The second of my top ten best films of 2010 lists. Part I is found here.
Top Ten Best Films of 2010 I've Seen
(Note: As always, this is in no particular order)
Bill Cunningham is a street style photographer for the New York Times. He's been photographing New Yorkers wearing beautiful clothes for decades, even before the likes of Jak and Jil and The Sartorialist came into the scene. This film is a documentary that follows one of the greatest photographers of our time - his humility as a person and the surprisingly simple life he lives (considering he works for the fashion industry) makes him all the more astonishing. At times it gets intensely (sometimes uncomfortably) personal. Read my review here.
# 9 - If I want to whistle, I whistle
This a Romanian film about a teenage prisoner who falls in love with an intern who works at the detention center. I see this less as a love story and more of a character study. Recalls the rebelliousness of Holden Caulfield from the Salinger novel and Antoine Doinel from The 400 Blows.
# 8 - Toy Story 3
Pixar hits yet another home run with the closing film of the franchise that started it all.
# 7 - Winter's Bone
Jennifer Lawrence gives an exceptional performance as a sister (and sometimes as a mother) to her siblings as she searches for her drug-dealing father in order to keep the house they reside in. Set in the Ozark Mountains, the film presents a world so grounded in gritty realism and sincerity - the stark sense of place makes it feel as if one is seeing a dystopia, a post-apocalyptic world not much different from McCarthy's imagined world in his novel The Road. When I walked out into the glittery Sydney harbour after a Sydney Film Festival screening of the film, I remember looking up into the sky and contemplating how lucky I was to not have to endure the hell someone from the other side of the world probably has to. Sounds mawkish, I know. But some films do that to you.
# 6 - Inception
The only summer blockbuster movie released this year that I actually liked. Has the best fight scene of the year. Saw it twice on the big screen as a desperate antidote for the other poisonous blockbusters.
# 5 - The Kids Are Alright
The first half of the film was brilliant, the following half found its characters too close to the stereotypes they were meant to be discrediting. But the film gave us great performances from the actors and it's heartening to see stories like these put out there.
# 4 - Hesher
Reminds me of Zusak's novel The Book Thief in that Death is represented as more than a force in a tragic story. In that book, Death acts as the narrator for a story set in the Holocaust. In Hesher, Death becomes a physical presence, as characterised by Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, in a young boy's grief story. Despite the depressing theme, the film does bring out plenty of laughter as it creates this really interesting buddy movie between the boy and Hesher (Death),. The more they bond, the more the boy accepts the idea of death, and consequently the grieving becomes less painful.
# 3 - I Am Love
I will never look at a plate of prawns the same way again. Makes the culinary so erotic and sensual. Also the always mesmerising Tilda Swinton brings yet another interesting performance.
# 2 - The Social Network
Who doesn't have this on their list? I don't really know what else to say about this film because everything about it has been pretty much said. I don't think this film defined the Facebook generation as other people have stated, but it's a good start.
# 1 - Animal Kingdom
In my eyes this film is already an Australian classic. I'm so glad Jacki Weaver is creating buzz and picking up nominations for her performance. She walked past me at the Sydney premiere (OMG!OMG!OMG!). Read my review here.
Well that's all folks. Let's see what 2011 brings us. Happy watching.
Image Credits (Originals have been resized): BCNY, IIWTWIW, TS3, WBone, Inception, TKAA, Hesher, IAL, TSN, AKingdom