Top 10 - Films of 2010
My Top 10 Favorite Films of 2010
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|SirPant's Rating||My Rating|
Biutiful 2010, R)
It's fair to say that I've been quite a harsh critic of Alejandro González Iñárritu's films, I'm far from being his biggest fan so I wasn't really interested in watching another but my other half is a big Javier Bardem fan, so we sat down to watch Biutiful. It turned out to be a very aptly named film and one of the best I've seen in recent years. I can't quite believe it myself but all the things that have bugged me about his films over the years have all been replaced with pure brilliant film making. Gone has the dodgy editing, contrived story and unconvincing performances but probably more importantly, so has Guillermo Arriaga. Don't get me wrong, I like his work but Alejandro González Iñárritu never quite managed to do his stories justice. It turns out that Alejandro González Iñárritu is just as good a writer anyway, so it's nice that the first of his films that I really enjoyed was written by him. The acting is brilliant, Javier Bardem is always good and this must be a contender as being one of his greatest performances. The story is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, there's no schmaltz here though, the film feels very real, very brutal but all the better for it. I was captivated from the start to be honest, the film really hits it's peak two thirds in but was consistently entertaining. I think it deserves masterpiece status to be honest, as I haven't been this captivated since Breaking the Waves and that is in my top 5 favourite films of all time. Highly recommended!
Honey 2011, Unrated)
Black Swan 2010, R)
Black Swan is astonishing. It's been a while since a film has taken my breath away quite like it has, although I don't know why I was surprised, I've been a huge fan of Darren Aronofsky since Pi. His depiction of the world of Ballet is spot on, I've lived with a couple of Ballerinas and the discipline, focus and obsession with it is quite frightening at times. I haven't liked Portman as much since Leon - I've not yet seen most of this years award nominees but I doubt any of them will be as subversive, disturbing or as down-right flawless as this film. Still, awards don't matter, this is undeniably a future classic and an awesome piece of cinema. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 2010, Unrated)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is very personal film for writer/director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It is the mixture of a lot of ideas and broken memories that he has acquired over the years and after the success of his previous films I guess he thought the time was right, whether people like it or not. Many people don't seem to like. I'm not one of those people, for me it has shot to the top of my favourite films of all time list. Not many films have astonished me as much as this has. From the outset, Uncle Boonmee challenges your perceptions and haunts your soul. It may seem like it's a very free film, maybe even improvisational at times but it's not, it's very structured. It is constructed of several contrasting reels that each have their own agendas. It goes from documentary style, to sitcom, to classic Hollywood, to fantasy without the audience really knowing what has hit them. It's part day-dream, part folk-tale and part philosophical commentary (is time linear?) but it is never pretentious or boring. I dismiss the idea that people have been hypnotised into thinking there is something profound here and have therefore heaped it with undeserved accolades. Credit given where credit is due. Yes it is self-indulgent to a point but it is also a work of art, an often over used statement but a very true depiction of this film. Original, thought-provoking and a real breath of fresh air, not for everyone but then again who gives a damn about everyone, certainly not me. I do hope the majority of you will enjoy it as much as I did though, it is certainly an experience to behold!
Meek's Cutoff 2010, PG)
Probably the most realistic portrayal of frontier life and the waggon trial, with hopes and fears weighing heavy on the families looking for a place to live - in every sense of the word. Kelly Reichardt's films are a relatively recent discovery for me and each one so far has just astonished me with their simplistic, honest and mesmerising ambiance. I can't help but feel she has been abandoned and misunderstood by her fellow countrymen as she is obviously a very proud American - For what it's worth, she is the one of the few American directors in my mind, and the only one I can think of off the top of my head, making really great American films. each character in Meek's Cutoff represents a different aspect of society that is still very relevant today, maybe even more so. At the very least, this is the best history lesson you never had, I can't praise it enough. People who say things like 'It's boring' and 'nothing happens' clearly haven't been concentrating even though when you don't really have to!
Inception 2010, PG-13)
I thought, like many, that Inception was a great film, essentially an action film with brains. It's not all about the special effects either which I was relieved about, nor was it as hard to understand as many had made out. Also, stop the press, I actually enjoyed Leonardo DiCaprio's performance for once! Sign of a good director me thinks, the casting is really good though. There is very little I didn't like about it to be honest but after looking through chat-rooms and peoples reviews I seem to be the only one that thinks that a certain Mr Rob Grant and Mr Doug Naylor (or Grant Naylor) should be on the phone to their lawyers! Better Than Life was one of my favourite books from the early 90's and I'm willing to wager that Mr. Nolan is a fellow Red Dwarf fan too! - Anyway, great film highly recommended (although I seem to be the last person to see it)
Toy Story 3 2010, G)
Pixar grew up fast after the awful film that was Cars. Fancy animation is nothing if you can't tell a good story and so they got better, first with the amazing WALL-E and then with Up, and although Toy Story 2 wasn't too bad, Toy Story 3 is outstanding. The amazing animation is at last matched by the story. They bravely moved the story on from Andy's room and also cut some dead weight along the way, a tough decision no doubt but the right one none the less. New characters, especially Ken, worked really well and it's good that not everything was peaches and cream, the story goes down brave and quite adult territory considering it's, at heart, a kids film. I give it five stars for two good reasons, firstly, I can find no fault, secondly, without wanting to spoil the story, the scene just before the end in the incinerator is one of the most awesome scenes in the history of cinema. In my humble opinion of course.
Four Lions 2010, R)
I really like Chris Morris and this is the best thing he's done so far. He's often misunderstood and many will pass this film by and dismiss it as bad-taste cinema but that would be a huge mistake. I believe people are going to be talking about this film in 20 - 30 years time. This is satire at it's bravest, it will offend a great deal of people but mainly those who won't take the time to understand it and those who it is about. I'm not going to go into great detail as i don't want to spoil it for anyone but if you see it and would like to discuss it you know where to find me. If you are thinking of seeing it i would however warn you that although it's a comedy of sorts, you are more likely to leave the cinema feel rather sad. I certainly did. 4 stars for entertainment and one extra star for balls. Highly recommended!
The Fighter 2010, R)
I can't help but feel sorry for Mark Wahlberg. He put some work into this film, he's not the worlds greatest actor but considering his previous efforts, he did rather well I thought - but was totally overshadowed by Christian Bale's brilliant performance. Ouch! Still, after you see the clip of the two real life brothers, you understand it is actually perfect casting - he and David O. Russell are obviously friends too after working with each other in most of Russell's films and he has a lot to be grateful for. This film is all about Christian Bale's performance as Dicky Ekland, it's another top performance from him. I thought Melissa Leo was good too but I'm not sure why she and particularly Amy Adams were both nominated but well done to them I guess. What I like best about this film though is that it concentrates on the important element of the story which is the brothers and their relationship with each other, this aspect of the film is handled so well, it's perfect film making. It's not really about the boxing, It could easily have been a metaphor but that only adds to its likability, it's all true, making it a perfect feel good film.
Blue Valentine 2010, R)
Blue Valentine is pretty mundane when you think about it, there is nothing extraordinary about it, it is very real and very raw. It is extremely heart-wrenching at times not to mention emotionally draining to the point of exhaustion, the conclusion is devastating and and it will probably make you want to cry. I have to say it is one of the best films I've seen in quite a while. It is genuine and honest but it's not all bad news, the scene in the doorway where Ryan Gosling sings and Michelle Williams dances is truly wonderful and has shot right up to the top section of my 'favourite scenes of all time' list. The two actors do such a brilliant job, I couldn't see any other two actors pulling off what they did to be honest. The fireworks were a good metaphor at the end, I really hope that this isn't just a firework from Derek Cianfrance though. Highly recommended!