Toy Story 3 - USA - Lee Unkrich
Toy Story 3 is an animated family movie in the same way that Hour of the Wolf is a horror movie or Dead Man is a western. This thing is meta as fuck with out feeling too preachy or forceful. The film has tons of well timed humor and lovable characters for the kids so the parents don't have to explain what is REALLY going in order for them to enjoy it. The story is engrossing, logical and a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Topics central to the plot include social constructs, dismemberment fetishism, gender roles and facing mortality. I am a big fan of animation of any kind and while I have always enjoyed Pixar films, this is the first one I think should be nominated for best picture.
jj - jj nº 3 - Secretly Canadian
Like last year's release, the aptly titled jj nº 2, the experimental Swedish pop duo once again fell underneath the radar of most major hype blogs, which is the only way music like this can stand a chance these days. Why didn't it catch on? I think many people dismissed the album even before it's release due to the short span between this and their last release. The short incubation time does show on the album, but it makes the album sound fresher than most indie pop released this year. A very unique record in a sea of boring derision.
I love all the darker, electronic based music coming out of the area recently. Dharma is the brainchild of Kevyn Green who pushes the theatrics up to 11 in her live performance and on record. She brings a heaping helping of energy to the stage but that energy is focused and almost always menacing. The sound could be best described as the bastard love child between Crystal Castles and Lady GaGa that was born addicted to cough syrup. It's dark stuff alright, but you can dance to it too.