Narrowing down the list to ten films was much harder this year than it has been in the last couple of years. The fact that there were two ties on my list is a testament to the great selection of films that have been released in 2010.
10) Never Let Me Go – Saw this, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, on the plane coming back from my grandmother’s funeral. Both deal with issues of mortality but for some reason this particular film really stuck with me more than I thought it would. (Full review coming soon)
9) Scott Pilgrim vs the World – Ignored by the masses, Scott Pilgrim was both a comedic and visual assault on the senses. Hopefully this film will find a decent cult following on DVD.
8) 127 Hours / Black Swan – Did a double feature of these two films the other day. Although they are two vastly different films, I was extremely impressed with both of them. Still cannot decide which one I love more. (Full reviews coming soon)
7) The Social Network – Despite the claims, it is not the movie that defines a generation. Regardless, the film is a gripping legal drama that will have you looking at the issues of ownership in a whole new light.
6) The Illusionist – If one film can stop Toy Story 3 at the Oscars it will be The Illusionist. Subtle and sweet, without being overly sentimental, the film will reaffirm your faith in mankind. Plus, the hand drawn animation is better than most of the 3D cartoons released in 2010.
5) Micmacs / The Art of the Steal – Two of my favourite films from the 2009 TIFF finally it theatres this year. Unfortunately neither the hilarious crime capper (Micmacs) nor the gripping art theft documentary (The Art of the Steal) found an audience in their limited theatrical runs. I believe both are on DVD now, so be sure to seek them out at your local video stores.
4) Toy Story 3 – The animated film that made grown men cry is a testament to how you can make a film franchise work. Never losing sight of the importance of good story telling, Toy Story 3 found the perfect blend of humour and emotion.
3) Inception – “A smart summer blockbuster” is not a term you hear often but that is exactly what this film was. Visually stunning, great ensemble cast, and a brilliant plot, Inception was a sight to behold. The best thing about the movie is how it actually gets better upon repeat viewings.
2) Blue Valentine – Blue Valentine has received more press due to its initial NC-17 rating than for the quality of the film itself. Which is a shame considering how good this film actually is. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are simply stunning in this film.
1) Winter’s Bone – I absolutely loved this film. The story was original and Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was outstanding. Out of all the films that I saw this year, it was a simple film about a girl determined to find her father that impacted me the most.
Honourable Mention: Ajami, The Kids Are All Right, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The American, Mr. Nobody, Fish Tank, The Messenger, The Last Exorcism, Shutter Island.