Best Films of 2010 – Ricky D’s List from Sound On Sight

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Best Animated Feature

The Secret Of Kells

Directed by Tomm Moore

I realize The Secret Of Kells was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009, but technically the film was only released in 2010 and quite frankly I don’t care much for the Oscars. The Secret of Kells remains a feast for the eyes with it’s meticulous drawings, a throwback to the more stylized, painterly work of decades past. Steeped in magic, history, religion and Celtic mytholosgy, the subject matter may be a tad obscure for American audiences but at least it offers a refreshing alternative to Hollywood fare. Quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, The Secret Of Kells features a powerful message, appealing characters and a unique visual style.

Special mention: Toy Story 3

Best Documentary

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Directed by Banksy

Exit Through the Gift Shop initiates a role reversal in which documentarian becomes artist and vice versa and the plain fact is that, on some level, it doesn’t matter whether the film is true or not. In fact the widespread speculation that Exit Through the Gift Shop is a hoax only adds to its fascination. What is important is that the filmmakers tell a good story and they not only do, but they deliver one of the most entertaining movies of the year. The guerrilla style filmmaking about guerrilla graffiti artists and their status in the art world provides a provocative and absorbing exploration of what constitutes as art, which at the end of the day could very well be anything.

Special mention: The Two Escobars

Best  Screenplay

The Social Network written by Aaron Sorkin

Best Canadian Film

Incendies

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Right from the cold opening dialogue-free sequence set to Radiohead’s You and Whose Army, Incendies is a visually striking, deeply moving and powerful tale of two young adults’ travelling to the core of deep-rooted hatred, never-ending wars and enduring love. Based on the play by Wajdi Mouawad, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s latest film has the skeleton of a Greek tragedy and the skin of political allegory. Although the brush strokes are sometimes uneven the grand design of Incendies is worthy of art house success and your attention.

Special mention: Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats)

Best Horror Film

Let Me In

Directed by Matt Reeves

The pressure in adapting a story or remaking a film is that the filmmakers already have an archetype to which everyone will compare their work to. Some people will be unwilling to invite this film in, but those who do, will be rewarded. Let Me In is a film that achieves the rare feat of remaining faithful to its source material while emerging as a highly accomplished work in its own right.

Special mention: We Are What We Are


Best Action Film

Ip Man 2

Directed by Wilson Yip

With Samo Hung joining the cast of the series as a rival master, Ip Man 2 raises the bar of martial arts performances even higher than its predecessor. Seeing Hung and Yen on-screen, side-by-side is nothing less than magic and is only exceeded by a showdown atop a wobbly table, in what would be the art of Wing Chun versus the style of Hung Ga Kuen. The action choreography, once again designed by Sammo Hung, continues to amaze, only improving on the previous film.

Best Comedy

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Directed by Eli Craig

Eli Craig’s twisted throwback to backwoods horror puts everything in reverse. It’s about a case of mistaken intentions to the nth degree. Instead of mass-murdering rednecks, our two unsuspecting hillbillies, Tucker & Dale (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine) fall victim to the crazed machinations of a group of rowdy college kids. When Dale shelves his fear of the opposite sex to rescue one of the college co-eds from drowning, her friends mistake him for a backwoods killer. The twist here is that the hillbillies in question are not psychotic, but are actually warmhearted men who fall victim to circumstance.

Best Western

True Grit

Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen

Best LGBT Film

A Single Man directed by Tom Ford

Technically released in 2009 but it only saw theatrical release in Montreal in 2010. Tom Ford’s directorial debut stands as a vivid portrait of life behind a veil. The former fashion designer proves a born filmmaker and Colin Firth certainly delivers one of the best performances in recent years.

Best Sci-Fi Movie

Never Let Me Go

Directed by Mark Romanek

Romanek, a highly respected music video director making his follow-up to One Hour Photo, has crafted an update of the Frankenstein myth. A film which features provocative themes, impeccable craftsmanship and superb performances, Never Let Me Go is part period piece, part sci-fi drama, part romance and at times horrific. Romanek’s direction is incredible, carefully constructing his film so that much of what is left unsaid is made clear through his visual representation.

Special mention: Monsters

Best Cinematograhy

Michael McDonough – Winter’s Bone

Special Mention: Greig Fraser – Let Me In

Best Film Score

Clint Mansell – Black Swan

Special mention: John Murphy – Kick-Ass

Best Soundtrack

Kick-Ass

Best foreign Film

Castaway On The Moon

Directed by Hae-jun Lee

Castaway On The Moon is a masterful piece of filmmaking – compelling, smart, and truly original but more importantly it manages to entertain while supplying observations on society, nature, determination, choice, isolation, friendships, ability and more.

Special mention: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives


Best Director

David Fincher – The Social Network

Three Most Overlooked Films

1- Stone directed by John Curran

2- Rabbit Hole directed by John Cameron Mitchell

3- Quattro Volte directed by Michelangelo Frammartino

Best Sound Design

Black Swan

Best Sound Editing

Stone

Best Editing

Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Best Art Direction

Black Swan

Best Actor

James Franco – 127 Hours

Best Actress

Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Best Film

Black Swan

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Aronofsky really shows off his skill for combining genres in a unique and unsettling way with Black Swan. A mix of Roman Polanski’s studies of shattered feminine psyches (think Repulsion) and David Cronenberg’s movies about body horror – with nods to Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes and Ingmar Bergman’s PersonaBlack Swan shows in excruciating detail how much physical pain some artists are willing to inflict upon themselves in the pursuit of perfection. Natalie Portman gives the best performance of her career, nearly in every frame of the movie, often in close-up while conveying a barrage of intense and complicated emotions. Cinemaotpgrapher Matthew Libatique provides gorgeous visuals using a mix of documentary-style handheld and traditional set-ups while composer Clint Mansell’s menacing score along with the intricate sound design is without a doubt the best of the year.

Special mention: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Ricky D’s official Top 50 films of 2010

Film included in my 2009 list that were released in 2010 include:

The Loved Ones

Wild Grass

Dogtooth

Mother

Everyone Else

Top 50

(Also I only placed the top 10 in order of preference)

50- Gainsbourg

49- Another Year

48- Black Death

47- Piranha 3D

46- Stone

45- Tron: Legacy

44- Blue Valentine

43- Disappearance of Alice Creed

42- Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

41- Buried

40- The Fighter

39- Carlos

38- True Grit

37- Somewhere

36- Last Exorcism

35-Tournee

34- Revenant

33- I Spit On Your Grave

32- Machete

31- Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil

30- Inception

29- I Am Love

28- Wild Hunt

27- The American

26- Valhalla Rising

25- Toy Story3

24-Incendies

23- The Secret of Kells

22- 127 Hours

21- Fish Tank

20- Greenberg

19-Monsters

18- Les Amours Imaginaire

17- Une Prophete

16- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

15- Never Let Me Go

14- Animal Kingdom

13- Rabbit Hole

12- A Single Man

11- Quatrro Volte

10- We Are What We Are

9- The Two Escobars

8- Castaway On The Moon

7- Exit Through The Gift Shop

6- Winter’s Bone

5- Kick-Ass

4- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

3- The Social Network

2- Let Me In

1- Black Swan

Oversights:

Alamar

Hadewijch

Samson  and Delilah

Prodigal Son

Eccentricities of A Blond Hair Girl

Amer

Secret Sunshine

Vincere

Lourdes

3 Comments
  1. The Black Man is God says

    No Enter the Void or True Grit

    1. Ricky says

      I really didn’t like Enter The Void at all although I will give it a second look.

      True Grit was alright for what it was but nowhere near being the best of the Coen brothers.

  2. googergieger says

    You need to watch more movies yo. Also raise your standards when it comes to remakes. Honestly why did so many people hate the Psycho remake?

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