Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Best Posters of 2009

Still wrapping up the year that was by acknowledging the best of the last 12 months of movie posterdom.

Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself
Confession: I've never seen a single Tyler Perry film (at the risk of sounding like a total racist, I've basically accepted the fact that his movies are not made for me). But I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that the movies themselves aren't anywhere near as artful or sophisticated as the one-sheets that precede them. The Taraji Henson one especially piques my interest...until I see the manic trailers again.

Bright Star
This year's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Simply beautiful and destined for my office wall.

The International
Incredibly striking -- a graphic snapshot of the movie's best sequence.

Michael Jackson's This is It
I'm not exactly sure what it is about this one that turns me on so. Perhaps it's the neon colors against the gray background. Perhaps it's the gleaming, star-shaped negative space that peaks out between MJ's feet. Perhaps because it looks like an artist's legacy captured within his own instantly indentifiable silhouette. Perhaps all of the above.

Drag Me to Hell
Just in case you weren't sure about the very literal nature of the title, this fame-wreathed head-turner sets the record straight. Extra points for Alison Lohman's perfectly tousled hair and glistening necklace.

(in alphabetical order, and with apologies for the teeny-tiny size of the thumbnails above)

Afghan Star
Gorgeous and so rare. Who wants to bet that the DVD cover will be just another gridded collection of generic head shots and critical praise?

Nearly as audacious as the movie itself. Perhaps the only movie poster to basically depict intercourse flat-out. And speaking of audacity, there's no ignoring the prominence of von Trier's name, letting you know who the star of the show really is.

Broken Embraces
A beauty of overly saturated colors and tacky melodrama -- aka, pure Almodovar.

Cold Souls
Perfectly captures the movie's human-body-as-shell ideas, while also -- perhaps unintentionally -- playing up the bushiness of Giamatti's everyman mustache, which, oddly enough, was one of the things about this film that stayed with me.

The Girlfriend Experience
From the expression on porn star Sasha Grey's face, to the telephone reciever-like dot pattern, to the tagline ("See it with someone you f**k), this poster is totally sexy, and makes me want to see the movie immediately (alas, I still haven't). If I were doing rankings, this one would easily land at No. 1.

The Informant!
Funnier and more pleasant than the movie it advertises, it's goofy and great, achieving the same kind of irony as that oh-so-famous "40-Year-Old Virgin" image.

Oh, how I love this one. Nails the protagonist's isolation, mental struggles and the setting with one hypnotic shape, while also being super-stylish. The whole '60s Mod vibe is terrific.

Precious and... Precious
I'd normally choose to share the wealth and see to it that as many films/posters as possible were represented but, the truth is, "Precious" boasted two of the year's best poster designs. The first is a bleak and brilliant portrait of a character who is very much a work in progress. And, like the film, the necklace-as-title demands that you look closer to find out who this girl is. The second is a tasteful, yet slyly explicit representation of the atrocities that have befallen Precious. The image is literally shattering.

*See which posters I loved in 2008 and 2007.

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