"But I hate all that fucking listing of greatest films/greatest albums; Nick Hornby really has let the male species down. I’m a fucking man; I don’t go around making lists. A list is something you take to the supermarket." - Luke Haines
And yet, here I am making lists.
I'm actually a participant in three different lists this year. The DVD Talk Top Releases are still being compiled, so I can't link to that, but today the Portland Mercury put out their issue where myself and a bunch of other locals picked three films from the year that we felt all should see. You can read all the picks on their site. Of course, I went long, so Erik Henriksen had to edit me down, but here is my full text just for the hell of it:
* SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
Much of the best cinema of 2010 was about nerds triumphant, and though I can count myself amongst their geeky numbers, Scott Pilgrim was about nerds so different from me, it was almost like watching a Natural Geographic documentary. Fun, witty, stylish, and emotionally honest--Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the Byran Lee O’Malley comic was more movie than all other movies this year combined.
* BLACK SWAN
In my DVDTalk.com review, I suggested The Black Swan was The Red Shoes as directed by Roman Polanski. It’s also a little Hitchcock by way of the Dardennes. Darren Aronofsky manages to synthesize whatever influences he began with into something singularly his own: a gonzo metaphor for artistic obsession, and I’m a little obsessed with how it all turned out.
Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho never steps in the same cinematic river twice, and though his latest has some genre similarities to his breakthrough Memories of Murder, his choice to follow the mom of the accused killer rather than the cops makes for an unexpected, suspenseful drama. Kim Hye-Ja’s lead performance should be in the top actress category at every awards show in the coming months. Should be, but likely won’t.
I don't subscribe to the idea that this was any crappier a year for film than any others. I had no problem coming up with a good list of movies I liked. I would, however, maybe cotton to the notion that it's a year where the choices for the top slots were far too obvious, making most voting predictable.
Take, for instance, the final voting ballot for Online Film Critics Society. We all got to vote for our top five choices in the various categories, and the picks were compiled and, well, there aren't many surprises. Nor would I even argue that there were really any underdogs to be championed or even anything left out, even when my picks were different than the final results. (Okay, I would argue that Hailee Steinfeld was a lead actress in True Grit, not a supporting player, but that's different.)
Our final voting results will be out next week, but in the meantime, here are my picks in each category. Look at this like if I were to make the Oscar ballot. These are actually in order of preference, so the head of each list is my #1 (and bolded for easy identification). I will also link to my reviews of the movie the first time the title appears.
Jim Broadbent, Another Year
Brandon Routh, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Andrew Garfied, Social Network
Sean Combs, Get Him to the Greek
Bill Murray, Get Low
Update 1/10/11: Having finally seen The Fighter, I would amend this to join the chorus of putting Christian Bale in the top slot. He is amazing. It's particularly remarkable once you see the footage of the real person he plays; he's dead on the money.
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Chloe Moretz, Kick Ass
Cecile De France, Mesrine: Killer Instinct
Scarlett Johansson, Iron Man 2
Ellen Wong, Scott Pilgrim
I Am Love
Get Him to the Greek
Foreign Language Feature Film
35 Shots of Rum
Mesrine: Killer Instinct/Public Enemy #1
Exit the Gift Shop
Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno
Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg & the Pentagon Papers
Art of the Steal
Thorn in the Heart
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Ben Stiller - Greenberg
Casey Affleck - Killer Inside Me
James Franco - 127 Hours
Joaquin Phoenix - I’m Still Here
Hye-ja Kim - Mother
Anna Mouglalis - Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Giovana Messogiorno - Vincere
Sally Hawkins - Made in Dagenham
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Edgar Wright - Scott Pilgrim
David Fincher - Social Network
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
Coen Bros. - True Grit
Christopher Nolan - Inception
Joon-ho Bong - Mother
Mike Leigh - Another Year
Noah Baumbach - Greenberg
Anton Corbijn - The American
Sofia Coppola - Somewhere
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Had I not put Mother in both film categories, Toy Story 3 would have probably nestled in that last slot. I didn't actually see enough of the animated movies this year to vote, oddly enough. I also wish I had seen more documentaries.
Claire Denis' 35 Shots of Rum is on the Best Foreign list, and I still haven't seen White Material, otherwise that would have likely had to fight it out for top Denis.
By the way, as I close here, the music I am listening to now was picked by Brett Anderson as his favorite album of 2010. Worth a listen.
Current Soundtrack: Warpaint, The Fool
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All text (c) 2010 Jamie S. Rich