My best-of for last year is based on when I absorbed it, rather than when it was released. Films:
1. Inception (US, 2010)
Complex enough to keep me engaged - twice.
2. Up In The Air (US, 2009)
It's George Clooney, and it's funny. That's more than enough to help the journey through some of the bitter undertones.
3. Avatar (US, 2009)
4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sweden, 2009)
Harrowing in places, but a very intricate plot.
5. Red (US, 2010)
Exemplary of what Hollywood's capable in an action thriller. Very enjoyable for what it is.
These films struck me with enough impact last year, ahead of the rest of the pack. Hovering below are films like Shutter Island and The Girl Who Played With Fire.
Best re-watch of the year
Beat The Devil (US, 1953) - yet again. You have to know how to watch it to appreciate it. It's really just a string of vignettes, written on the fly by Truman Capote, and carelessly tacked together by John Huston. It's apparent that their enthusiasm waned, and the later scenes are somewhat shabby. But the early scenes should be taken for what they are separately; and they are often masterful; often very funny. Coincidentally, it's on ABC this Sunday night for those in Australia who want to record it. It's public domain now.
Best concert of the year
Dave Graney and the Lurid Mist at Coogee Randwick RSL. My hero, the King of cool.
Best CD of the year
Admittedly I've had my head in the ground, so there's been little for me to choose from. But I do respect Corinne Bailey Rae's The Sea.
Book of the year
My reading has been mainly The Herald, New Scientist, and Wikipedia. Even though I've not finished it, I will nominate Carl Djerassi's 1989 novel Cantor's Dilemma (thanks, Ray). A fascinating overview of the politics of scientific and university research, and creditably written by a senior academic chemist.