The year started with a whole lot of stellar performers but slowed down later on since I did things other than watch movies. Regardless, that early period represented some of the best movie years in recent memory.

movie of the year

The super-fresh District 9 takes the title, and is also the best movie to ever come out of South Africa.

best movie

The year's best movie is Baise-moi, whose unflinching and unsettling violence has the raw intensity of Bamboozled's climax and the harshness of Natural Born Killers, without the humor. It's runner-up is District 9, followed by Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino's best movie yet.

performances

My favorite performances are a tie and all go to one movie, Watchmen +++ Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian and Jackie Earle Haley when face is unmasked. Runner-up is Raffaëla Anderson as a crazed rape victim in Baise-moi.

There was quite a number of superb male performances, the best being Daniel-Day Lewis' near-flawless performances as oil miner in There Will Be Blood. Here's the runner-ups:

  1. Christoph Waltz as Nazi officer in Inglourious Basterds
  2. John Malkovich as activist in Changeling
  3. Jack Nicholson as grumpy tycoon in Bucket List
  4. Woody Harrelson as blind man in Seven Pounds

The year's best female performance is a tie between that Rosario Dawson's as the love interest in Seven Pounds, and Tilda Swinton's as fleeting lover in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

characters

Compared to last year, this year is lacklustre, except for desirable gals where Golshifteh Farahani (Body of Lies) and husky voice (likely Brenda Vaccaro) in Midnight Cowboy take the crown. 1st runner-up is leading lady, Zhao Tao, in Still Life followed by (cheat) the warrior girl in Avatar, who/which also happens to be year's best creature.

Character design goes to the talking toys of Small Soldiers.

visuals

2012 has some seriously explosive visual effects, among the best ever. The runner-ups:

  1. Transformers 2
  2. Avatar
  3. District 9

The best visual effects artefact is the robo-bikes in Terminator Salvation, which ties with the exo-suit in District 9.

misc elements

There Will Be Blood has the year's best direction. Changeling has best production design, and its runner-up is Shoot 'Em Up, which however gets best cinematography. Changeling also has best costume design and best cast.

The year's greatest spectacles are 2012 and Avatar; best thriller is Law-Abiding Citizen; most original movie, or one that feels so, is District 9; best comedy is You Don't Mess With the Zohan; the most enchanting/delightful is Wall-E, followed up by Sponge Bob.

The year's best action movie is Quantum of Solace, followed by Avatar; the most bizarre is Ghost Dog, followed by Watchmen; the funniest is You Don't Mess With the Zohan, followed by Yes Man, then Monsters vs. Aliens.

The most touching movie (overall) is Yellow Earth, a sad exploration of a hopeless yearning for freedom, which presents itself in a form of Communist soldier with a weird mission. The most touching moments is the relationship between the Chinese and Russian lady in The World, followed by a childish romance between silly tent constructor and sweet servant in Monsoon Wedding.

The best opening credits sequence is in Rock 'n Rolla. The worst humiliation is in near the end of There Will Be Blood.

others

these and these:

Angels & Demons; Awake; Babylon A.D.; Bee Movie; Day the Earth Stood Still, The; Duplicity; Eagle Eye; Fan Boys; Frailty; Gran Torino; Happening, The; Ice Age; In the Realm of the Senses; International, The; Karol - A Man Who Became Pope; Leatherheads; Marie Antoinette; Max & Mona; Nashville; Notorious; Obsessed; Once Upon A Time in America; Once Upon A Time In The West; Orphanage, The; Pride; Promise, The; Psycho; Push; Ran; Saw V; Speed Racer; Sponge Bob; Star Trek; Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Still Life; Superhero Movie; Taste of Cherry; Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down; Traitor; Valkyrie; Wind Will Carry Us, The; Wrestler, The; Xiao Wu; Zack & Miri Make A Porno