2010's Top 10 Best Films
Its been five days since the year ended and we have had already a good deal of top 10 lists from critics and audiences, and now I have finally done mine. It took me a while because I was planning to do a top 20 or 25 as I had several films in my list that wouldn't fit in the 10 best, nevertheless I wanted to mention them, but due to the circumstances I'll have to honorably mention them. Anyway, with no further jabber I present to you my 10 best films of 2010:
10. The Town
Ben Affleck returns to the diretor's chair after his 2007 hit Gone Baby Gone, this time acting and writing as well. The film's adapted from Chuck Hogan's Prince of Thieves (which I haven't had the chance of reading it yet) and stars along Affleck Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively and Jon Hamm. The film tells the story of group of thieves after they rob a bank and take the manager hostage, but one of them falls in love with the her after they release her and he starts following her. The film is packed with outstanding performances (that includes Affleck) especially Jeremy Renner as the sociopathic Jem, fast paced and stylized direction which confirms what Gone Baby Gone claimed, a screenplay full of pulse quickening suspense and exhilerating action that will have the audience on thier seat. The film is most likely to earn Oscar nominations for Picture, Supporting Actor (Renner), Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Sound Mixing and Editing.
9. Exit Through the Gift Shop
Street artist Banksy directs this wonderful documentary on the art of grafitti, which tells the story of how a French Immigrant entered this world by following street artists with his camera. What could be the documentary feature of the year (note, I haven't seen Restrepo or Waiting for Superman yet), Exit Through the Gift Shop is an interesting and entertaining view at the world of street art. And even if its a documentary, it is a very entertaining and exciting adventure. Many have speculated if it is authentic, but weather it is or not it doesn't matter, what matters is that this film is the best documentary I've seen this year. It may get nominated for Best Documentary feature, but thanks to the speculation mentioned above it may get overlooked.
8. The Kids Are All Right
For me (and for many) this was the comedy of the year. The film tells the story of two kids, both children of lesbian mothers who used the same sperm donor, who want to meet their biological father. The whole casting did a terrific job with their roles. Annette Bening, probably the best of them all, delivers what could be a her best performance (though I haven't seen many of her films) and what could be a strong contender for the Oscar. Julianne Moore also does an incredible job with her role, but what's sad is that she will probably be overlooked by the Oscars and many other Award shows, probably because she's being overshadowed by Bening. Mark Rufalo's performance may get more attention, may I add deservedly. Also, the film's writing is very powerful. The characters are all well thought out and the dialogues are great too. The film will most likely get nominated for Actress (Bening), Supporting Actor (Rufalo), Screenplay and maybe Picture.
7. Winter's Bone
A drama/noir set in the Ozarks, the film follows Ree Dolly in her quest to finding her missing father, who just skipped court, or else she and her family will get evicted from their home. Debra Granik directs this film beautifully, capturing the film's dark view. But most of my praise for this film has to go to Jennier Lawrence, whose performace will certainly make her a star. She delivered the breakthrough performance of the year and she definitely deserves to be mentioned at the Oscars. The film will probably get nominations for Picture, Screenplay and Actress.
6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
I am a big fan of the Millennium Trilogy novels, and I've gotta say that the first film in the series is a very good one. Set in cold Sweden, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who just found himself caught by the judicial system, agrees to work for corporate magnate Henrik Vanger to help him find his missing niece, who disappeared almost 40 years before. But to do this he'll enlist Lisbeth Salander, genius but problematic hacker. Its story is intoxicating, its acting is wonderful (especially Noomi Rapace), its direction is thrilling and magnificent. This is certainly one of the best Swedish films to come out in the last few years. Sadly, it probably won't get that much Oscar attention, as it wasn't Sweden's submission for the Best Foreign Language category, and this can hurt the film's other chances for possible nominations (Best Actress anyone?). Still, this is definitely one of my favorite films of the year.
Top 5 Now:
5. Toy Story 3
It enchanted us, it made us cry, laugh and even fall in love with it. The great animated trilogy now comes to an end in this epic final installment. For this film, Andy's toys will have to team up to be able to escape a nursery ran by an evil stuffed bear. The film's great sentimental value is what got to us all, and I am sure I wasn't the only teenager in the theater who felt nostalgic while watching this film. I am sure it will get Best Animated Feature, and probably a Best Picture nomination too.
4. True Grit
The Dude becomes The Duke in this magnificent Coen Brothers film. A remake of the 1969 classic, it is the story of young Mattie Ross and how she hired a US Marshall to help her track down her father's killer. The film is impecably acted, with Jeff Bridges delivering a breathtaking performance, Hailee Steinfeld turning in starmaking acting, Matt Damon becoming the humurous LaBoeuf and Josh Brolin becoming the bad guy. Also, the film is incredibly directed, but that's no surprise, its a Coen Brothers film. Its screenplay its very well written, being humurous at times but still covering its conflict very seriously. The music, art direction, costume design and cinematography are great as well. Its is most likely to get nominations for Picture, Actor (Bridges), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Score, Costume Design, and Editing.
I know many wanted this to be number 1, but for me its landed on number 3. But that doesn't mean it is not a good film, it is a fantastic ride that may be Christopher Nolan's masterpiece. The story is about a group of thieves who enter dreams of corporate execs so they can steal their ideas, but when they are hired to not steal one but plant one, bigger problems may raise. As I said, Christopher Nolan's outstandingly directs this film, and the actors all do a great job with their roles, being large or small. The screenplay was also wonderful and its production design amazing. Possible Oscar Nominations: Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Editing and Mixing, and Score.
2. Black Swan
This film has really impressed me, and it sets Darren Aronofsky as one of my favorite directors. It is the story of Nina Sayers, a delicate and innocent young ballerina who is chosen to play both parts of the White Swan and Black Swan in her company's production of Swan Lake, but as she tries to make her part of the Black Swan less challenging, she embraces her dark side and becomes the Black Swan herself. All the actors did a wonderful job, especially Natalie Portman in what is most definitely the best performance of her career and the best performance of the year. I surely hope she wins Best Actress. Also, the rest of the cast (Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barabara Hershey and Wynnona Rider) played excellently their parts, and they were all very important for the film's narrative, no matter if their part was small, if they didn't work out it probably wouldn't have been the same thing. The film most likely will get Oscar nominations for Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress (Kunis), Original Screenplay, Score, Cinematography, Art Direction, Make Up, Costume Design and Editing.
And Number 1 is...
The Social Network
I think you all knew what this was gonna be, but I'm not here to surprise you. David Fincher's spectacle tells the story of Facebook's rise to fame, from its humble beginnings at Harvard to its global status. Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, Andrew Garfield plays Eduardo Saverin, Mark's best and only friend, and Justin Timberblake plays Sean Parker, the founder of Napster. These three actors as well as the rest of the cast deliver fantastic performances, and Fincher's direction is fantastic, and then we have Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter, who has written the best screenplay in some time. The film is certainly a breathtaking spectacle in which the audience is not only entertained but is also learning about the world's biggest Social Network. The film will most likely get nominations for Picture, Director, Actor (Eisenberg), Supporting Actor (Garfield), Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, and Score. And I am pretty sure it will get Best Picture.
Honorable Mentions go to:
The Fighter (Christian Bale's performance will most likely earn him his most deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Madeo (the Korean thriller that was ignored last year by the Academy, but is still a pleasure to watch), The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski's return after his extradition), The American (a very underrated drama), How to Train Your Dragon (the first non-Pixar film to have come close at beating Pixar), Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese's return after winning his delayed Oscar), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the first part of the epic finale of this wonderful series).
Still Have to See:
127 Hours, The King's Speech, Biutiful, Of Gods and Men, Blue Valentine, Tangled, The Illusionist.
I'll probably update this list when I get to see these and maybe then I'll be able to make a top 20 or 25 ;)