Top films of 2009! SFBG film critics weigh in, part one

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It's that time of year again -- Oscar contenders (and wannabes) are hogging the theaters, and just about every film writer who put fingers to keyboard in 2009 is making his or her top ten list. Here at the Guardian, some of us make top ten lists, and some of us make whatever kind of list we want. Check out our annual Year in Film issue, out Wed/30, and read on for our contributors' top (and otherwise) picks.

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Louis Peitzman’s Top Ten Performances of 2009

1. Colin Firth in A Single Man (Tom Ford, USA)
2. Mo'Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (Lee Daniels, USA)
3. Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, USA/Germany)
4. Marion Cotillard in Nine (Rob Marshall, USA/Italy)
5. Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, USA)
6. Jackie Earle Haley in Watchmen (Zack Snyder, USA)
7. Michael Stuhlbarg in A Serious Man (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, USA/UK/France)
8. Sasha Grey in The Girlfriend Experience (Steven Soderbergh, USA)
9. Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia (Nora Ephron, USA)
10. Carey Mulligan in An Education (Lone Scherfig, UK)

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Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds.

Erik Morse’s Top Ten Films of 2009

1. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, USA)
2. The Missing Person (Noah Buschel, USA)
3. The Beaches of Agnès (Agnès Varda, France)
4. Coraline (Henry Selick, USA)
5. Still Walking (Hirokazu Koreeda, Japan)
6. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, USA)
7. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, Austria/Germany/France/Italy)
8. Mother (Bong Joon-ho, South Korea)
9. Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
10. Thirst (Chan-wook Park, South Korea)

Erik Morse's honorable mentions: Goodbye Solo (Ramin Bahrani, USA); Revanche (Götz Spielmann, Austria); Tyson (James Toback, USA); Orphan (Jaume Collet-Serra, USA/Canada/Germany/France); Examined Life (Astra Taylor, Canada); Science is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painleve (Criterion Collection DVD); Rembrandt's J'accuse (Peter Greenaway, Netherlands/Germany/Finland); Valentino: The Last Emperor (Matt Tyrnauer, USA); Jennifer's Body (Karyn Kusama, USA)

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Scene from Goodbye Solo.