Thursday, February 10, 2011

2010 in film: Part 2 - the best of the lot

In retrospect, there's not a single film in 2009 which I now think will be remembered several years from now (not even Inglourious Basterds or Up in the Air). But as far as 2010 is concerned, I think (I maybe wrong here, I'll know next year for sure) there maybe several which will be remembered long after their blu-rays come out. And that, according to me, is the hallmark of a truly great film. That being said, its really unfair that conventionally there is a list of only 10 best films, so I decided to take a leaf out of Roger Ebert's book and award the films outside of this list with a 'Special Jury Award'.

10) The Fighter: Okay first up, this movie isn't as brilliant as everyone is making it out to be. But make no mistake, this movie is really good, largely on account of the outstanding performances by the entire cast. Mark Wahlber, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale in his career best (so far), make this boxing drama cum comedy a good addition to the likes of Raging Bull, Rocky and Million Dollar Baby.

9) The Town: Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together and give it up for Ben Affleck. The man who started his career by penning and starring in Good Will Hunting, became the butt of Hollwood jokes for the longest time, and then finally paved the way for the greatest comeback since Robert Downey Jr. With this gritty, set in Boston, crime thriller (which incidentally had a strong, emotion core), Affleck has proved that Good Will Hunting and Gone Baby Gone were no flukes. Along with Nolan, Affleck is one of the most exciting new directors today.

8) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1: A Harry Potter film on a 'best of' list, insane isn't it? Not so much when you've seen the film. Being split into two parts, it could cover much of the story, had some excellent performances (especially Rupert Grint), great music and cinematography, fine direction and was probably the most emotional of all the Harry Potter films. Ultimately it made one realise why we love this particluar franchise, and why we're gonna be so sad to see it bid farewell.

7) Black Swan: Darren Arnofsky is probably the most divisive directors around. You either love, or hate his work. I for one love his work, even more so after Black Swan. Its a psychological thriller about a ballerina trying to get into the role of a character, losing her sanity and herself in the process. Add to that Natalie Portman's Oscar worthy performance, and you have a work of art and a visual feast to serve your eyes on.

6) True Grit: Man oh man, don't you just love the Coen brothers. They seem to churnt out at least one brilliant film a year, but this year, they have definitely surpassed themselves. While essentially being a remake of the John Wayne film, and a more faithful adaptation of the book, the two brothers have added their trademark screwball humour to give us the best western since their own, No Country for Old Men (not to mention the most successful one after Dances with Wolves)


5) 127 Hours: How can the true story of a man stuck between rocks for 5 days and finally cutting his arm off to get out ever be made into a film. But 127 Hours works on account of two primary reasons, and one supplementary reason. The first one of course being an astounding performance by James Franco. The second one being the visionary direction by Danny Boyle. Forget Slumdog Millionaire, this is Boyle's best film till date, and truly shows his directing prowess. (The supplementary reason of course is A.R. Rahman's music).

4) Inception: In retrospect, this is not one of the best films every made. But one of the best blockbusters ever made? Certainly. One of the most memorable science fiction films? Definitely. This mind-boggling and emotionally wrenching sci-fi baby of Christopher Nolan is one hell of a film. Forget the Oscars, Nolan is definitely gods gift to Hollywood.

3) Toy Story 3: Pixar, thou have done it again. Easily one of the most beautiful and emotionally satisfying films ever made, this was the perfect end to a perfect triology. This is absolute proof, that animation is not a childrens genre. While every kid on the planet can enjoy this movie, only adults can understand the strong themes of adulthood, loneliness, fear, and growing up that are so beautifully interwined in this film. And if you don't feel like crying like a baby at the end of this film, something is definitely wrong with your tear glands.

2) The Kings Speech: Everyone loves a good inspirational film, so rest assured, this is the best one to come out in years. The simple story of a king trying to get over his speech impediment, being assisted by a speech coach, and the friendship that develops is both cheerful and heart warming. Colin Firth gives a masterful performance, while Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are not too far behind. One of the films greatest achievements is that humanizes the characters, and makes you feel for them. Oh its very traditional, almost predictable. But hey, everyone likes to end up with a smile after watching a film.

1) The Social Network: Despite what you may have heard, this movie is not about the creation of Facebook, not about computer geeks and the silicone valley. No, this film is about basic human emotions, love, friendship, greed, jealousy, simply set in our times. The rapid-fire dialogues by Aaron Sorkin, the performances by Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield and Armie Hammer and the music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross make it so much. And David Fincher take a bow. You've put your own 'Fincher stamp' on a film that was all about the screenplay, and given us Citizen Kane for the 21st Century. How will you ever top this? (Something tells me 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo')

So thats the top 10,but now for the Special Jury Awards to the films that didn't make it to the top 10:

How to Train Your Dragon: I'll never be able to decide whether this should have replaced The Fighter or not. If only Pixar hadn't come out with Toy Story 3, this would have been the best animated film this year. This epic story of a boys friendship with a dragon, is truly a work of art.

The Kids are All Right: Funny, emotional and then funny again. This film is not so much about a family formed by lesbian partners, but about family in general, which makes it all the more great.

Buried: A thriller set in the minimalistic setting of a coffin, this Ryan Reynold's thriller gives me hope that The Green Lantern may not be all bad. True story.

1 comment:

  1. I've only seen three movies out of these :O :O
    I know im missing out a lot :|

    *Adds to the list*