Since 2010, to me, was the strongest year for movies in a good while I figured it'd be a good idea to see what some of my fellow TC members favorites were. I'm a huge movie nut, see about 100-120 movies a year.....which is easy with a lack of a social life.
1. The Social Network
Interesting through every frame and clicks on every aspect of filmmaking. Incredibly sharp screenplay, top-notch directing and acting, and some of the best pacing in recent memory from a Hollywood production. The pacing is what makes this such a beautiful watch, imo.
2. Four Lions
The funniest movie since last year's 'In The Loop', which was also done by the same filmmakers. It's not as funny as the former, but easily the funniest movie of 2010.
3. True Grit
The Coens can do no wrong in my eyes. Which means that my eyes have forgotten about Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers, but these guys are two of the most consistently awesome filmmakers in the history of film. Never liked the original, and I may be bias but Bridges blew Wayne out of the water here. I'm not as high on Hailee Steinfeld as a lot of others though. It was a perfectly adequate to above-average performance from anyone her age, I just disagree with awards circuits feeling like they have to heavily consider every 14-or-under actress in a Best Picture candidate. Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and the always reliable Barry Pepper round out what's probably my second-favorite ensemble of the year. Incredibly fun watch....
I don't know how much was authentic and how much of it was staged, but what I do know is that it's completely impossible for a lot of the emotions I witnessed in this to be fake, especially on Angela's end. I went in to this with little expectation and came out at a loss for words. Haunting at times and rewarding at others, it's something I'll never forget seeing. And the music choices were fantastic.
5. Blue Valentine
This is ranked high based almost entirely on the two lead performances, which were two of the most naturalistic I've ever seen. It's depressing throughout, but I can't say enough about Michelle Williams and especially Ryan Gosling in this movie. I just wish the 'Revolutionary Road' comparisons would stop, BV is 10 times the movie RR is.
6. The King's Speech
Much like The Social Network, it's the pacing that elevates this movie. I've never been a big fan of period pieces and the subject matter didn't exactly make me want to run out to see it, but I thoroughly enjoyed Rush and Firth here, excellent chemistry from two of the most reliable actors in the business.
7. 127 Hours
If it weren't for James Franco this never would've made my top 10. Boyle pulls out every trick in the book to fill the movie up with enough screentime, and it surprisingly doesn't hamper the final product. The split screens fit in well with the atmosphere, gorgeous cinematography(which is expected in a Danny Boyle film), but it's Franco that makes it special. He went from one of my least favorite actors to someone I look forward to over the past 3 years with solid turns in Milk, Howl, and Pineapple Express.......but he blew me away here. Not sure if it's enough to entrust him to direct 'Blood Meridian' though, really worried about that.....
8. Black Swan
9. Get Low
Duvall and Murray are two of my favorite actors, both in top form here. I figured it would end up in my top 10 as soon as the movie was announced.
10. Animal Kingdom
HM: Another Year, Toy Story 3, Uncle Boonmee**, The Way Back, Winter's Bone, The Kids Are All Right, Inception, The Ghost Writer, How To Train Your Dragon, Shutter Island, The Fighter, The Town, Made in Dagenham, Restrepo*, Exit Through The Gift Shop*, Incendies**, Biutiful**, Temple Grandin, Rabbit Hole, Carlos**, Barney's Version, Jack Goes Boating, and Of Gods and Men**
Top overall performances from 2010:
1. Ryan Gosling - Blue Valentine
2. Christian Bale - The Fighter
3. Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine
4. Javier Bardem - Biutiful
5. James Franco - 127 Hours
6. Colin Firth - The King's Speech
7. Robert Duvall - Get Low
8. Natalie Portman - Black Swan
9. Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
10. Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom
11. Claire Danes - Temple Grandin(didn't feel right not including her)
So by all means, agree, disagree, make a list, do whatever. But DO NOT list I Love You Phillip Morris in your top 10, I will hunt you to the death.
* Indicates documentary, ** Indicates foreign language