Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LowRes 2009 Movie Awards: Prologue, The Moments

Starting tomorrow, I'll be presenting my annual "Wouldn't It Be Funny If I Had an Oscar Ballot?" awards. That all starts tomorrow. But as I was trying to narrow the categories down to tidy lists of the very best of 2009 movies, I realized there were too many pieces of awesome that didn't quite fit in.

Consider this a list of honorable mentions, or miscellania, or my own version of those montages that air before the Oscar host takes the stage (rest easy: Billy Crystal won't insert himself into these), I'll just say they're my 23 favorite moments from this year's movies (limit 1 per movie).


The improbable but no less soaring Hall & Oates production number in 500 Days of Summer. [Runners-up: Joseph Gordon-Levitt slurring "Here Comes Your Man" on karaoke; The "expectation/reality" split screen.]

The luminous Lisa P dancing to Exposé in Adventureland.

The destruction of Home Tree in Avatar; no matter what else I thought of the movie, they managed to deliver one of the few overt 9/11 allusions that lands with the appropriate gravity.

Maggie Gyllenhall's physical acting in Away We Go, every movement and posture infused with hippie superiority. [Runner-up: Melanie Lynskey's sorrowful strip tease.]

Click below for 21 more moments...

The utterly creepy, leering, smiling, nose-bleeding student/cater waiter in The Box.
Rachel Weisz's endless supply of replacement Lamborghinis in The Brothers Bloom.

Jason Tam's tear-jerking audition for A Chorus Line in Every Little Step.

The entire Whackbat sequence in Fantastic Mr. Fox, down to the last cry of "Hotbox!"

The nerviness of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince be a $250 million teen romance, featuring horndog quiddich and the magic of Lavender "Lisa P" Brown.

Two college girls on a car ride into the blackest of night, the '80s rock on the radio and the sliver of roadside illuminated by the headlights both infinitely more ominous than they should be, in House of the Devil.

Joshua Leonard accidentally spills the beans about the proposed gay porno to Alycia Delmore's character -- and her priceless drunken reaction -- in Humpday.

All the drama (and comedy) surrounding Mimi Kennedy's tooth in In the Loop.

The entirety of the pot-smoking sequence in It's Complicated, from Meryl Streep's first giggle to that mind-blowing, oddly erotic vision of Alec Baldwin shottgunning John Krasinski.

Hole's "Violet" screaming onto the soundtrack at the very end of Jennifer's Body.

Sam Rockwell's fervent dedication to rocking out to "Walking on Sunshine" in Moon.

Fergie belting "Be Italian" -- momentarily enlivening a dead movie -- in Nine.

Beyonce asking "Is this because I want to go back to school?" in Obsessed. (Runner-up: Idris Elba's "BREATHE, BITCH!")

The scene in Orphan where young Esther is crawling all up in Peter Sarsgaard's business, crossing all sorts of inappropriate wires inside me at once. [Runner-up: "I'm not your FUCKING MOMMY!"]

The...the thing that gets thinged from/by/to/with/at/for the other thing...at the very end of Paranormal Activity.

The part in A Perfect Getaway where Kiele Sanchez, in the heat of a desperate chase for life and death, places a call to a customer service center in India.

James T. Kirk sexin' a green alien Rachel Nichols in Star Trek.

Jonathan Groff charming the tie-dyed pants off of everyone on the screen -- and ultimately trotting out for his last scene atop a horse -- in Taking Woodstock.

The superb opening credits segment set to "The Times They Are A-Changin'" in Watchmen.

The privately harrowing snowball fight at the beginning of Where the Wild Things Are.

Ari Graynor's leering, appreciative "Lookin' good, Barbie" in Whip It!

* * * * * *
I can't possibly have covered all the excellent moments from the flicks of 2009. Hit the comments with your own -- but the first person to mention anything from The Hangover is outta here.


Kirk Hamilton said...

Woah, I had not realized that Lavender Brown was Lisa P. Amazing!

I just re-watched Watchmen (answering that famous question once and for all: "I do!"), and I think that the credits sequence was probably my favorite part of the movie. Still a very cool film, but I liked it less than when I saw it in the theater, mostly because of the licensed music they chose to use.

From "The Sound of Silence" during The Comedian's funeral onward, I thought the songs were just way too broad (perhaps the word is "Gump-y"?), and it was distracting.

Joe Reid said...

For the record, Lavender isn't played by the same actress as Lisa P. They're just spiritually linked characters.

Stephanie said...

The heartwarming, wordless story of Ellie and Carl from Up? Had me crying through my 3D glasses.

Danny F. said...

I'd agree that the opening of "Up" was my favorite movie moment(s) of the year, hands down.

I'd also wager that the "I'm not the babysitter" moment from "House of the Devil" was a bit more "moment"-worthy, but I really dig this list overall! Can't wait to see more.

Kirk Hamilton said...

Ah. My mistake. Though that woulda been cool.

Tracy said...

"that mind-blowing, oddly erotic vision of Alec Baldwin shotgunning John Krasinski."

Oh man, do I need to see that. Whew.

Babs Johnson said...

Carrie Preston's interrogation scene in "Duplicity"?

Julianne Moore winking at Blake Lively in "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee"? or... Julianne Moore's little dance at the makeup table in "A Single Man"?

Melanie Laurent putting on war paint to David Bowie's "Cat People" in Inglorious Basterds

Hearing Helen Mirren seduce Christopher Plummer in "The Last Station" with the line "I'll always be your little chicken, and you're still my big cock" (or something like that)

Carol Elaine said...

Mimi! Yay!

Sorry, Mimi Kennedy is a friend of mine and I loved seeing her name on your list. She was fantastic in In the Loop - I wish the movie had gotten a wider release, because the whole thing was great.

David said...

The increasingly hilarious appearances of the Ratbirds in Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. ("Go limp, Billy!")

Meryl Streep having just conquered approximately seven hundred onions in Julie & Julia.

Charlie Cox's third sprint across that London street in Stone of Destiny

Scott said...

If only all of Where the Wild Things Are was as good as that beautiful, amazing, pitch-perfect beginning.

And I'm glad you listed Here Comes Your Man as well as the Hall and Oates moment in (500) Days.

Joe Reid said...

So many great choices, guys. I definitely you that opening sequence from Up would get some love. I totally agree.

Danny: That moment from House of the Devil made me actually scream.

Babs: "Cat People"! Yes! easily my favorite moment from Basterds.

Colin Low said...

The Reveal in Duplicity, complete with champagne unfizzing

Landa rats out the floorboards in Basterds

Unspoken train set scene in Fantastic Mr Fox

BeRightBack said...

Tilda wearing the mask in "Julia"

Joe Reid said...

Oh, if it's any scene in Julia it's gotta be a scene involving pants-shitting children.

Colin Low said...

OMG how did I forget Julia Personally I love "'FUCK YOU--' no, you went like this and you said, 'The wind caresses my face like no man ever will.'"

"Fucking poet."

Carrie said...

The moment in "Up in the Air" when Anna Kendrick's character reveals that her boyfriend broke up with her.

Stephie said...

I wish Rich from FourFour would make a gif of Lisa P. dancing. She had this straight girl straight up mesmerized.

Carrie said...

Wow, it has been a long year - I completely forgot that "In the Loop" came out in 2009. So I need to add the "Don't call me 'English'!" moment/subsequent reaction shot to this list. :)