Blockbusters and indies, features and documentaries all found a spot on my list of the top 10 films of 2010. Let the arguing begin!
1. The King’s Speech – In last year’s A Single Man, Colin Firth (above) managed to convey a world of emotion and thought with the slightest facial expression. So who could be better for a movie about a guy who literally can’t express his feelings in words? Geoffrey Rush effortlessly provides an able sparring partner as the speech therapist for the future king of England. Look for at least one of these guys to be holding a gold statue come February.
2. The Kids Are All Right – Julianne Moore and Annette Bening (at bottom) play the most believable, true-to-real-life couple on screen this year. Who says there’s no place for women over 40 in Hollywood? Between this and Shutter Island, Mark Ruffalo had a bang-up year.
3. Inception – Did the thing stop spinning at the end? And when exactly was DiCaprio wearing his wedding ring? It’s been a long time since I watched a movie and immediately wanted to run it back again, but that’s how I felt after watching Inception. The weightless fight scene in the hotel (at right) is a classic.
4. The Social Network – The final scene of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) continuously hitting refresh on his Facebook page tells you everything you need to know about the previous 119 minutes of the movie. That there’s no dialogue makes it all the more resonant.
5. I Love You, Phillip Morris – Jim Carrey reins in his spastic personality just enough to give the performance of his career. Movies that force you to cheer for the criminal are kinda fun, aren’t they (see No. 9 on this list)?
6. Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child – Tamra Davis’ portrait of her friend brings us into the mind of the artist through his work. By the end of the movie, your appreciation for a genius who died way too young will be renewed. This film, along with Bill Cunningham New York, were highlights of this year’s Dallas International Film Festival.
7. Toy Story 3 – Once again, Pixar proves you don’t need real humans to deliver real human emotion.
8. Exit Through the Gift Shop – By far the best in a string of documentaries this year (Catfish, I’m Still Here) that leave you questioning where the truth begins and ends. I’ve got a new appreciation for street artists.
9. The Town – How will Ben Affleck fare if he ever leaves Boston to make a movie? After the well-executed Gone Baby Gone and now The Town, the better question is: Why should he leave his hometown?
10. 127 Hours – Danny Boyle, and by extension James Franco, manage to bring an endless supply of kinetic energy to a story that could have been incredibly stagnant in the wrong hands.
Honorable mentions: Bill Cunningham New York, The Fighter, True Grit, Blue Valentine, Winter’s Bone, Get Him to the Greek