2009 in film

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The year 2009 saw the release of many films. Seven made the top 50 list of highest-grossing films. Also in 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that as of that year, their Best Picture category would consist of ten nominees, rather than five (the first time since the 1943 awards).

List of years in film
In radio
In television

Evaluation of the year[edit]

Film critic Philip French of The Guardian said that 2009 "began with the usual flurry of serious major movies given late December screenings in Los Angeles to qualify for the Oscars. They're now forgotten or vaguely regarded as semi-classics: The Reader, Che, Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, Revolutionary Road, The Wrestler, Gran Torino, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It soon became apparent that horror movies would be the dominant genre once again, with vampires the pre-eminent sub-species, the most profitable inevitably being New Moon, the latest in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga, the best the subtle Swedish Let the Right One In and the worst the British horror spoof Lesbian Vampire Killers. Documentaries continued to flourish, introducing us to fascinating new worlds: Afghan TV talent shows (Afghan Star), Australian exploitation cinema (Not Quite Hollywood), haute couture (The September Issue). Animation thrived, the 3-D comeback threatened to become permanent rather than a gimmick, and the two were conjoined in a dozen 3-D animated features, the finest being Pixar's Up. Remakes and sequels abounded, none of any merit. The same went for films based on comic strips and graphic novels. British cinema generally bubbled in the doldrums. The well-acted Fish Tank was overrated, as was the dull costume drama The Young Victoria. The best films by native directors were fuelled by our obsession with soccer (Ken Loach's Looking for Eric and Tom Hooper's The Damned United) or directed by foreigners (New Zealander Jane Campion's Bright Star, and two films by Danes: Nicholas Winding Refn's Bronson and Lone Scherfig's An Education). The most original British film was Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor's low-key, low-budget Helen, a formally innovative look at provincial life. 2009 was a mostly undistinguished year for Hollywood, with indifferent films from Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Michael Mann (Public Enemies) and others, and deadly blockbusters such as Angels & Demons and 2012. The Coen brothers, however, were on form, examining their midwestern Jewish roots in A Serious Man, and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker was the best film yet about Iraq. From Europe we had several striking revisionist accounts of violent resistance to Nazi occupation in the second world war: Flammen & Citronen (Denmark), Max Manus: Man of War (Norway) and The Army of Crime (France). But they were drowned in the tsunami of Quentin Tarantino's lunatic second world war fantasy Inglourious Basterds. The most likable European picture was the Italian Mid-August Lunch, the directorial debut of 60-year-old Gianni Di Gregorio (screenwriter on Gomorrah), and the three most memorably argumentative and provocative were Paolo Sorrentino's Il Divo, Lars von Trier's Antichrist and Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon. The performances I most enjoyed were impersonations: Meryl Streep's Julia Child (Julie & Julia) and Christian McKay's Orson in Me and Orson Welles."[1]

Highest-grossing films[edit]

The top 10 films released in 2009 by worldwide gross are as follows:[2]

Highest-grossing films of 2009
Rank Title Distributor Worldwide gross
1 Avatar Fox $2,743,577,587[nb 1]
2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Warner Bros. $933,959,197
3 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Fox $886,686,817
4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Paramount $836,303,693
5 2012 Sony $769,679,473
6 Up Disney $735,099,082
7 The Twilight Saga: New Moon Summit $709,827,462
8 Sherlock Holmes Warner Bros. $524,028,679
9 Angels & Demons Sony $485,930,816
10 The Hangover Warner Bros. $469,328,079
  1. ^ Excludes grosses from subsequent re-releases.

Avatar surpassed Titanic as the highest-grossing film of all time on January 25, 2010.[3] Avatar then became the first film to earn more than $2 billion at the box office on January 31, 2010.[4] Avatar was surpassed by Avengers: Endgame as the highest-grossing film of all time on July 21, 2019.[5] Due to a re-release, Avatar retook the title from Endgame on March 13, 2021.[6]


Month Day Event
January 22 The 81st Academy Awards nominations are announced with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button leading with 13 nominations, followed by Slumdog Millionaire with 10. Both films are nominated for Best Picture. Heath Ledger is posthumously nominated for Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in The Dark Knight, exactly one year after his death.
25 The 15th Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony is held at the Shrine Exposition Center, Los Angeles.
Annie Awards ceremony is held in the UCLA's Royce Hall, Los Angeles.
31 The 61st Directors Guild of America Award dinner is held in the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles.
February 5 – 15 The 59th Berlin International Film Festival is opened with the world premiere of Tom Tykwer's The International. The Golden Bear prize is awarded to The Milk of Sorrow. The Silver Bears prizes are awarded to Asghar Farhadi, Best Director, Sotigui Kouyaté, Best Actor and Birgit Minichmayr, Best Actress. The festival is closed by the international premiere of George Tillman Jr.'s Notorious
7 The 61st Writers Guild of America Awards is held.
The 62nd BAFTA Awards ceremony is held in the Royal Opera House, London.
21 The 29th Golden Raspberry Awards ceremony is held in Hollywood, California.
22 The 81st Academy Awards ceremony is held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
March 29 The 14th Empire Awards ceremony is held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, England.
May 31 The 2009 MTV Movie Awards ceremony was held at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California
July 23 – 2 August The 9th Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wrocław was held
December 18 Avatar is released in theaters, breaking many box-office records, including becoming the highest-grossing movie at the time.


Category/Organization 15th Critics' Choice Awards
January 15, 2010
67th Golden Globe Awards
January 17, 2010
Producers, Directors, Screen Actors, and Writers Guild Awards 63rd BAFTA Awards
February 21, 2010
82nd Academy Awards
March 7, 2010
Drama Musical or Comedy
Best Film The Hurt Locker Avatar The Hangover The Hurt Locker
Best Director Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
James Cameron
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
Best Actor Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
Robert Downey Jr.
Sherlock Holmes
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
Colin Firth
A Single Man
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
Best Actress Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
Meryl Streep
Julie & Julia
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
Meryl Streep
Julie & Julia
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
Carey Mulligan
An Education
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz
Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress Mo'Nique
Best Screenplay, Adapted Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Up in the Air
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Up in the Air
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Up in the Air
Geoffrey Fletcher
Best Screenplay, Original Quentin Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds
Mark Boal
The Hurt Locker
Best Animated Film Up
Best Original Score Up
Michael Giacchino
N/A Up
Michael Giacchino
Best Original Song "The Weary Kind"
Crazy Heart
N/A N/A "The Weary Kind"
Crazy Heart
Best Foreign Language Film Broken Embraces The White Ribbon N/A A Prophet The Secret in Their Eyes

2009 films[edit]

By country/region[edit]

By genre/medium[edit]



Month Date Name Age Country Profession Notable films
January 1 Edmund Purdom 84 UK Actor
2 Steven Gilborn 72 US Actor
3 Pat Hingle 84 US Actor
3 Olga San Juan 81 US Actress, Dancer
5 Robert F. Brunner 70 US Composer
5 Ned Tanen 77 US Producer, Executive
6 John Scott Martin 82 UK Actor
8 Don Galloway 71 US Actor
12 Claude Berri 74 France Director, Producer, Screenwriter
12 Russ Conway 95 Canada Actor
13 Patrick McGoohan 80 Ireland Actor
14 Ricardo Montalbán 88 Mexico Actor
14 Angela Morley 84 UK Composer
15 Chuck Gaspar 70 US Special Effects Artist
17 Susanna Foster 84 US Actress, Singer
18 Kathleen Byron 88 UK Actress
21 Charles H. Schneer 88 US Producer
26 Darrell Sandeen 78 US Actor
31 Clint Ritchie 70 US Actor
February 6 Philip Carey 83 US Actor
6 James Whitmore 87 US Actor
7 Molly Bee 69 US Singer, Actress
7 Lesley Brook 91 UK Actress
9 Robert Anderson 91 US Screenwriter
13 Dilys Laye 74 UK Actress
19 Oreste Lionello 81 Italy Actor
20 Robert Quarry 83 US Actor
21 Howard Zieff 81 US Director
23 Laurence Payne 89 UK Actor
24 Edward Judd 76 UK Actor
27 John Alvin 91 US Actor
March 3 Sydney Chaplin 82 US Actor
4 Horton Foote 92 US Screenwriter
7 Tullio Pinelli 100 Italy Screenwriter
13 Betsy Blair 85 US Actress
14 Millard Kaufman 92 US Screenwriter
15 Ron Silver 62 US Actor
18 Natasha Richardson 45 UK Actress
21 John Cater 77 UK Actor
21 John Franklyn-Robbins 84 UK Actor
25 Steven Bach 70 US Studio Executive
29 Monte Hale 89 US Actor, Singer
29 Maurice Jarre 84 France Composer
April 1 Lou Perryman 67 US Actor
1 Miguel Ángel Suárez 69 Puerto Rico Actor
3 Tom Smith 88 UK Makeup Artist
4 Jody McCrea 74 US Actor
5 Wouter Barendrecht 43 Netherlands Producer
8 Jane Bryan 90 US Actress
9 Michael N. Harbour 63 UK Actor
9 Shakti Samanta 83 India Director, Producer
11 Simon Channing Williams 63 UK Producer
12 Marilyn Chambers 57 US Actress
18 Peter Dennis 75 UK Actor
22 Ken Annakin 94 UK Director
22 Jack Cardiff 94 UK Cinematographer, Director
25 Bea Arthur 86 US Actress
27 Feroz Khan 69 India Actor
May 1 Marc Rocco 46 US Director, Screenwriter
4 Dom DeLuise 75 US Actor
4 Jane Randolph 93 US Actress
15 Bud Tingwell 86 Australia Actor
18 Wayne Allwine 62 US Voice Actor
20 Lucy Gordon 28 UK Actress
28 Mort Abrahams 93 US Producer
28 Terence Alexander 86 UK Actor
June 3 David Carradine 72 US Actor
3 Shih Kien 96 China Actor
6 Mary Howard 96 US Actress
9 Michael Roof 32 US Actor
21 Lorena Gale 51 Canada Actress
23 Ed McMahon 86 US Actor
25 Farrah Fawcett 62 US Actress
25 Michael Jackson 50 US Singer, Actor
27 Gale Storm 87 US Singer, Actress
29 Jan Rubeš 89 Czech Republic Singer, Actor
30 Harve Presnell 75 US Actor, Singer
July 1 Karl Malden 97 US Actor
4 Brenda Joyce 92 US Actress
10 Zena Marshall 83 UK Actress
13 Beverly Roberts 95 US Actress
14 Dal McKennon 89 US Actor
24 Harry Towb 83 Ireland Actor
26 Clayton Hill 78 US Actor
29 Joanne Jordan 88 US Actress
31 Jean-Paul Roussillon 78 France Actor
August 4 Blake Snyder 51 US Screenwriter
5 Budd Schulberg 95 US Screenwriter
6 John Hughes 59 US Director, Screenwriter, Producer
9 John Quade 71 US Actor
12 Ruth Ford 98 US Actress
13 John Bentley 92 UK Actor
16 Richard Moore 83 US Cinematographer, Director
21 Gordon Daniel 86 UK Sound Engineer
26 Sadie Corré 91 UK Actress, Dancer
26 Dominick Dunne 83 US Producer
28 Wayne Tippit 76 US Actor
September 3 Caro Jones 86 Canada Casting Director
4 Iain Cuthbertson 79 UK Actor
4 Carl Reindel 74 US Actor
7 Frank Coghlan, Jr. 93 US Actor
8 Ray Barrett 82 Australia Actor
11 Zakes Mokae 75 South Africa Actor
12 Larry Gelbart 81 US Screenwriter
13 Paul Burke 83 US Actor
13 Arnold Laven 87 US Director
14 Henry Gibson 73 US Actor
14 Patrick Swayze 57 US Actor
15 Troy Kennedy Martin 77 UK Screenwriter
16 Timothy Bateson 83 UK Actor
16 Luciano Emmer 91 Italy Director, Screenwriter
17 Dick Durock 72 US Actor, Stuntman
18 Pearl Hackney 92 UK Actress
20 John Hart 91 US Actor
20 Katherine Parr 88 UK Actress
21 Robert Ginty 60 US Actor, Director
30 Robert S. Baker 92 UK Producer, Director, Cinematographer
October 3 John Peverall 77-78 UK Producer
6 Pamela Blake 94 US Actress
10 Sean Lawlor 55 Ireland Actor
13 Al Martino 82 US Actor, Singer
13 Daniel Melnick 77 US Producer, Executive
14 Lou Albano 76 Italy Actor, Wrestler
14 Collin Wilcox 74 US Actress
17 Douglas Blackwell 85 UK Actor
17 Vic Mizzy 93 US Composer
17 Rosanna Schiaffino 69 Italy Actress
19 Joseph Wiseman 91 Canada Actor
20 Hubert Rees 81 UK Actor
23 Lou Jacobi 95 Canada Actor
26 Yoshirō Muraki 85 Japan Production Designer, Costume Designer
27 John David Carson 57 US Actor
November 4 David Tree 94 UK Actor
6 Derek Brechin 57 UK Film Editor
12 Paul Wendkos 84 US Director
16 Edward Woodward 79 UK Actor
17 Tony Kendall 72 Italy Actor
28 Gilles Carle 81 Canada Director, Screenwriter
December 3 Nat Boxer 84 US Sound Engineer
3 Richard Todd 90 Ireland Actor
4 Bryan O'Byrne 78 US Actor
5 Garfield Morgan 78 UK Actor
8 Joan Bridge 97 UK Costume Designer
9 Gene Barry 90 US Actor
12 Val Avery 85 US Actor
15 Peter Murton 85 UK Production Designer, Art Director
15 Robert Turturice 60 US Costume Designer
16 Roy E. Disney 79 US Studio Executive
17 Alaina Reed Hall 63 US Actress
17 Jennifer Jones 90 US Actress
17 Dan O'Bannon 63 US Screenwriter, Director, Actor
19 Donald Pickering 76 UK Actor
20 Brittany Murphy 32 US Actress
20 Shari Rhodes 71 US Casting Director
20 Arnold Stang 91 US Actor
21 Marianne Stone 87 UK Actress
22 Michael Currie 81 US Actor
24 Giulio Bosetti 78 Italy Actor
30 Perry Wilson 93 US Actress
31 Glauco Onorato 73 Italy Actor

Film debuts[edit]


  1. ^ French, Philip (13 December 2009). "2009 in review: Film". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  2. ^ "2009 Worldwide Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  3. ^ Segers, Frank (January 25, 2010). "'Avatar' breaks 'Titanic' worldwide record". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Bettinger, Brendan (January 31, 2010). "Avatar Becomes the First Film to Gross More Than $2 Billion Worldwide". Collider. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  5. ^ Brevet, Brad (July 21, 2019). "'The Lion King' Debuts with Record $185M & 'Endgame' Becomes Global #1". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  6. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (March 13, 2021). "'Avatar' Overtakes 'Avengers: Endgame' As All-Time Highest-Grossing Film Worldwide; Rises To $2.8B Amid China Reissue – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 13, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2021.

External links[edit]