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Sunday
Dec 21st

Blacktrospective 2009: The best and worst of Black cinema

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The very best African-American film fare from 2009 was released early on, starting with Notorious, Medicine for Melancholy and Not Easily Broken, all of which arrived in theaters last January. That same month, Precious made its big splash at the Sundance Festival, walking away with a trio of awards: best picture, director (Lee Daniels) and actress (Mo’Nique).

While a bounty of other excellent African-American oriented offerings subsequently arrived over the course of the year, none ever matched Lee Daniels’ tour de force in terms of either emotional depth or raw intensity. Plus, Precious featured Oscar-quality work by Gabby Sidibe in the title role and by Mo’Nique as her relentlessly-abusive mother. And Daniels also coaxed career screen performances out of his motley cast, from Paula Patton to Mariah Carey to Lenny Kravitz to Sherri Shepherd.
So, without further fanfare, check out this critic’s humble assessment of the best and the worst in Black Cinema for 2009.       

Ten Best Black Feature Films
1.   Precious
2.   Notorious
3.   Not Easily Broken
4.   Michael Jackson: This Is It
5.   The Soloist
6.   Next Day Air
7.   Madea Goes to Jail
8.   Obsessed
9.   Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
10. I Can Do Bad All by Myself

Best Independent Black Films
1.   Medicine for Melancholy
2.   American Violet
3.   Life’s Passing Me By
4    Rebirth of a Nation
5    Black Dynamite
6.   Ballast
7    The Jazz Baroness
8    Bama Girl   
9.   A Passion for Giving
10. Heart of Stone

Best Black Documentaries
1.   Still Bill
2.   Tyson
3.   Brick City
4.   Good Hair
5.   This Is the Life
6.   Harlem in Montmartre
7.   Pressure Cooker
8.   The Providence Effect
9.   If I Die Tonight
10. Prom Night in Mississippi

Best African Films
1.   Endgame
2.   Skin
3.   Motherland
4.   Invictus
5.   Soundtrack for a Revolution

Best Short Films
1.   Men II Boys
2.   Crossing the Line: Multiracial Comedians   
3.   The Good Fight: James Farmer Remembers the Civil Rights Movement
4.   Happily Ever After
5.   This Life Ain’t Pretty

Best Actor (Lead Role)
1.   Wyatt Cenac (Medicine for Melancholy)   
2.   Idris Elba (Obsessed)
3.   Jamie Foxx (The Soloist)
4.   Chiwetel Ejiofor (Endgame)
5.   Jamal Woolard (Notorious)
6.   Morris Chestnut (Not Easily Broken)
7.   Jason Palmer (Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench)
8.   Morgan Freeman (Invictus)
9.   Denzel Washington (The Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3)
10. Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite)

Best Actor (Supporting Role)
1.   Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)
2.   Donald Faison (Next Day Air)
3.   Forest Whitaker (Fragments)
4.   Faison Love (Couples Retreat)   
5.   Djimon Hounsou (Push)
6.   Lenny Kravitz (Precious)
7.   Tyler Perry (Madea Goes to Jail)
8.   Derek Luke (Notorious)
9.   Will.i.Am (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
10. Boris Kodjoe (Surrogates)

Best Actress (Lead Role)

1.   Gabby Sidibe (Precious)
2.   Paula Wilson (Life’s Passing Me By)
3.   Tracey Higgins (Medicine for Melancholy)
4.   Nicole Beharie (American Violet)
5.   Sophie Okonedo (Skin)
6.   Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
7.   Maya Rudolph (Away We Go)
8.   Taraji Henson (I Can Do Bad All by Myself)
9.   Naomie Harris (Ninja Assassin)
10. Beyonce’ (Obsessed)

Best Actress (Supporting Role)
1.   Mo’Nique (Precious)
2.   Naturi Naughton (Notorious)
3.   Paula Patton (Precious)
4.   Rashida Jones (I Love You, Man)
5.   Taraji Henson (Not Easily Broken)
6.   Mariah Carey (Precious)
7.   Viola Davis (Madea Goes to Jail)
8.   Tasha Smith (Couples Retreat)
9.   Nicole Ari Parker (Imagine That)
10. Sherri Shepherd (Precious)

Best Director (Studio)
1.   Lee Daniels (Precious)
2.   Bill Duke (Not Easily Broken)
3.   George Tillman (Notorious)
4.   Barry Boom (Next Day Air)
5.   Tyler Perry (Madea Goes to Jail)

Best Director (Independent)
1.   Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy)  
2.   Steve McQueen (Hunger)
3.   Mark Cabaroy (Life’s Passing Me By)
4.   Scott Sanders (Black Dynamite)
5.   Lindsey Christian (Jazz in the Diamond District)

Best Director (Documentary)
1.   Damani Baker and Alex Vlack (Still Bill)
2.   Ava DuVernay (This Is the Life)
3.   Dante James (Harlem in Montmartre)
4.   Seyi (If I Die Tonight)
5.   DJ Spooky (Rebirth of a Nation)

Worst Film
1.   Dough Boys
2.   Da’ Booty Shop
3.   Thug Love
4.   Keepin' the Faith: My Baby’s Getting Married
5.   Steppin’

Worst Actor
1.   Craig Robinson (Miss March)
2.   Marcello Thedford (Da’ Booty Shop)
3.   Arlen Escarpeta (Dough Boys)
4.   Melvin Van Peebles (Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha)
5.   David Alan Grier (Dance Flick)

Worst Actress
1.   Kerisse Hutchinson (Dough Boys)
2.   Millenia Gay (Thug Love)
3.   Monicka Allegeier (Steppin’)
4.   Trina McGee (Da’ Booty Shop)
5.   Kim Wayans (Dance Flick)

Worst Director
1.   Nicholas Harvell (Dough Boys)
2.   Marcello Thedford (Da’ Booty Shop)
3.   Marcello Thedford (Thug Love)
4.   Michael Taliferro (Steppin’)
5.   Melvin Van Peebles (Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha)
 

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