The first four months are never expected to yield much, certainly not in terms of award-quality fare. But a few made the grade with me. Three or four can be called exceptional, and the rest good, mostly satisfying, decent, or at least diverting in an art-house indie obscura vein. Forget awards eligibility in terms of rules and release dates. This is simply the best of what’s opened so far in ’09, in order of preference.

Except for The Hurt Locker, that is, which opens on 6.26. I’m including it because it’s been showing around and has contributed to the winter-spring current.

(In order of preference): Kathryn Bigelow‘s The Hurt Locker, Cary Fukunaga‘s Sin Nombre, Greg Mottola‘s Adventureland, James Toback‘s Tyson, Rupert Wyatt‘s The Escapist, Andrezj Wajda‘s Katyn, Kevin McDonald‘s State of Play, strong>Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah,Ramin Bahrani‘s Goodbye Solo, Tony Gilroy‘s Duplicity, Steve McQueen‘s Hunger, Paolo Sorrentino‘s Il Divo, Carlos ReygadasSilent Light, Terrence DaviesOf Time and the City, Henry Selick‘s Coraline, Tom Tykwer‘s The International, Jan Troell‘s Everlasting Moments, and Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern‘s Every Little Step.

No complaints about my not yet posting multi-paragraph reviews of some of these. If I didn’t review two or three or four it’s because I haven’t fucking felt like it…okay? I’m not a machine. I never got around to seeing Matt Aselton‘s Gigantic, which might have made the list. (Or maybe not.) Ditto strong>Mary Stuart Masterson’s The Cake Eaters. And whatever happened to poor Killshot? Why won’t Harvey let some of us see it?