Here are the movies of 2009, ranging from comedy to drama and lovesick to sick of love:
TiMER – Toying with theidea of soul mates, director Jac Schaeffer brilliantly weaves together drama, comedy, and fantasy in this story of love. It goes like this: a timer is implanted into a person’s wrist and begins a countdown to the moment of meeting one’s soulmate if and only if the other person has a timer. Until both parties have a timer the clock flashes blank. In desperate impatience to find her other half, Oona allows herself to fall for an inappropriately young and immature store clerk who has a ticking timer himself. The story challenges the quest for love, fate, freedom, adventure, knowledge, and ultimately self.
A Single Man – Colin Firth dons his familiar inner life of desperation in this movie about a man’s last day alive. The sensual palette which director Tom Ford presents the audience is a burst of color, texture, sound, and heightened observation. When English professor George finds life unbearable after the loss of long-time partner Jim, the loneliness drives him to embrace suicide. We follow him on the plotted day as various people present him with different world views, thereby making life seem once again attractive. He learns that recovery of the heart also needs a recovery of the mind.
The Road – In a post-apocolyptic world filled with rubble and ruin a father and son struggle to survive against the elements. The sky is dark, the food is low, and their skills are wanting but in fidelity to each other they stay alive and push on toward the south. It is a classic tale of survival with a not-as-familiar boundless love starring Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Charlize Theron, and rising Aussie star, Kodi Smitt-McPhee as “The Boy.”
(500) Days of Summer – “This is not a love story. This is a story about love.” Growing star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and reserved painted doll Zooey Deschanel star in this offbeat romantic comedy about a girl whose past experiences don’t allow her to believe in true love, and the guy that falls hard for her. In the 500 days they spend together leading man Tom Hansen is convinced that Summer Finn is his soulmate. They work together at the greeting card company, she inspires his architectural dreams, and fulfills all feminine standards—why wait to be in a relationship forever? According to Summer: forever is never.
The Last Station – Even if you aren’t president of the Russian literature and political tumult fan club, this film will still capture you in the beautiful humanist dialogue surrounding the great Leo Tolstoy. Supported by an inspiring cast (Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, and Paul Giamatti among others), this historical drama portrays Tolstoy’s challenges of living with his own proposed life-theory. Can a balance exist between wealth and fame with total rejection of the material world, or will his life’s work fade into the dust from whence it came?