It’s that time, folks. The time when we look back on the year that was… and JUDGE. I’m pretty convinced that the universe would implode if mankind lost its fervor for “Best Of” lists when December rolls into January, so I’m certainly not going to take a chance by failing to add my opinion on the topic I devote the majority of my waking hours to: movies. So here are the ten I enjoyed the most this year. Notice that I didn’t claim these were THE best films, simply MY favorites — the ones that moved me the most. Ready, set…
Erika’s Ten (OK, Eleven) Favorite Films of 2010
Honorable Mention: Exit Through the Gift Shop – This is a documentary about the underground world of street artists, and man, is it fascinating. Directed by “Banksy,” who’s in the film, but whose face we never see, it’s filled with intrigue, drama, and an exceedingly strange twist.
10) The Town – This one’s on the list because of Jeremy Renner’s performance. The man knows how to play a badass. Period. And the ultimate heist he, Ben Affleck and crew try to pull off at the end? It made me laugh out loud in the theater (though it wasn’t meant to be funny in the slightest and I was the ONLY one who laughed) because of its sheer audacity. There was never a dull moment in The Town… and I got a kick out of seeing Blake Lively all skanked up. Read Locke’s review. // The Town will be at redbox on January 11.
9) Let Me In – You all might remember how much I was initially against this remake (because, as a rule, I’m just against remakes in general — and because I love love loved the Swedish original). But I gotta hand it to director Matt Reeves. He did a superb job bringing the chilling story of a lonely boy and his vampire bestie to American audiences.
8) Easy A – There just aren’t that many good teen movies anymore. So when one comes along that not only stands on its own two feet, but also pays homage to the ’80s classics that paved the way for the genre, it’s a welcome surprise indeed. Read Locke’s review. // Reserve a copy.
7) Tangled – Does it make me sound old if I say this film was “a delight”? Because it really was — I enjoyed every second of it. Deserving of insta-classic status! Here’s my full review.
6) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Watching this one was, hands down, the most fun I’ve had in the theater all year. A clever story, witty one-liners, tons of video-game references to bring back great memories for a child of the ’80s such as myself, and some of the most unique visuals that have graced the screen in a long time — and it plays just as well on DVD. Read Locke’s review. Reserve a copy on DVD or Blu-ray.
5) The Kids Are All Right – I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this movie. But the performances from the entire cast (with Annette Bening in particular deserving of an Oscar) rang so authentic, and the message about what really constitutes a family was so strong, that I was blown away. Read Locke’s review. // Reserve a copy.
4) It’s Kind of a Funny Story – This is the 2010 film that personally connected with me the most, but unfortunately didn’t have a very wide theatrical run. I’m a big ol’ stressball just like the main character (played by Keir Gilchrist), and seeing how his Cycle of Worry snowballed in his mind made me feel like I wasn’t alone in some of my admittedly over-dramatic fears about the future. This film also has one of the best (and most random) musical fantasy scenes of all time… and proves that Zach Galifianakis is much more than just “the awkwardly funny bearded sidekick.”
2) The Fighter - It’s not just another boxing movie. It’s the real tale of two half-brothers that is almost too bizarre to be believed. As is Melissa Leo’s sky-high ‘do, and Christian Bale’s physical transformation. Read my review.
1) The King’s Speech – Royal Family drama + a true story about overcoming personal adversity + Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush = THE BEST. Do whatever you can to see this movie, people!
Here are a few other films that I feel belong on true “Best Of” lists, but that I didn’t include in my favorites because — despite being incredible cinematic achievements — they’re all too depressing for my taste.
- Black Swan — Everything you’ve heard about Natalie Portman’s performance is spot-on; she truly embodies Nina the Way-Too-Competitive Ballerina. I grew quite weary of director Darren Aronofsky’s favorite “trailing from over the shoulder” shot, though.
- Winter’s Bone — Lead actress Jennifer Lawrence is amazing, but her meth-head relatives/neighbors were straight outta my worst nightmare. (Winter’s Bone is available at redbox on both DVD and Blu-ray.)
- Rabbit Hole – Anything revolving around the loss of a child is bound to be a weeper, and this one was — to the nth degree. But Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart were astounding as grieving parents, and their climactic argument in this film still haunts me.
- Blue Valentine — Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling prove that falling in love can be exhilarating… and falling out of it can be torturous.
I know you have opinions about my list! So lemme hear ‘em — and even if you disagree with ALL of my picks, I still wish you a Happy New Year. How big of me, right?