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Top Ten Films Of 2010

by Antisuttree
1) Enter The Void - France/Germany/Italy, dir. Gaspar Noé. Lost-soul Americans in Tokyo. I saw the film at a director/actor (lead Nathaniel Brown) [pre-screening] Q&A in September and, to a degree, laughed at it; Noé had little to say, and the film that followed seemed a psychedelic, drug-addled hodgepodge of visual spam. In the subsequent weeks and months, though, I found myself thinking about the film more and more, and in an unusual twist, as it were, I’ve come full circle on the work. Indeed, Enter The Void can be an acquired taste. A profound tragedy told with an original visual style. This is something new, and it’s pure cinema.… Read more

1) Enter The Void - France/Germany/Italy, dir. Gaspar Noé. Lost-soul Americans in Tokyo. I saw the film at a director/actor (lead Nathaniel Brown) [pre-screening] Q&A in September and, to a degree, laughed at it; Noé had little to say, and the film that followed seemed a psychedelic, drug-addled hodgepodge of visual spam. In the subsequent weeks and months, though, I found myself thinking about the film more and more, and in an unusual twist, as it were, I’ve come full circle on the work. Indeed, Enter The Void can be an acquired taste. A profound tragedy told with an original visual style. This is something new, and it’s pure cinema. Trailer



2) The Social Network - USA, dir. David Fincher. Fincher’s eighth film, and at the most critical, he’s six for eight. In the year when Facebook became the world’s third largest “country” and crossed the 500-million-user mark (as of early 2011, it’s over 600 million), and with Facebook’s founder/CEO/president, Mark Zuckerberg, being named Time magazine’s Person Of The Year, Fincher’s timing for a sociocultural film on the zeitgeist of the moment couldn’t have been more spot-on. The intelligence of Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg is apparent. The tasteful score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is brilliantly intertwined throughout. Trailer



3) The American - USA, dir. Anton Corbijn. Dutch director Anton Corbijn entered the film world with a polished visual style, having been a successful fashion photographer and music video director for 25 years; following 2007’s Control, Corbijn is now easily two for two. The film was gorgeously shot on location in Abruzzo, Italy. It is more a meditative psychodrama than a high-action thriller. Very well crafted, and each shot matters. Trailer



4) Winter’s Bone - USA, dir. Debra Granik. A straight-ahead, gritty, literary drama addressing the foibles and turmoils of a lower-class, extended family rapt in the methamphetamine underworld in the Ozarks of southern Missouri. The plot’s development is perfectly on point, and the film’s conflicts are resolved in the only believable manner. Trailer



5) Black Swan - USA, dir. Darren Aronofsky. Natalie Portman stars as an earnest, aspiration-driven ballet dancer in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller about a New York City ballet company’s production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Portman’s character, Nina Sayers, battles good and evil in this film, which is probably Aronofsky’s best yet. Trailer



6) Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child - USA, dir. Tamra Davis. Finally, a documentary about Jean-Michel Basquiat, a latter 20th century American artist of immense talent. Basquiat left more than 1,000 paintings and 1,000 drawings when he died in 1988 at age 27, but despite his prolific brilliance, he is still somewhat neglected in the art world. This film mostly explores the professionally creative years of Basquiat’s life (the last decade) and does it effectively; if you ever doubted his greatness, this film may well convince you of it. Brought me to tears. Trailer



7) Inception - USA/UK, dir. Christopher Nolan. Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus, probably, and 10 years in the coming. A decade ago, Nolan had written an 80-page treatment about dream-stealers but felt that he needed more experience with big movies; thus, he “practiced” with films like The Prestige and The Dark Knight. Inception is a refined, well-directed, well-acted, fast-paced science fiction action thriller about lucid dreaming and consciousness. Trailer



8) True Grit - USA, dirs. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen. The Coens’ True Grit bears many a similarity to Henry Hathaway’s True Grit of 1969, starring John Wayne and company; but to be clear, the Coens’ film is a separate adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 eponymous novel, not a remake of the first filmic adaptation. And the Coens’ film is indeed the stronger film, with more believability, leaner acting in the portrayal of teenage heroine Mattie Ross (as played by Hailee Steinfeld), significantly more humor of protagonist Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (as played by Jeff Bridges), and indeed more grit. Trailer



9) Biutiful - Mexico/Spain, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu. A sad, moving film about hard facts and hard lives. Iñárritu’s fourth film, and it has more in common with 21 Grams than it does with Amores Perros or Babel. Lives fall apart in Biutiful, even when intentions are good. Javier Bardem in the lead as Uxbal is exquisite. Trailer



10) The Way Back - USA, dir. Peter Weir. It matters not whether the alleged story in Peter Weir’s The Way Back of escapees from a Siberian Gulag camp in World War II walking to India to find their freedom is true or not, really (and disparity over the veracity of the story’s details is divers). Such journeys (or at least profoundly difficult ones) did happen, and this film shows the triumphant glory of the human will. Trailer



Other Years’ Top Ten Lists: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2011 | 2012

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