The wait is over. With The Social Network finally seen, it’s time to pick the ten movies I’ll remember most of 2010.
1. Mr Nobody
An ode to being unable to choose. Highly personal and good, that’s the way we like our films. Reviewed here.
2. Fish Story
The story of my solitude: if my solitude were a fish, it would be so militant a whale would fear it. A cruelly underrated film on how a flopped punk record will save the world in 2012. I’ll let you in on a secret if you swear you won’t tell: sometimes I watch back a couple of scenes to live through the film’s emotions. Technically probably underneath Inception, but here’s a film that managed to build a path to a great climax, so it stole the n°2 spot. Reviewed here.
Not the masterpiece it’s hailed to be and not as bad as the other critics say. A horrible waste of a climax and an unnecessary bow to commercialism. When oh when will directors learn that audiences are able to sit through a brainy finale? On the other hand, isn’t it fun to point out to people that their criticism on this “allegedly intelligent film” was wrong? The closest a popcorn movie has come to a mindfuck in ages. Reviewed here.
4. The Ghost Writer
Polanski’s version of the Harris novel. The prime minister was eerily similar to Tony Blair, the film eerily similar to Polanski’s troubled past. Life imitating art imitating life.
5. The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Or: the world sees in Gemma Arterton what we’d noticed before. A bit more disturbing than her other breakthrough film this year (Tamara Drewe, this list’s n°13). A couple of locations, three people, one film. Less can be more. Reviewed here.
6. The Social Network
Well written by Aaron Sonkin and superbly scored by Trent Raznor. Not that David Fincher did a bad job, it’s just that Sonkin and Raznor didn’t get as much credit as Fincher did. Hailed by some as a Greek tragedy of modern times, the film was occasionally too self-indulgent and therefore strictly forbidden to enter our top three. Also, Timberlake’s role is severely overrated. Had he been a rapper, the critics would’ve had a feast.
7. La Teta Asustada (The Milk of Sorrow)
The opening lines of my review said it all: “Every now and then, a film introduces you to a character that remains with you for a considerable time. 2010 had a.o. the dreaming boy in Mr. Nobody and La Teta Asustada‘s Fausta, a young woman with a potato in her vagina.” Reviewed here.
A Greek oddity: a couple raises their three children to be completely unaware of the world around them. Now that the three are young adults, they still believe airplanes crash in their lawn and that a “sea” is a “leather chair with wooden armrests like the one in the living room”. The father is the only one who leaves the fortress. The family is occasionally visited by a female security officer, who’ll have sex with the son. Quite an abnormal cup of tea, this one.
For a longer analysis on the film, I refer you to DV where Deeopey and I had a long discussion on the film. This film should’ve ended up in the top five and the only reason it didn’t is an unforgivable climax. The forum thread is here.
Sometimes the n°10 spot goes to a movie that is so different it deserves more recognition. True, Amer has now kicked Millennium 3: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest from the tenth spot, but Mr. Larsson’s trilogy did get one or two reviews more than this Belgian-French ode to the giallo.
That’s right, an ode to the giallo. Forget you’ll understand Amer: the film doesn’t seem to tell a story. All it does is show scenes from a woman’s life, from when she was a little girl to when she’s an adult. True, it’s image over substance, but it’s great at mimicking Suspiria‘s visual tone and rather than creating a hommage to the giallo music, it just took a handful of Stelvio Cipriani melodies. Yes, it’s pompous and some of the effects (certain sounds and close-ups) are overused, but because Amer is so radically different from the films that were also bubbling under the top 10, it deserved to get the final words of this 2010 review.