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The Year of the Curmudgeon (Best Films of 2009)

This year will probably be remembered as the year the little guy (The Hurt Locker) went up against the big bully (Avatar). What will probably be forgotten are the performances that made the films of 2009.

Avatar was the box-office smash of the year/decade. Most of the focus has been on James Cameron's awards campaigning and the clinky dialogue. The real shame is that Zoe Saldana's performances will not garner any other consideration than sci-fi hottie. Neytiri is the character that keeps our eyes on the screen. Saldana had to break through the computer generated Na'vi to deliver one of the most heart-breaking scenes of the year.

Mr. Bale had a rough year following the infamous Terminator Salvation rant and because of it most people missed one of his best performances. Christian Bale tones it down for this one playing Melvin Purvis, less anger, but far more emotional honesty. Each time Purvis sees a life taken or ends one by his own hands you witness a slow death of his own humanity.

Whether playing a zombie killing badass, a mentally disturbed superhero, or an Army notification officer Harrelson knocked it out of the park for all three films he performed in this year (Defendor was a 2009 release and I'm ignoring 2012).

Animation was huge this year: two of the films made my list and one of them made the number one slot! Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges faced off in the battle of the most underrated actors of recent memory. Overall, despite the awards season's attempt to break this year down to two films it's the films that weren't mentioned that had real impact.

Colin's Top Ten of 2009
10. Crazy Heart
9. Avatar
8. Fantastic Mr. Fox
7. Adventureland
6. Public Enemies
5. Up in the Air
4. A Single Man
3. Inglourious Basterds
2. A Serious Man
1. Up

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