From the outset of Toy Story 3—where we discover that Andy is going off to college and must either give away, throw away, or relegate his toys to the attic—there is a profound and universal sense of loss. Things change. Nothing is permanent. Everyone grows up and must leave their childhood behind, once and for all.
Here are my top ten favorite movies of 2009, with an additional 15 honorable mentions that could easily have made the best ten as well. This list has gone through many variations in recent weeks, as I’ve seen a few films more than once or some for the first time (and yes, I did see Up In the Air… but it didn’t make my list). I hope you'll try to see each of the following films if you get the chance (many are available on Netflix). They are the movies that thrilled me the most in 2009.
You may not think Still Walking is about very much. It’s a Japanese film about a day in the life of an average Japanese family. Three generations gather at “Grandma’s house” to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the eldest sibling’s accidental death. They eat a lot of meals, take a few walks, take naps, baths, and catch butterflies. Nothing much happens. No sex, violence, or screaming matches. Hardly anyone even raises their voice.