What started off as a slow year, turned out to be quite an amazing one once all was said and done. Legends like Jean Luc Godard and Roman Polanski proved that they’re still very relevant with ‘Film Socialisme’ and ‘The Ghost Writer’. ‘Toy Story 3’ brought back fond memories of our childhood, Sofia Coppola made it perfectly clear that she’s not her father, and has no interest in being like him as a director. And ‘Machete’ was the official guilty pleasure movie of 2010 (with ‘kickass’ and ‘the expandables’ right behind it). From the eerie and poetic; ‘Uncle Boonmee…’ (winner of best picture at this years cannes film festival) to Joaquin Phoenix’s Practical joke on hollywood in the form of ’I’m Still Here’, this new decade of cinema is off to a great start.
UNCLE BOONME WHO CAN RECALL OUR PAST LIVES
TOY STORY 3
THE GHOST WRITER
I’M STILL HERE
*10 MORE MOVIES WORTH MENTIONING:
Ben Affleck can direct, but maybe he should just stay behind the camera for now (not trying to jump on the Ben Affleck-hate bandwagon, but its true).
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
I don’t consider this one of “THE BEST” of the year, but its too important and relevant to go unmentioned.
An L.A. crime drama with a touch of the wild west, set in Australia.
Louis C.K. taps in to his “inner Bill Cosby” (“Bill Cosby Himself” to be exact) and proves why he’s one of the best comedians working today.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
A surprisingly good (and progressive) family dramedy, that might finally get Annette Benning the academy award that’s dodged her for so many years.
LET ME IN
a remake that wasn’t as bad as we all wanted it to be.
another guilty pleasure
THORN IN THE HEART
Michel Gondry steps away from his usual quirky humor & visual effects and returns to documentary film making with a personal film about his family.
Abbas Kiarostami steps out of his comfort zone, and makes a romance story reminiscent of 1960’s italian art films. Juliette Binoche gives a great performance as well.
TOP 5 DOCUMENTARIES OF 2010
It was such a great year for documentaries, i gave them their own category. My one and only regret is that i didn’t get a chance to see Werner Herzog’s latest film; ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ (which was apparently in 3D).
a man struggles with remembering his past after he’s nearly beaten to death. In order to cope with the pain, he creates a unique form of therapy that involves reenactments with action figures. Eventually, his therapy turns in to art for others, and the subject must now deal with being an artist and trying to maintain what little memory and sanity he has left.
BEST WORST MOVIE
a documentary on ‘Troll 2’, which solidifies its status as the #1 cult movie if this generation.
AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE
Steven Soderbergh’s unique and touching documentary about his friend (and former collaborator) Spalding Gray, told entirely through old performance footage, personal home videos and old tv appearances ranging from MTV to E!
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
say hat you want about Banksy or “Mr Brainwash”, but this was one of the biggest documentaries of the year, and it got everyone talking. Whether the documentary is truly a hoax or not, Banksy made a great film (with a sick soundtrack).
while the social network may be the official film about, well…social networks, Winnebago man is this years official film for the youtube era. this documentary focuses on one of the very first “youtube celebrities”; the angriest man ever. It focuses on his hatred for most people (specifically dick cheney), his political views, his colorful language and his disdain with being associated with the youtube generation.
BEST OF 2009 THAT DIDN’T MAKE IT TO THE U.S. UNTIL THIS YEAR:
Sometimes movies from the festival circuit don’t get a U.S. distributor until months later. Technically these films came out last year, but no one in the U.S. has seen them outside of special press screenings or something like that.
a disturbing yet (darkly) hilarious look at dysfunctional families.
Andrea Arnold dispels the so-called sophomore jinx with a touching coming of age story, set to a surprising mid-90’s hip-hop soundtrack including; Nas (life’s a bitch), Gangstar (just to get a rap) and Eric b & Rakim (know the ledge). Not as good as ‘Red Road’ (one of the best films of 2006), but definitely a great film.
Nicholas Refn tries to shake his comparison to Stanley Kubrick (which hasn’t been working out to well for him) with a violent, tripped out, acid-induced viking story. This movie starts to kinda fall apart at in the middle, but the cinematography, atmospheric soundtrack and ending keep everything together.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
one of the most talked about books, became one of the most talked about movies of this year. To bad the sequels were a huge disappointment.
Claire Denis continues to prove why she is one of the best directors working today.
unlike ‘mother’ or ‘secret in their eyes’, this is one of the best foreign films of last year that actually lived up to its hype.
HENRI CLUZOT’S INFERNO
an amazing documentary/unfinished film hybrid about one of france’s greatest directors (Henri Cluzot) and the masterpiece he never finished.
FRUSTRATING YET REWARDING:
These are films that had some serious flaws, yet at the same time tried to do something new and think outside of the box in some way shape or form. They had both; amazing aspects along with things that should have been worked on like; editing (which is what ‘Black Venus’ and ‘Enter The Void’ suffered from) or a predictable unfolding of events (Black Swan). Nevertheless, these are still movies worth seeing more than once and will more than likely stand the test of time. Who knows, i might change my mind about these movies in the future.
Unfortunately, this is nothing that we haven’t before with; ‘3 Women’, ‘Persona’, ‘Mulholland Drive’, ‘Repulsion’, ‘Vertigo’ or other various films directed by Roman Polanski, Alfred Hitchcock or David Lynch. A great ending would’ve saved this movie, but instead Aronofsky took the predictable “its all in your head” route (with an ending VERY similar to ‘the wrestler’). However, Natalie Portman gives the performance of her career (which may not be saying much because there’s not a whole lot to compare it to, but still…). And Vincent Cassell is amazing all always. Even Mila Kunis surprised me (and many others) with a great supporting performance. Even though this isn’t one of my top 10 films of the year, its still one of the most interesting, and should be seen. Oh, you get to see the trailer for Terrance Mallick’s new movie (‘tree of life’) with Black Swan, so that’s a major plus.
ENTER THE VOID
Say what you want about Gaspar Noe, but every one of his films gets more and more technically advanced. His downfall with this movie was similar to ‘Black Venus’ in that this movie could have been 45 minutes shorter. This is still a good movie (sometimes intense), but it just went on for too long. And some of you have seen this may find it hard to believe, but there’s actually an even longer version of this movie.
As flawed as this movie may have been, at the end of the day it was a step forward in black film (if there even is such a thing). For once i didn’t have to sit through a movie about; the first black athlete to slam dunk a basketball at an ivy league school, a single teen mother in the ghetto (yes I’m taking a stab at precious and the hundred other movies to focus on that), an aspiring rapping pimp (hustle n’ flow), a black sidekick that has some stupid loyalty to the white main character (a role kept alive by Morgan Freeman and Whoopi Goldberg) or a biography about a predictable civil rights leader. This is probably the best post-slavery film to come in YEARS (might be one of the best). This film only had one flaw but as far as I’m concerned it was a MAJOR one. The editing. Jesus Christ this movie could have been cut down quite a bit. I thought there were WAY too many scenes that focused on her being shown as a freak, and hardly no focus on the main characters back story (outside of a few references here and there). Even more, the scenes where she is paraded around like a sideshow went on for way too long to the point where you want to scream; “ALRIGHT, ENOUGH! WE GET IT!”
PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR:
Olivia Williams, Pierce Brosnan & Tom Wilkanson (The Ghost Writer)
Leslie Manville (Another Year)
Casey Affleck (The Killer Inside Me)
Joaquin Phoenix (I’m Still Here)
Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Yahima Torres (Black Venus)
James Franco (127 Hours)
Ryan Gosling & Michele Williams (Blue Valentine)
Emily Alyn Lind (Enter The Void)
Julliete Binoche (Certified Copy)
Annette Benning & Julianne Moore (The Kids Are Alright)
REASONS TO LOOK FORWARD TO 2011:
TREE OF LIFE
if the trailer is any indication of whats to come, i cannot wait.
A DANGEROUS METHOD
david cronenberg’s next film
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
lynne ramsay returns
THOR & CAPTAIN AMERICA
lets hope that these 2 new superhero films are not only great, but can tie all of the avenger movies together
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN
snakes on a plane loses its belt of having the most ridiculous movie title
THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA
manuel de oliviero is 101 years old and still directing
after 4 years, this movie is finally getting a release
scorsese’s next film. lets hope its better than ‘shutter island’.
im not sure what david gordon green is up to, but as long as danny mcbride is in this, i’ll see it
COWBOYS & ALIENS
can harrison ford make up for that last indiana jones movie?
HAYWIRE & CONTAGION
once again steven soderbergh is going 2 movies in one year. no one he’s supposedly retiring. he’s burnt out.