Over the course of three films, Pete Docter has done what so many other family films do not: taken children seriously.
HOLLYWOOD — "The Hurt Locker," a film that was made with little cash but limitless willpower, defeated the highest-grossing film in history and won the best picture Oscar here Sunday night. The director of the spine-chilling war drama, Kathryn Bigelow, became the first woman to ever win the best director Oscar. James Cameron, director of "Avatar" — and her former husband — cried all the way to the bank.
Ow, my brain hurts. So, let's just get these out of the way, shall we? In the annual Village Voice/LA Weekly Film Poll, announced just before Christmas, 94 critics (including me) came up with 160 nominations for best films of 2009 -- and voted in a bunch of other categories, too, including Best Film of the Decade ("Mulholland Dr."). [My decade favorites are here.]
Meanwhile, Film Comment polled another big batch o' crix (a lot of the same ones, in fact) and came up with a somewhat different 20 Best of 2009 list -- and 150 Best Films of the Decade (topped by... "Mulholland Dr."). Just for fun, let us compare the two groups' Top Dozen for both year and decade:
As I have so often said, if Cannes ever opens its festival with a 3D animated feature, I'll believe houses can fly. I am a doubter no longer. Cannes 2009 awarded the honor of its opening night, which traditionally goes to a French film, to Pixar's 3D "Up." I would have given anything to be there for the morning press screening, to witness the world's movie critics, festival programmers, cineastes and academics fitting on their XpanD® Series 101 3D Active Glasses, which are, quote, "a stylish, eco-friendly, and completely immersive stereoscopic 3D experience."
Alas, I was not at that screening. Our flight arrival was a day later. But I have had the great pleasure of seeing "Up" in 2D, which is how most people will see it. Faithful readers will know that I don't at all miss seeing the 3D version. All I really miss is seeing the Cannes crowd put on the glasses. At the black tie evening screening, all the top design houses in Paris will have their hand-made gowns and formalwear complemented by the stylish and eco-friendly XpanD® eyewear.