"David Fincher's The Social Network continued to make itself the clear critic's choice for 2010 by easily topping indieWIRE's annual poll of 124 film critics and bloggers," Peter Knegt announces. "Its closest competitors were Olivier Assayas's 5½-hour biopic of terrorist Carlos the Jackal, Carlos (Assayas actually topped last year's list with his Summer Hours), Debra Granik's Winter's Bone and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan."
Links to the full results, by category: Best Film of 2010, Best Lead Performance (#1: Edgar Ramirez for Carlos), Best Supporting Performance (John Hawkes for Winter's Bone), Best Director (Fincher, closely followed by Assayas), Best Documentary (Exit Through the Gift Shop, hands down), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network), Best First Feature (Exit, closely followed by David Michôd's Animal Kingdom) and Best Undistributed Film (a tie: Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme and Andrei Ujică's The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, followed somewhat closely by Raúl Ruiz's The Mysteries of Lisbon).
IndieWIRE's also posted a selection of comments from the voting critics and I thought I'd pick out a sampling. Gabe Klinger: "The concept of investing in the development of a cultured filmgoer is not evidenced in any aspect of commercial distribution. So why do we continue to validate this flawed institution by making a theatrical run the primary requisite for coverage? Media outlets that don't challenge such distinctions as 'distributed' and ‘undistributed' are slowing down a paradigm shift that's already happening. The best, most challenging films left the art house long ago and occupied the sphere of film festivals and the internet."
Adam Nayman: "[T]he most resonant cinematic images of the year (for me, at least) were the ones where something was slipping away, whether it was from the characters onscreen (the egret eluding Natan's reach in Alamar),the audience (Ryan Reynolds's lighter flickering out in Buried) or both (the brilliant final shot of Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, describing a manuscript lost to the wind and sealing the director's finest movie in years with a gargoyle grin)."
Tom Charity: "If one film this year laid the groundwork for Wikileaks, it was the full-length version of Carlos, a magnum opus from Olivier Assayas full of insights into the way things are, from the complicity of states in acts of terror to the profound failures of the radical left."
Steve Erickson: "Vincenzo Natali's Splice was one of the year's queerest films, in every sense of the word. Few people noticed, although academic blogger Steven Shaviro wrote about it at length, but I think it's bound for cult fandom. A Canadian-French co-production designed to pass as a Hollywood extravaganza, it bombed in the US, possibly because it's as much about 'weird sex and snow shoes,' to lift the name of one book on Canadian cinema, as any Guy Maddin film. Offering a bisexual, transgender half-human mutant named Dren, briliantly played by Delphine Chaneac and a ton of CGI, as an anti-hero, it's not exactly LGBT-positive; like much of David Cronenberg's work, it often seems both radical and conservative simultaneously. Yet it's not homo- or transphobic either. Dren commits some awful acts but emerges more sympathetic than his human parents, a pair of arrested-adolescent hipsters who have no business raising a child of any kind, much less creating medical history."
Alex Gibney tells the Playlist about his favorite films of the year.
"Fifteen of the top 20 films on my official 2010 Movie List are largely or exclusively stories about couples and/or families," notes Salon's Andrew O'Hehir. "Since that list is nearly complete for the year — it's just possible another movie or two will still sneak in somewhere near the top — I've devised a sort of right-brain, impressive alternative to the familiar top-10 list: a slideshow of the most meaningful and memorable moments and performances I encountered in this year of moviegoing."
At In Contention, Guy Lodge notes that Mike Leigh's Another Year and Tom Hooper's The King's Speech lead the London Film Critics' Circle's nominations. Ray Pride picks a top 5 for a dozen categories at Newcity Film. Jacques Doillon's Just Anybody tops the Skandies' list of the Best Undistributed Films of 2008. From Todd Brown at Twitch, a "Dozen Discoveries from 2010. New Faces to Watch."
Whether or not you've scored a poster from Mondo for your wall, chances are, one of its redesigns has at some point graced your desktop. At Yahoo! Movies, you'll find a gallery of the best work to come out of Alamo Drafthouse's boutique this year.
"It's taken me a year but I've finally managed to compile a list of my Favorite Films of the Decade: 2000-2009." Kimberly Lindbergs's #1: Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (2002). Michael Guillén's "rave fave rave" of 2010: Mysteries of Lisbon. Michal Oleszczyk's #1 is Dogtooth: "[Giorgos] Lanthimos's small-scale homey prison-camp family fable is not only the most stunningly executed movie I've seen this year; it's also the wittiest and most horrific variation on the perils of insularity since Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Innocence (2004)."
"Martin Campbell's remake of the rather popular (in England) 1985 mini-series Edge of Darkness may be the most underrated films of 2010," argues Simon Abrams, writing up an entry in his "2010 Blindspots" series for the New York Press. "Not only is it an excellent reminder of Campbell's talents (2006's Casino Royale seems so long ago) but it's also a great comeback vehicle for Mel Gibson, the guy who keeps digging his feet deeper and deeper into his mouth (didja hear the one about the 'oven-dodger'?).... [T]he new Edge of Darkness is good, nay, very good in spite of its mostly brain-dead screenplay, co-scripted by the typically brusque The Departed's William Monahan and bowdlerized slightly by Lantana's Andrew Bovell."
Listening (63'19"). "We've already offered our picks for the best films of 2010," writes Alison Willmore at IFC.com. "But what about the best final shot of a film this year? The most unfairly maligned movie? The greatest fight scene? In the first of a two-part episode, we look at some of our favorite scenes, moments, performances and images from the year in cinema."
Viewing (7'23"). The Guardian's Xan Brooks and the Observer's Jason Solomons discuss the year in film. Clips galore.
More viewing. The Hollywood Reporter's directors roundtable, in which David O Russell, Darren Aronofsky, Lisa Cholodenko, Derek Cianfrance, Peter Weir and Tom Hooper chat each other up.
And more viewing (10'55"). Matt Zoller Seitz's "Never Let Them Go: 2010 and the Movies."
Graham Fuller lists his "10 Best Christmas Movies" at the Arts Desk.
"In the spirit of holiday inventory taking, Howard Sherman, the executive director of the American Theater Wing, recently blogged about two lists he had come up with for theater fans: '37 Flicks Theater Lovers Should Know' and '13 Docs That Theater Lovers Should Know.'" And the New York Times' Erik Piepenburg has a few questions for him.
Moka's Top 10 Albums 2010. Andrew Womack, founding editor of the Morning News, picks his top ten as well.
IN OTHER NEWS
"Cliff Doerksen, a contributing writer at Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Reader, died on Friday," writes TOC's Ben Kenigsberg. "Chicago has lost a wonderful cultural critic, and we in journalism have lost a friend and colleague. Cliff wrote with razor-sharp wit and deep intelligence about film and culture.... And goddamn, he was funny. We used to do a film podcast called Plate o' Shrimp, and I remember several times when we were all rendered incapable of anything but howls of laughter by something Cliff said. One of the weekly tasks at Time Out Chicago is captioning the photos that run with reviews and in our listings. I could always count on Cliff to come up with three hilarious ideas I wouldn't dare print, and one that was perfect. Captioning brought out his Dadaist side. He could always crack me up by suggesting, for any photo at all, the bizarre caption 'penguin mix.' That was Cliff." More from the Tribune's Michael Phillips and, at the Reader, Michael Miner offers his own tribute and passes along those from Ira Glass and Anaheed Alani. The Reader's JR Jones: "I never knew exactly where he was going to take me; every paragraph was like a college road trip, bound for adventure and possibly big trouble."
"Steve Landesberg, who recently starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, has died. He was 65." The Hollywood Reporter: "The actor, who was known for his role on the long-running television series Barney Miller passed away Friday morning from cancer, after a prolonged fight with the disease."
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