9. The Prestige
Dir. Christopher Nolan
128 min; PG-13
Christopher Nolan's follow-up to Batman Begins was one of my most anticipated films of the year. It had, what in my mind was, a fantastic cast: Jackman, Bale, Scarlett, Oscar-winner Michael Caine, David Bowie, and even Andy Serkis. The novel was great source material and Nolan's past projects left nothing but anticipation for what he was going to do next. Even with all my expectations, and knowledge of the source material, Nolan managed to surprise me. The Prestige - which refers to the final stage of the three parts to a magician's act - in that respect is a filmed magic trick. We are the audience of the magician - Nolan. While some have compared this film to The Illusionist, the similarities end after the subject matter. The Prestige is more elaborate in its set up and in the payoff. It's not a fairy tale or love story. It's a carefully constructed piece of entertainment, like a good detective story or murder mystery. And while some have complained that the film is too emotionless and calculating, I feel that those elements work well to give the film its unique feel. In the end, it's a fantastic piece of craftsmanship and definitely one of my favourite films of the year.
Anders Bergstrom's blog on Words, Films, and Music