2010 Film Review: Surprises & Guilty Pleasures


In a year when the film harvest has been verging on the exceptional and quality products came from all corners of the industry; even veteran franchises such as “Harry Potter” delivered notable moments. The most popular genres brought us notable surprises; from Robert Rodriguez venturing again into the same B-movie territory he visited next to Tarantino for the ‘Grindhouse’ double bill; to the directorial debut of movie star Diego Luna with an intelligent and moving comedy. Amazing register changes experienced by acclaimed indie directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s, inspired by John Hughes teen comedies; or Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba (whose ‘Belle Epoque’ is part of the plot in “The Fighter”) returning to form by teaming up with Javier Mariscal for a foray into animation. Not forgetting Todd Solondz, whom two decades afterwards revisited his most acclaimed film, “Happiness”.

Hollywood’s growing remake fever, buying the rights of recent international hits to push them through its mainstream filters, generated an unexpected gem in “Let Me In’, adaptation of the vampire classic by the formerly effects-driven director of “Cloverfield”. A work as accomplished as it was pointless and unnecessary; due to its remarkable resemblance to the recent Swedish classic based upon. And what “Let The Right One In” did for vampires; Mexican flick “We Are What We Are” repeated it for cannibals; somehow humanizing the myths by turning them into something chillingly ordinary.

The thriller genre had in Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés one of his best ambassadors, inspired by the spirit of Hitchock in a work terribly simply, yet incredibly effective. The much maligned romcom was rescued from years of mediocrity by the French, thanks to the original and entertaining “Heartbreaker”. In the field of the unclassifiable, British Gareth Jones offered an arthouse road movie set against the backdrop of an alien invasion.

After the jump, those movies that broke our preconceptions; and those that went to become our guilty pleasures of the year.

10-HEARTBREAKER (Pascal Chaumeil)

9-MACHETE (Robert Rodriguez)

8-LIFE DURING WARTIME (Todd Solondz)

7-MONSTERS (Gareth Edwards)

6-IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY (Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck)

5-WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Jorge Michel Grau)

4-BURIED (Rodrigo Cortés)

3-CHICO AND RITA (Fernando Trueba Y Javier Mariscal)

2-ABEL (Diego Luna)

1-LET ME IN (Matt Reeves)

This post is also available in: Spanish

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