Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Favorite Films of 2010

I have no right to proclaim which films of any given year are "best", but I can say which films I enjoyed. 2010 was a low key year for me in film. Newport Film Festival did not happen. My annual pilgrimage to Tribeca Film Festival was fun, but friends I was supposed to meet there were held hostage in London by an Icelandic volcano. Thankfully, my daughter's kick-ass NYC wedding distracted me from a summer of minimal releases. My celebrity moment of the year? A Q&A with Susan Sarandon at the Tribeca Grand courtesy of MOFilm at Tribeca Film Festival. She was charming, open, gorgeous and engaging.

So here is where I try to break it down after seeing over 200 films this year.

Early in the year, How to Train Your Dragon, Shutter Island and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo really impressed me. I Am Love was an amazing piece and Get Low just reminded me how much age doesn't matter on the big screen when you have a good script and a ton of talent. Buried was a film with one on screen actor that I saw alone in a theater, which truly increased the impact. The Fighter ("do you really think your family is looking out for you?"), Conviction, Harry Potter and Winter's Bone were all very good as well. I waited to post this until I saw Rabbit Hole, Casino Jack, Blue Valentine and Somewhere, and though all are good, they did not change my Top 10. These are the films I can call my 10 favorites this year.

1. My sentimental favorite of the year is Micmacs. Creative, wacky, outrageous, dramatic, beautiful, everything I love about film.
2. Black Swan is a dramatic dive into psycho-drama. This is a beautifully crafted, well acted film that stuck in my brain for many days.
3. In True Grit, Hailee Steinfeld carries an epic story, with amazing costars, to wonderful places.
4. Scott Pilgrim vs the World reminded me that pop culture is dramatic, creative and funny. So much talent, so much fun.
5. History is compelling and dramatic on it's own, and The Kings' Speech reminds us of how much we should pay attention to history. Great performances and costumes.
6. On a 100 + degree Saturday this summer, I convinced a friend to sit in an air conditioned theater for 2 hours and 45 minutes to watch Inception. It was a great afternoon and we talked about the film for days. This film has generated hours of discussion. Now that's a good movie.
7. At the beginning of the year, I watched Ben Stiller act the heck out of Greenberg.
8. Never have I sobbed so hard at a movie, as in the final scenes of Toy Story 3. Think watching kids play in a yard isn't emotional? I dare you to watch this film without tissues.
9. The Social Network is one of the most well written, well acted, interesting contemporary subject films of the year. Fascinating treatment of a current subject.
10. In 127 Hours the suspense starts when you buy your ticket, we know how this one ends. A fantastic film that relies on it's structure to take the viewer on one heck of a journey.

Other films I enjoyed this year? Kick Ass, Beware the Gonzo, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Nice Guy Johnny, Joan Rivers:A Piece of Work, The American, Catfish, Ironman 2, and Never Let Me Go. This morning the Oscar nominations will be announced, we'll see how many of my favorites are on the list.

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