Friday, 31 December 2010

My films of the year: 2010

Twenty in total and the first five on the list are in order. After that it gets a bit fuzzy...

The Social Network (Dir. David Fincher) I've seen it twice and if it wasn’t for all the other screeners I’ve had to watch over the last few weeks, I would have seen it several more times. Absolutely brilliant and ultimately wins out over Inception by virtue of the fact that I’m still thinking and talking about it on a daily basis.

Inception (Dir. Christopher Nolan) See review.

Never Let Me Go (Dir. Mark Romanek) I read the book, I went on set twice, I interviewed all the key talent behind and in front of the camera and yet it took me a good half hour to speak after seeing this extraordinary and extraordinarily moving film. I still don’t understand why this isn’t more loved and why it’s been pretty much overlooked for awards consideration.

Senna (Dir. Asif Kapadia) Whether you’re a Grand Prix fan or not (I am), this astounding and very thrilling documentary is a must-see, not only for the astonishing behind-the-scenes footage and gladiatorial rivalry between the late Ayrton Senna and French driver Alain Prost, but for the smart editorial decision to have Senna “tell” his own story rather than use talking heads.

Toy Story 3 (Dir. Lee Unkrich) See review.

A Prophet (Dir. Jacques Audiard) See review.

Monsters (Dir. Gareth Edwards) Believe the hype. What first-time filmmaker Edwards achieved for the budget was almost miraculous. Jurassic Park meets Before Sunrise/Sunset.

How To Train Your Dragon (Dir. Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders) The Avatar of kids films, I saw this in 3D at the cinema and was blown away. At home, on DVD, the story and characters hit home the more times I see it. And I’ve seen it a few.

The Scouting Book For Boys (Dir. Tom Harper) Harper’s debut feature was an exquisitely performed, lyrically shot tale of young love turned sour, from a script by Skins’ Jack Thorne.

The Disappearance Of Alice Creed (Dir. J. Blakeson) A terrifically taut and twisty low-budget thriller with the year’s best Gemma Arterton performance.

The Killer Inside Me (Dir. Michael Winterbottom). Perfect Jim Thompson adaptation and nowhere near as violent as some press suggested.

Blue Valentine (Dir. Derek Cianfrance) A gutsy, raw and honest look at love and marriage with blistering performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling.

The Town (Dir. Ben Affleck) See review.

The Kids Are Alright (Dir. Lisa Cholodenko) Smart, adult entertainment. Nicely scripted, wonderfully played.

127 Hours (Dir. Danny Boyle) This stripped-to-basics survival story grips like the rock that trapped Aron Ralstron’s arm. Not Boyle’s best but damn fine filmmaking nevertheless.

The Illusionist (Dir. Sylvain Chomet) Not as immediately toe-tapping as Belleville Rendezvous, but a delicate, moving, and lovingly crafted tale.

True Grit (Dir. Joel and Ethan Coen) The Dude in a western shot by Roger Deakins. What’s not to like. Thought Hailee Steinfeld was terrific too.

Winter’s Bone (Dir. Debra Granik) Powerful performances from Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Dir. Niels Arden Oplev) See review

Scott Pilgrim Versus The World (Dir. Edgar Wright) Visually dazzling and a definite grower.

Stuff I've really enjoyed but which didn't make the list for a variety of reasons: Get Low, Four Lions, Exit Through The Gift Shop, The King's Speech, The Crazies, Tron: Legacy, I Am Love, Unstoppable and The Way Back.

Performances I loved in films I remain on the fence about, but in the case of the first one will give another go: Natalie Portman in Black Swan, Javier Bardem in Biutiful, Christian Bale in The Fighter.

Films I wish I’d seen but haven't got around to them yet: Animal Kingdom, Carlos, Tiny Furniture, Greenberg and Barney’s Version (watching the latter later!)

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