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John Waters' Ten Best List of 2009

by Anne Thompson
December 27, 2009 8:01 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

When John Waters submitted his Guilty Pleasures list to Film Comment, he included movies like Woody Allen's Interiors and Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries. So it's not entirely surprising that his 2009 Ten Best list, published in Art Forum, includes Lars von Trier's Antichrist and Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces. Waters knows what he likes. Here's his top five:


1 Import Export (Ulrich Seidl) The most sorrowful movie of the year is also the best. The miserable lives of Ukrainian immigrants in Vienna make this agonizing but brilliantly directed opus the cinematic equivalent of slitting your wrists. A new genre? Depression porn? Hey, I got off.

2 Antichrist (Lars von Trier) If Ingmar Bergman had committed suicide, gone to hell, and come back to earth to direct an exploitation/art film for drive-ins, this is the movie he would have made.

Thompson on Hollywood

3 In the Loop (Armando Iannucci) A smart, mean, foulmouthed British satire about the struggle for global power that asks the all-important question: How do you debate the invasion of Iraq if your gums start to bleed in the middle of your presentation?

4 World’s Greatest Dad (Bobcat Goldthwait) Why, oh why, wasn’t this blackest of comedies a hit? Appallingly rude, decidedly family unfriendly, this autoerotic-suicide tale of a hateful son and his clueless father left the viewer gasping in surprise.

5 Brüno (Larry Charles) Don’t listen to the critics—it’s better than Borat. Imagine a hetero teen couple in a mall on a first date somewhere in Middle America watching Sacha Baron Cohen pantomime every known gay male sex act, ending in a joyous “facial.” Sometimes audiences get what they deserve.

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