Top 5 Movies of 2010

17 Dec
Jean Dujardin

Jean Dujardin

So the nice thing about having a blog is that I can take what has always been a mental ritual every December- making a list of my favorite movies of the year- and actually write it down.  I went to IMDB, perused the list of all movies released this year to refresh my memory, and came up with…well, not even ten. Okay, not a lot of movies knocked my socks off this year.  But five did.  The brief list, as well as a brief justification for my eclectic taste in film. In order of release date:

Dear John. I think 90% of romantic comedies are a giant waste of Hollywood’s best actresses (see: Amy Adams), perpetuate romantic myths (he’s so mean to her so…they must be meant for each other!) and are usually just woefully unfunny. I do, however, love a good romantic drama.  Dear John told the story of two young people falling in love that was not ripped from a Disney fairy tale…ok, it was ripped from the pages of a Nicholas Sparks novel. But it was well-told, heart-warming, and brought back the old art of letter-writing.  A bit of a guilty pleasure, and I loved it.

OSS 117: Lost in Rio. The French don’t always do arthouse cinema, though many would be forgiven for thinking that. Trust me, I lived there. Often, they do achingly bad comedy (just ask Thierry L’Hermitte).  And occasionally, original, enormously funny comedy.  This is the second movie in what I hope is a long series.  Think Austin Powers, but extremely politically incorrect, in exotic locales, and with a very handsome leading man, Jean Dujardin. And with lots of Nazis. Hilarious.

El Secreto en Sus Ojos. This movie tells a simple story- cop is obsessed with hunting down the one murderer that eluded him.  Cop is in love with the young lawyer he works with.  Cop and lawyer hunger for justice.  But this story is so well-paced, well-acted, and the ending is so twisted and satisfying, that if you enjoy crime dramas, it’s one of the best you’ll see in the genre.  The words “Usted dijo perpetua” lingered in my head for days after this movie.

Mesrine: Killer Instinct. Vincent Cassel is one bad-ass movie star.  He’s got the sex appeal of George Clooney, the acting chops of a young Robert DeNiro, and the masculinity of a young Marcello Mastroianni. He plays the real-life criminal legend Jacques Mesrine, who ruled the French criminal underworld, escaped from prison multiple times and orchestrated a kidnapping and a massive prison break, on three continents over two decades. This was the best action movie I’ve seen in a long time.  And Cassel deserves an Oscar for playing Mesrine so effectively.

The Social Network. Yes, it’s on everyone’s year-end list.  Yes, it tells the story of the little blue and white website that could.  Yes, there may inevitably be a “Social Network” backlash- it’s almost too praised, there have to be some flaws, right? Well, yes, there are inaccuracies.  The real Mark Zuckerberg has had the same girlfriend since before Facebook started. But allow creative genius Aaron Sorkin a few liberties as he crafts the story of how an anti-social computer geek started a tool that connected the world…and lost his closest friend in the process. I loved the pulsing soundtrack by Trent Reznor (yes, THAT Trent Reznor), the acting by Andrew Garfield, Jesse Eisenberg, and even Justin Timberlake. The story of a young entrepreneur gaining an empire and losing his soul is as old as Citizen Kane. But although there may be nothing new under the sun, what matters is how the story is told. And “The Social Network” had me at the opening chords of “Ball & Biscuit” by The White Stripes. This movie deserves all the accolades.

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8 Responses to “Top 5 Movies of 2010”

  1. onlifemag December 28, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    Thanks for the list..I will try and look for them and watch them…Not all of them good movies arrive to this small Island called New Zealand.

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