Sunday, December 26, 2010

Year in review part 1

End of the year lists

2010 is running its final lap to the finish. Those who visit Between the Seats either regularly or on occasion might have noticed that we are easy graders. We like to dig up the positives in movies rather than hamper on the negatives. Unsurprisingly, the consensus here at the blog is that 2010 was a good year for film. Whether you were escaping to local art house cinemas, exploring the multiple film festivals which invade cities every year or spending your weekends at the multiplex in anticipation of the latest Hollywood offering, the past 12 months were half bad. If you dabbled in a little bit of all three movie watching choices mentioned above, I don’t see how one could have had a bad time at the movies.

Oh, but I can hear the favourite complaints already:
‘It was a terrible year for film,’ and the close runner up, ‘Last year was much better,’ (This despite that I distinctly recall you saying last year ‘It was a terrible year for film.’).
If you really insist, well, in that case I’m sorry to hear that. Better luck next year, I suppose.

With out of the way, the hour is upon us to commemorate some of the best of what the class of ’10 gave us and later on, because such lists can also ignite discussion, some of the worst/disappointments of 2010 as well.

Top 10 films of 2010

10-Curling (Denis Côté). Côté’s strange yet beautifully lyrical world revolving around an antisocial father-daughter couple is my ‘movie that nobody saw’ pick for the list. There are a host of awkward moments and the performances are fantastic.

9- Let Me in (Matt Reeves). Terrifically well acted and exquisitely well shot, this English-language adaptation of the Swedish horror novel is a testament to how good horror films can be when character development is the film’s primary concern. Of course, none of that matters because it was a box-office dud.

8- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright). Fun, fun and simply more fun. While the actual chemistry between the two leads, the romantic crux of the film, is somewhat unfulfilling, virtually everything else is stellar. The film’s repeat viewing quotient is ridiculously high as well.

7- Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese). Being moved out of its original October 2009 slot to February 2010 might have been a cause for concern, and while the film’s plot is a wee bit predictable, Shutter Island was a beautiful assault on the senses.

6- The Social Network (David Fincher). Many, myself included, thought the notion of making a feature length movie about the creation of Facebook sounded like a joke. In some ways, we are still waiting for the movie about the creation of Facebook since Fincher gave us one of the most interesting, poignant and funny films of 2010. 

5-Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky). My favourite Aronofsky movie, which is saying something since this chap also directed Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler. Its melodrama and visceral qualities rise to almost overbearing heights, which was exactly what made the entire ordeal so effective.

4-The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke). Perhaps the controversial pick of the bunch since most consider this to be a 2009 film. I can’t do much about the fact that its theatrical release in Montréal was February of this year. It’s also freakishly haunting.

3-Incendies (Denis Villeneuve). A family drama draped in a rich emotional and psychological texture. Villenueve’s tale of how the past can come back to haunt us (as well as our progeny) lingers with me still. Lubna Azabal gives one of the best performance of the entire year.

2-Inception (Christopher Nolan). A clever concept is taken to epic proportions under the confident and intelligent guidance of Christopher Nolan, which is a guarantee for success. But Inception didn’t merely end up being ‘rather good’, which itself would have left me happy anyhow. It was freaking awesome.

1-Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich and the Pixar family). Never has an animated film been ranked so highly in any of my lists, but the conclusion to the Toy Story trilogy really did have a little bit for everybody, all the while tying up the journey of our favourite characters with a perfect bow ribbon.


Andrei said...

Solid list, most of these movies will probably make my top ten this year as well, though maybe not in that exact order.

Never heard of "Curling" and "Incendies", though. Hopefully I'll find a way to check them out.


thevoid99 said...

Excellent list Edgar.

I'm not going to have mine out probably until March if I'm inspired. That's because I'm waiting for a few films to come out like Somewhere, The Way Back, Blue Valentine, and other 2010 releases that I'm interested in or those that I didn't see in the theaters.

Yeah, I'm one of those people that will say that 2010 sucked as a film year and it was worse than last year. 2011 actually I think will be an improvement but not by much.

Anonymous said...

Great list, need to check out Incendies, seems really cool. Like your blog a lot.

Chris David Richards said...

I haven't heard of some of these. Sound interesting.

I still haven't seen Scott Pilgrim. One day. One day soon.

Anonymous said...

Interesting mix. You've got a few on there I haven't even heard of (Curling and Incendies). You've got a few I think are some of the strongest of the year as well (Scott Pilgrim, Social Network and Inception) and a few I was underwhelmed by (Shutter Island, Toy Story 3). Black Swan and Let Me In I both thought were strong, but just a step bellow greatness.

Not a bad list. I do prefer 2009 to 2010, but most of the 2009 films that I saw that I loved I saw in 2010. I imagine this will be repeated.

@thevoid99 2011 will have a Malick film! A MALICK film!! You opinion about the potential suckiness of 2011 is rendered invalid.