Saturday, February 12, 2011

My top ten films of 2010

Okay, I know. I'm very late getting to this. Nonetheless, it gave me the opportunity to see everything I could and to reflect on some that have been getting a lot of buzz. For this list, I've excluded films  that I have seen but weren't yet released in 2010. And I've left off films that were released this year, but that I had included on my list from last year (such as A Prophet and White Ribbon).

I think the idea of ranking films is somewhat absurd, since they are all so different and quality in one doesn't negate the quality in another. Lists generally say more about the person making them than the works being ranked. Also, the way one feels about certain works of art can change according to mood and over time. So this is just a snapshot of how I feel at the moment.

For me, the best film of the year had to be the French-Canadian film Incendies. Currently nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, it was a masterful film in which everything came together beautifully. It was both smart and moving. It started slowly and deliberately, but rewarded viewers' patience with a powerful emotional wallop. Although it wasn't released in English Canada until this January, I've included it because it was released in Quebec in the fall of 2010.

Of the ten Oscar Best Picture nominees, four make my list (127 Hours, Black Swan, Inception, The King's Speech) because they are outstanding examples of their type and couldn't really be improved, only made differently. The nominated films by the women directors (The Kids are All Right, Winter's Bone) were honourable mentions, but the The Fighter, The Social Network, Toy Story 3 and True Grit weren't especially memorable for me. While I enjoyed them, I found them lacking in various ways.

There were a great many excellent films to choose from this year. While some feel this was a weak year for film, I beg to differ. Hence, my many honourable mentions. Each of them are also excellent films in their own right and I would strongly recommend any and all of them.

My Top Ten films of 2010 (in alphabetical order)

127 Hours
Black Swan
Io sono l'amore (I Am Love)
Inside Job
The King's Speech
Last Train Home
Madeo (Mother)
El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes)

Honourable Mentions

Blue Valentine, Carlos, Fair Game, The Ghost Writer, Green Zone, Greenberg, How to Train Your Dragon, L'Illusioniste (The Illusionist), The Kids are All Right, Let Me In, Mao's Last Dancer, Mother and Child, Never Let Me Go, Please Give, Rabbit Hole, Sweetgrass, Panique au Village (A Town Called Panic), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Waste Land.

Worst Film 

Sex and the City 2
(N.B. I boycotted The Last Airbender)

Guilty Pleasure

Hot Tub Time Machine

Most Underrated Film

Let Me In

Most Overrated Film

The Social Network

Most Racially Insensitive Film

The Last Airbender

Best Performances

Colin Firth, Tilda Swinton, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling/Michelle Williams

Breakthrough Performers

Chloë Moretz, Andrew Garfield, Jennifer Lawrence, Hailee Steinfeld

Outstanding Asian role in a mainstream film

Yet again, none this year

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