[2010 Film Round-up]

2010 by the numbers
Total: 150
Festival (Noir, SIFF, SLGFF): 67
Free: 45
Remaining revival: 18
Remaining regular sort of movies which I paid for like a normal person: 20 (though only 4 of them were full price. Booyah.)

Revival is a total separate thing that I’d like to talk about, because I had so many awesome experiences, so this post is just 2010 films by my totally arbitrary and yet amazing categories. To hell with top tens!:

Best films: Black Swan, Exit Through the Gift Shop (is it a documentary? is it performance art? yes.), 127 Hours

Best genre films: Inception, The Eclipse (a criminally overlooked ghost story), Buried

Most beloved films: Monga, Castaway on the Moon, Howl, Never Let Me Go

Best director: Danny Boyle, 127 Hours, for bringing us from wide desert vistas down to a few drops of water, for making a single guy alone on screen for basically the whole movie visually compelling, for two harrowing minutes of film that even without watching affected my whole being.

Best queer film: Undertow, Eyes Wide Open, Monga (wait, that was just subtext? Oh.)

Best musical: Hipsters, sex & drugs & rock & roll

Best trifecta about America at war: Green Zone, Fair Game, & The Tillman Story

Favorite but overlooked performances that I can remember at the moment: Ryan O’Nan as the returning veteran in The Dry Land, Frances O’Connor as one of several troubled mothers in Blessed, Paul Chiang as the unflappable Gao in Au Revoir Taipei, Greta Gerwig as the PA & then some in Greenberg, Sam Rockwell in Iron Man 2,Togo Igawa as the lovely new neighbor in The Hedgehog & as the restaurateur/sumo coach in A Matter of Size

Most fun I had at the theater: Legion, RED, RoboGeisha, K-20: The Fiend with 20 Faces

List of awesome features: Greenberg (my favorite solo Baumbach since Kicking & Screaming), The Hedgehog (charming French adaptation of the novel), Cell 211 (not your average prison movie), Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, Never Let Me Go (unjustly ignored all over the place), Carlos (the whole damn thing), Rabbit Hole, The King’s Speech, The Fighter

List of awesome documentaries: Marwencol, The Secrets of the Tribe, The Tillman Story. Thunder Soul, Prodigal Sons

List of movies that aren’t out in Seattle yet, but that I am obsessed with: Biutiful, Blue Valentine, Another Year, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Annoyed I missed: Mesrine, Animal Kingdom, Get Low, Fish Tank, The American, I Am Love

Stuff I saw on DVD worth mentioning: Cairo Time, Easy A, A Prophet (which I think is technically 2009, but is showing up on a bunch of lists this year, deservedly so), Please Give

Movies everyone else went batshit over, and I thought were solid, but not omg amazing: The Kids Are All Right (a conservative little movie about how marriage is hard that just happened to be about a lesbian couple) & True Grit (beautifully shot & perfectly cast, but no *there* there)

Also, the ones I spent the year pissed off about:

Most stylish & snappy representation of rich white man pain: The Social Network

Second movie in which I desperately wanted to punch the lead in the nose: Solitary Man

Most frustrating waste of talent: Shutter Island

Most disturbing: Splice (“It’s not what it looks like!”)

First movie I ever walked out of: Hot Tub Time Machine (I am honestly not sure if I can deal with anyone who enjoyed this movie. *That* is how upsetting it was. So if you thought all the gay panic and rape jokes were great, you should maybe not tell me. And you should rethink some things. I’m just saying.)

Second movie I ever walked out of: Perfect 10, which was really a perfect storm of things that make my head pop off.

3 Replies to “[2010 Film Round-up]”

  1. Sad to say, not much from SIFF stayed with me, this year. I liked “Leaves of Grass” when I saw it, but in retrospect it seems slight. “Perrier’s Bounty” is fun, but *very* slight. Perhaps I need to see “I Am Love” when I’m less overtired. What did stay with me, full of amusement & horror, of course? You know it: “Splice.” I am SO glad that I was there for the “It’s Not What It Looks Like!” moment. Priceless.

    My SIFF experience might’ve been quite different if I’d gotten to see “Winter’s Bone,” there; when I did finally see it in general release, that mythic quest through the meth labs of the Ozarks involved me like nothing else had before in 2010.

    “Never Let Me Go” took a familiar dystopian premise about organ harvesting and worked it into a meditation on boundaries, mythology, memory, mortality. Very moving.

    “Inception,” “The King’s Speech” were each fun, in their vastly different ways.

    But “Black Swan” simply made my cinematic year–sweeping in at the last moment and perfectly, desperately cutting down the competition. Really, I may never recover. I hope not …

    1. For me, SIFF this year was really good for small foreign stuff, not necessarily top ten material. I agree with all of this. Enjoyed Leaves of Grass very much at the time, but it didn’t stick with me like, say, Castaway on the Moon. Perrier’s Bounty I only saw on DVD, so it was perhaps less effective still that way.

      I seriously do not understand why there has been so little love — and so much outright hate — for Never Let Me Go.

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