2010 Film Review

In 2010 it happened again. The rigours of the film distribution schedules have made of film-going a very seasonal experience. We’ve spent the whole year complaining about the poor quality of the cinematographic offering and suddenly, come October, the London Film Festival pre-empted the autumn full of treats with plenty of awards contenders and festival winners packing our screens.

The increasing dependence on awards of author and arthouse titles, in order to have sometimes just the mere chance of commercial exhibition, makes of those months the most (sometimes the only) interesting ones for the aficionado and turns the rest of the year into a rather deserted no-go area, where ropey franchises, sequels and the rather unconvincing 3D revolution leave little room to more palatable work.

But after slagging off during months both Hollywood for the lack of basic imagination in 99% of its blockbusters and the art house circuit for providing a rather dull fare of naturalist observations and pretentious, high-browed cinema; the riches of the award season next to the few titles that stood up during the rest of the year have shaped up one the most amazing film harvest in recent memory. If only they had been more wisely spread, instead of concentrated over a few months, 2010 would have become an endless cinematic thrill.

So successful was the offer that even the AMPAS got it right this time with no embarrassing turkey a la ‘Blind Side’ showing up among this year’s rather strong 10 Oscar nominees. From the breathtaking psychodrama of ‘Black Swan’ or the mind-blowing reinvention of what a blockbuster should be in ‘Inception’; to the vital contemporary radiography that is ‘The Social Network’ or ‘Toy Story’’s conclusion forming one of the most accomplished trilogies in history; every film opting to the US industry’s greatest honour is a worthy contender, including the likely winner ‘The King’s Speech’.

Elsewhere, some veteran favourites (Mike Leigh; Coen Brothers; Alex De La Iglesia; Olivier Assayas; etc) delivered truly fine work; back to back with many notable debuts and breakthroughs (Blue Valentine; Winter’s Bone; Dogtooth…) The festival circuit brought some notable gems such as Palm D’or Winner’ ‘Uncle Bonmee who can recall his past lives”; ‘Of Gods and Men’; ‘Animal Kingdom’ and ‘Neds’. Good year too for animation with ‘The Illusionist’ and ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ challenging the classic Pixar and Disney powerhouses in quality and/or audience. The documentary kept on enjoying his rebirth with Banksy’s terrific parody of the ways in contemporary art ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ ahead of a pack that included such brilliant works as ‘Gasland’ or ‘Inside Job’. Around the world, there were also plenty of signs of creative good health, from Korea’s enchantingly dark ‘Poetry’ to Germany’s study of faith surrounding business in ‘Lourdes’.

2010 Top 40 Films:

1-BLACK SWAN (Darren Aronofsky)
2-ANOTHER YEAR (Mike Leigh)
3-BLUE VALENTINE (Derek Cianfrance)
4-DOGTOOTH (Giorgios Lanthimos)
5-WINTER’S BONE (Debra Granik)
6-THE SOCIAL NETWORK (David Fincher)
7-TOY STORY 3 (Lee Unkrich)
8-TRUE GRIT (Coen Brothers)
9-EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (Banksy)
10-UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (Apitchapong Weerasethakul)
11-INCEPTION (Christopher Nolan)
12-I AM LOVE (Luca Guadagnino)
13-THE ILLUSIONIST (Sylvan Chomet)
14-OF GODS & MEN (Xavier Beauvois)
15-POETRY (Lee Chang-Dong)
16-NEDS (Peter Mullan)
17-THE KING’S SPEECH (Tom Hooper)
18-ANIMAL KINGDOM (David Michôd)
19-THE LAST CIRCUS (Alex De La Iglesia)
20-THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Lisa Cholodenko)
21-THE KILLER INSIDE ME (Michael Winterbottom)
22-BIUTIFUL (Alejandro González Iñarritu)
23-127 HOURS (Danny Boyle)
24-CARLOS (Olivier Assayas)
25-LOURDES (Jessica Hausner)
26-THE MILK OF SORROW (Claudia Llosa)
27-FOUR LIONS (Chris Morris)
28-KICK-ASS (Matthew Vaughn)
29-AJAMI (Scandar Copti & Yaron Shani)
30-LEBANON (Samuel Maoz)
31-THE FIGHTER (David O. Russell)
32-EASY A (Will Gluck)
33-SHUTTER ISLAND (Martin Scorsese)
34-THE ARBOR (Clio Barnard)
35-UNDERTOW (Javier Fuentes-León)
36-CARANCHO (Pablo Trapero)
37-INSIDE JOB (Charles Ferguson)
38-EYES WIDE OPEN (Haim Tabakman)
39-RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE (Jalmari Helander)
40-SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (Edgar Wright)

SURPRISES & GUILTY PLEASURES
10 DISAPPOINTMENTS
10 WORST MOVIES

ROBER AWARDS 2010

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