and I thought excellent. However Rodrigo Y Gabriela were stunning.

    I have just booked tickets for Laura Marling (the night before Gil) whose new album is fab and I think you will like it.

  16. practicalpsychologist on

    Oh – and I didn’t see your dizzee n’ flo comment. You hit da nail ‘a small oasis of class’.

    I think Dizzee may prove to be a soul man in the long term.

  17. practicalpsychologist on

    I can now announce my absolute definite album of 2009 – it came out right at the end. ‘Tarot Sport’ by Fuck Buttons is a phenomenal piece of music. Exhausting to listen to. Expect to hear ‘Olympians’ all over the place once TV Soundtrack people get hold of it.

    I can however Arkangel, state with some confidence that it will not be your thing!

  18. ArkAngel on

    Thanks for the warning! Something that exhausts you must be pretty formidable – so intriguing…

    • theluckhabit on

      I was a prophet on this one. The track ‘Olympians’ was used as a central part of the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

      • theluckhabit on

        Remove this comment – I made the same point a few years later I see!

  19. […] Best of 2009 […]

  20. […] Best of 2011 Best of 2010 Best of 2009 […]

  21. […] Best of 2009 […]

  22. […] Best of 2009 […]

  23. theluckhabit on

    I was just looking back over these after 4 years. My comment about the Fuck Buttons was prophetic. The Olympians was used, three years later, at the opening ceremony. I was also thinking that I should add albums to the respective years that I discovered after the year ended. Just for the ‘record’.

    • ArkAngel on

      It’s building into a nice little record for posterity. I did them as Word files from Melrose days to the advent of blogging so I should dig those out at some point and add them here for completeness.

  24. […] Best of 2009 […]

  25. […] Best of 2009 […]

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