Rocking Like It’s 2010…
I’ve purposefully waited well past the turn of the year to compile my top 5 list. Not only did I have a few loose viewing ends to tie up, but I also needed to let the crop of films settle in my mind. I disagree that 2010 was a weak film year. There were some fantastic releases.
Just on the cusp:
THE TOWN: I liked this film well enough on an initial viewing to put it in my top 10. After having a chance to catch it on DVD I felt it deserved a special mention. This was a stronger effort than Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. I enjoyed the characters and the world that he brought to screen. This film feels like it could be a modern blue print for making crime dramas.
5. THE KING’S SPEECH: Sure this movie is Oscar bait. The performances by Firth and Rush are worth the price of admission alone. The film also features some subtly smart camera work. Comparisons have been made between this and SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. I think this film will age better and I’ll also wager that director Tom Hooper will have a much more interesting career than SHAKESPEARE helmer John Madden seems to have settled into.
4. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP: True, not true….staged…whatever. This is an amazing work. Not enough people watch documentaries because audience sensibilities don’t seem to have evolved enough to understand that these can be quite entertaining. The reality of the subject matter is of little concern. (Fact: Documentaries are a genre based on manipulation) This film is a deft rumination on the commodification of art that deserves to be seen by anyone who actually thinks about what they consume.
3. THE SOCIAL NETWORK: I’m a mark for anything by David Fincher. This isn’t his masterpiece, but it is perhaps his most skillful work. The combination of technical elements, storytelling, and acting combine to make this a bit of a master class. Laurels should also go to the editing team for using the framework of dual depositions to create a gripping story. I’ve said it before, but David Fincher is approaching Orson Welles’ level of brilliance in filmic world building.
2. BLACK SWAN: Amazing film. Top notch across the board. Any other year this would be a runaway number 1. I’ve been a harsh critic of Aronofsky in the past, but I think he reaches the Scorsese realm of brilliance with this film.
1. INCEPTION: It’s a shame that this probably won’t win Best Picture, because it was hands down the most creative and amazing piece of film work this year. DiCaprio is the finest American actor we have working right now. As an editor, this film was a delight. Hans Zimmer’s score should also get special mention. It’s easily his best, even over his work for THE THIN RED LINE. I can’t say enough about how much I respect this movie.
Honorable Mentions: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Kick-Ass, Dogtooth, The Other Guys, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, True Grit, 127 Hours, and Greenberg.