The indelible films are:
'Los Abrazos Rotos'
Almodovar and Cruz again cause for delight in this ravishing and melodramatic tale of love and obsession. It is as if Douglas Sirk and Alfred Hitchcock helped co-direct it. Rapturous entertainment at the highest order.
In this crazily original, bravely political film, you forget you are watching sci-fi and get sucked into the humanity of the film. Sometimes difficult stories need some separation in order to reach more people. Bonus points for not being like other sci-fi films - predictable.
'The Hurt Locker'
Forget the conventional narrative hook and just watch the tensions between these people and the situations they are in. An exhilarating action war film by a film maker who understands what a war film needs to work.
As with most Tarantino films, this has a cocky swagger. This could be the World War II film to end them all. A crazy and grand film that will linger long after the final gruesome chuckle.
'Mary & Max'
This is like no other animated film I have seen. Sure the production is not amazing, but this film soars above the rest because if tells a story that that little lonely person in us all can relate to.
One of those darkly comic films about the humanity in us all that leave you a little off kilter - bordering on psychotic. The voice of a striking new talent in cinema and an actress we will all be on the look out for.
We get so deeply immersed in the depth of human suffering and mental illness that when we come out we feel exhausted. This is dark social commentary at its best. No wonder so many people cannot take it.
'The September Issue'
Sure there were more 'important' documentaries out this year, but none that had so much humor, charm, vivacity and delight as this. You went in excited for Wintour and came out shouting "Coddington"!
'A Single Man'
It may not seem original, but every time you see something that burrows so deeply into the emotional truths of love, grief, loss and desire that they touch something in all of us that seems so shiny and new.
Pixar have the best batting average as a studio. Here they are winsome, touching and so so funny. A totally captivating odd-couple adventure. Bonus points for those incredibly moving first 10 minutes.
'Das Weisse Band'
Intensely detailed yet oh so askew, slow but riveting. This film is so seductive, that even after the ending, with its lack of closure, you still experience something deeply disturbing. I am still experiencing it months later.
This film is like its director. Sweet but not sickly, funny, but not stupid. Sometimes when you go to the cinema, all you really want to do is have a good ole time. This film reintroduces that notion whilst also being so real.