I won’t deny the vanity of year-end lists. Most professional critics will sit through over 100 new films per year and the year-end list is a badge of honor that says, “These are the films I appreciated the most. Behold.” Despite the vanity, I continue to think that the year-end Top 10 provides a valuable service to the average moviegoer. Most folks don’t have the time, cash, or inclination to see every movie released in a given year and a Top 10 list says, “Here are the must-see films from the past 365 days. Netflix them or something.” I didn’t get to see every film that could have potentially made this list, but I feel confident in my choices. So forgive my indulgence and hit the jump for my Top 10 films of 2010.
In my profession, there are two very important things you must do: watch movies and keep notes. I did an alright job with the first one, but admittedly fell short on the latter. While last year I was able to confidently provide what I thought were the best kills and quotes, this year I didn’t do a good job with record keeping and so I’ve omitted those categories. Next year I’ll be more meticulous and make it a point to see movie where people get destroyed while saying witty things.
However, I did see enough movies to confidently make a list of the folks I thought were the best actors, directors, and other miscellaneous greats. Hit the jump to check out my picks.
The critics’ lists just keep on coming. We already brought you the American Film Institute and the Boston Society of Film Critics’ awards for the best in film of 2010 earlier today, and now the Los Angeles Film Critics Association has announced the winners of their awards. The Social Network was, again, the big winner. David Fincher’s award-magnet picked up Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Music, and in a tie with Carlos’ Olivier Assayas, Best Director. In a bit of a surprise, the other big winner was the French-German television mini-series-turned theatrical film Carlos. The film took home the award for Best Foreign-Language Film as well as Best Director. Oscar heavyweight The King’s Speech only managed to pick up one award, Best Actor. Hit the jump for a full list of winners and runners-up.
Michael Haneke, a director whose films are quite good but not for those looking for a nice, pick-me-up (“The Piano Teacher” has nothing do with piano lessons or teaching, I assure you), took home the Palme d’Or, the top prize at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival for his film “The White Ribbon” which is a stark black-and-white drama set in a rural German village on the eve of WWI…so still probably not a laugh-a-minute romp.
This is Haneke’s first time taking home the Palme but he’s received love from the festival before, winning Best Director in 2005 for “Cache” and the Grand Prix for “The Piano Teacher”. Actress Isabelle Huppert, who won Best Actress for “Piano Teacher” at Cannes and served as President of the Jury this year, bestowed the award on a delighted Haneke.
Other awards include the Grand Prix for Jacques Audiard’s tough prison drama, “A Prophet,” and Sony Classics must be pretty happy right now since they bought the rights to both “Ribbon” and “Prophet” before either film screened at the festival. That’s some nice foresight on their part.
Adding fuel to the Oscar-buzz he’s already gaining for his performance in “Inglourious Basterds”, Christopher Waltz took home Best Actor for his portrayal of Col. Landa, a Nazi “Jew Hunter” (please let the film have bagels on fishing hooks; pleeeease let the film have bagels on fishing hooks) and while Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” provoked strong reactions from its audience, Charlotte Gainsbourg won Best Actress.
Finally, Grand Jury prizes were given to Andrea Arnold for “Fish Tank” and Park Chan-wook for “Thirst”.
Click here to see the full list of award winners.