2010 Retrospective

Reeling in a post-Avatar world, 2010 saw a dramatic increase and prominence in the use of 3D technology, and Pixar’s long-awaited trilogy-capper topped the box office with over $1 billion worldwide. For cinephiles, the year was overflowing with goodness, and five major festivals catapulted breakthrough debuts and mature gems to audiences across the globe. Here are my thoughts on a year that shunned the “rules” of filmmaking and in so doing reached the heavens.

Honourable Mentions

Another Year, Black Swan, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Exit Through the Gift Shop, The Ghost Writer, The Illusionist, Incendies, Inside Job, The Kids Are All Right, Nostalgia for the Light, 127 Hours, Poetry, Restrepo, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Social Network

Top Films

10. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

“Heaven is overrated. There is nothing there.”

My review of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, here.

9. Animal Kingdom

8. 13 Assassins

7. Winter’s Bone

“Let him know who’s king.” “With death comes gratitude for life.” “I’d be lost without the weight of you two on my back. I ain’t goin’ anywhere.” 

My review of Animal Kingdom, here.

My review of 13 Assassins, here.

My review of Winter’s Bone, here.

6. Blue Valentine

5. Carlos

4. Meek’s Cutoff

“I give you this ring as a symbol of my solemn vow and everlasting love.” “Only traitors need be afraid.” “We’re all just playing our parts now. This was written long before we got here.”

My review of Blue Valentine, here.

My review of Carlos, here.

My review of Meek’s Cutoff, here.

3. Mysteries of Lisbon

2. Of Gods and Men

1. Certified Copy

“One…discovers that it’s not difficult to disappear from the eyes of others.” “Remember that love is eternal hope. Love endures everything.” “I’m afraid there’s nothing very simple about being simple.”

My review of Mysteries of Lisbon, here.

My review of Of Gods and Men, here.

My review of Certified Copy, here.


A & S Year-End Awards

Picture: Marin Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz, Charles Gillibert, and Angelo Barbagallo, “Certified Copy” (runner-up: Elizabeth Cuthrell, Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, and David Urrutia, “Meek’s Cutoff”)

Director: Abbas Kiarostami, “Certified Copy” (runner-up: Raul Ruiz, “Mysteries of Lisbon”)

Actor: Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine” (runner-up: William Shimell, “Certified Copy”)

Actress: Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine” and “Meek’s Cutoff” (runners-up: Juliette Binoche, “Certified Copy”; Yoon Jeong-hee, “Poetry”)

Supporting Actor: Bruce Greenwood, “Meek’s Cutoff” (runner-up: John Hawkes, “Winter’s Bone”)

Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom” (runner-up: Rooney Mara, “The Social Network”)

Original Screenplay: Abbas Kiarostami, “Certified Copy” (runner-up: Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, “The Kids Are All Right”)

Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network” (runner-up: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, “Winter’s Bone”)

Editing: Bahman Kiarostami, “Certified Copy” (runner-up: Jim Helton and Ron Patane, “Blue Valentine”)

Cinematography: Christopher Blauvelt, “Meek’s Cutoff” (runner-up: Caroline Champetier, “Of Gods and Men”)

Score or Soundtrack: Grizzly Bear, “Blue Valentine” (runner-up: Jorge Arriagada, “Mysteries of Lisbon”)

Foreign Language Film: Xavier Beauvois, “Of Gods and Men” (runner-up: Raul Ruiz, “Mysteries of Lisbon”)

Documentary: Charles Ferguson, “Inside Job” (runners-up: Werner Herzog, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”; Banksy, “Exit Through the Gift Shop”)

Most Promising Filmmaker: Derek Cianfrance, “Blue Valentine” (runners-up: Debra Granik, “Winter’s Bone”; David Michôd, “Animal Kingdom”)

Breakout Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone” (runner-up: Édgar Ramírez, “Carlos”)

Spotlight Award: Léa Seydoux, “Mysteries of Lisbon” (runner-up: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brie Larson, and Aubrey Plaza, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”)


2011 Most Anticipated

2011 has big shoes to fill, but it has some tricks up its sleeve, like a new Dardenne, high-class literary adaptations (“Jane Eyre”), and two sure-to-be-memorable sci-fi epics from Terrence Malick and Lars von Trier. It will also feature multiple sophomore follow-ups from Tomas Alfredsson (“Let the Right One In”), Steve McQueen (“Hunger”), Bennett Miller (“Capote”), and Jeff Nichols (“Shotgun Stories”).

An out-of-left-field possibility is “The Turin Horse,” a black-and-white apocalyptic drama spun off the famous Nietzschean horse-whipping story. Rumoured to be Hungarian director Béla Tarr’s final film, it is arriving laden with big expectations.


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