Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Top Ten in '10

It’s time once again to give my top ten list for the past year.  The key word there is “my”.  I’m not suggesting these are the ten best, by some objective standard, nor do I suggest you should agree.  This is me and how I saw it.  Or saw them, I should say.  Without further ado...

1. The King’s Speech

How Tom Hooper managed to make a film about a member of the British royal family struggling with a speech impediment, and make that thrilling, remains a mystery to me.  Except he did.  I was literally on the edge of my seat for the last ten minutes.  Simple story well-told.  The hardest thing to do.

2. True Grit

I hated the Henry Hathaway 1969 version.  Loved the novel, which I read back then, before John Wayne ruined my idea of Rooster Cogburn.  Jeff Bridges and the Coens breathed life back into that wonderful book.  A top ten Western of all time.

3. The Social Network

Hard to believe that all this Facebook hooey wasn’t even on anyone’s radar screen six or seven years ago.  Harder still to believe that it would be fodder for a terrific film about how a Harvard student used the internet to make us all feel more connected when he himself had so much trouble making any kind of lasting connection with anyone who mattered.

4. The Fighter

Full of remarkable performances, this film shows how family can be your best friend and worst enemy.  And how love can save the day.

5. Toy Story 3

Damn.  I forgot how sad if it was to have to give away all those toys I had.  Especially the battleship.  I really liked my battleship.

6. The Town

Ben Affleck did an amazing job with Chuck Hogan’s novel.  Three great set pieces that provide textbook examples of why we go to the movies in the first place.

7. Winter’s Bone

I love a movie that takes me somewhere I wouldn’t have any reason to go and makes me feel like I was actually there (and happy to get out alive).  Jennifer Lawrence gets my vote for best actress.

8. The Kids Are Alright

So is this movie.

9. The American

Flawed, but a nice film about a lonely assassin.  By the way, we don’t need any more films about assassins and how tough the job is.  We get it.  Let’s just retire that sub-genre with this one.

10. Kick-Ass

Ordinarily, this genre is not my cup of coffee, but I got a hoot out of this one.  Maybe it was the foul language spewed by a ten year old girl.  Maybe it was the deranged Nicolas Cage.

If you check with me next week, I might reorder those top three again.  It was that close for me.

Also, you’ll notice that I left off Inception.  Confession: I didn’t like it.  Just didn’t buy the whole thing.  Felt the same way about The Matrix when it came out.  Both of those films felt to me like that scene in Animal House when Pinto (Tom Hulce) is smoking dope with the college prof played by Donald Sutherland and he says “so that means that our whole solar system could be like one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being”.  Just about that deep, philosophically-speaking.

1 comment:

  1. I was shocked when The Town wasn't nominated for Best Picture, and yet Toy Story was, even though it obviously belongs in the animation dept? I agree that I wasn't a huge fan of Inception and I am a huge Chris Nolan fan.