2010: A Year in Film Part 1
Doing this so Richard will stop asking me. lol, kidding but tradition, you know. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time making my favorite films list this year. Is it because most of the things I loved this year have been on television instead? Or because looking back at my old lists, only a few of them remain true “favorites” and it makes me wary of naming names? Or because I feel like I haven’t really watched enough (Animal Kingdom, Another Year, White Material, Dogtooth, Ang Ninanais, Uncle Boonmee…among others) even though I know I can’t watch everything.
Also, I feel like my attention span with movies is getting shorter and shorter. I’ve always been guilty of fastforwarding through boring parts just to get to the end (see Filipino rom coms). But now that I stopped buying/lending [often pirated] DVDs and started downloading movies instead and watching them on my computer, I find I have to pause once in a while to check the internet or keep my hands busy with Photoshop. Not to mention, I’ve fallen asleep during at least 3 movies this year and that rarely happens. Am I just generally tired or have I developed some form of ADD?
So it’s basically been a weird year for me. And since I can’t seem to make up my mind, I’ll start with the problematic films first:
I WANTED TO LIKE YOU BUT…
I love Sofia Coppola’s aesthetic but Somewhere put me to sleep. Is it because the main character’s a guy this time? hmmm… Never Let Me Go didn’t really grab me in the first place, I’m not sure if reading the book first was a good idea. Ondine was promising yet disappointing. Christopher Nolan does it again. And by “again” I mean make me enjoy Inception and then snatch that enjoyment away with another pretentious ending that makes me go “whatever”. I hope he makes up for it in The Dark Knight Rises or else I’ll just be in the corner hugging tight my fond memories of Memento. And finally, what would The King’s Speech be without its’ performances? It was entertaining yet basic and manipulative. Especially now with its relentless campaign telling us how much it shows THE TRUE HUMAN SPIRIT. yeah, have you met any humans? I don’t think any film screamed LOVE ME! LOVE ME! more and that turns me off. case in point, this trailer:
I LIKE YOU BUT…
Oh Black Swan, I was rooting for you but you kinda lost me with your heavyhanded dichotomies. And it doesn’t help that every woman in the film (that mattered) was crazy and the only sane one felt more like a fantasy than an actual character. In “This is Brand New Information!”: Vincent Cassel plays the the hottest asshole ever to grace the screen.
The Illusionist was charming and beautifully illustrated and yet disturbingly cruel. Oh so cruel that I don’t think i can take watching it again without wanting to punch my computer screen. I almost did punch my computer screen actually. In any other year this would probably make my top 7 for that exact reason but even just thinking about how unfair and stupid the circumstances are makes me rage.
Catherine Breillat’s Bluebeard is the best fairy tale adaptation of the year (shhh! I haven’t seen her more recent Sleeping Beauty yet), infusing its heroine with the perfect amount of innocence and sly knowing. I just have a shallow wish that it had better production values. (And can I pause for a second and just say that I’m loving yet dreading the amount of fairy tale adaptations in production? I just hope they’re more Angela Carter than Stephenie Meyer)
LOVED IT but will probably not watch it again therefore I can’t really call it a “fave”
The Fighter charmed me inspite of my hate for boxing. In the meantime, I am Love is my pick for most gorgeous film of the year but I’m not sure how much I’ll like it if it wasn’t so pretty. Tilda Swinton remains a goddess.
Marilou Lopes-Benites as Catherine and Lola Creton as Marie-Catherine, Bluebeard
I wish there was video support from youtube but these pictures will have to do. The glee with which Catherine terrorizes her older sister is just (for the lack of a better term) so cute. Does she get nightmares, I wonder from filming that bloody chamber? In the meantime, her counterpoint in the story, Marie-Catherine is quite simply luminous. Or I may just be blinded by my love for her character. I only wish horror movies had more heroines like this.
Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel, Tangled
I may be biased because my love for Donna Murphy (and her fabulous voice) knows no bounds but Mother Knows Best Reprise is probably my most favorite moment in film this year. Well, at least it’s the moment that never fails to give me goosebumps no matter how many times I watch it. This is why you hire Broadway stars to sing in musicals, Hollywood!
Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, The Social Network
Oh I’m trying not to post the many highlights of this performance (Don’t fish eat other fish? The marlins and the trout! or Sorry! My Prada’s at the cleaners! Along with my hoodie and my ‘fuck you’ flip-flops, you pretentious douchebag!) but with this, he just shimmied his way into my heart and continues to be the best damn thing in every movie he’s in.
don’t ruin it, Spider-man
Nicole Kidman as Becca and Dianne Wiest as Nat, Rabbit Hole
I’ve been trying to write a coherent description but let me just throw these adjectives at you instead: subtle, nuanced, layered, honest. Dianne Wiest is still god and Nicole Kidman is still the best actress in Hollywood.
Ryan Gosling as Dean, Blue Valentine
Yeah, I was never really a fan of Ryan Gosling (sorry. didn’t like The Notebook and wasn’t really interested in his other movies) but now, oh now I’m converted. How he skillfully keeps the balance between love and infuriation with his character is just amazing. Yeah, he’s a loser but you can’t help but root for him even though you know that you won’t be caught dead married to a guy like him in real life. The final scene is just heartbreaking.
TECHNICAL FAVES AND RANDOM AWARDS
SCORE: The Social Network
Honorable Mentions: Black Swan, Inception, True Grit, Blue Valentine, The Illusionist
MISE-EN-SCENE: I am Love
Honorable Mentions: Black Swan, Somewhere, The Illusionist, Inception
SCREENPLAY: The Social Network
Best Marketing: Black Swan
Honorable Mentions: Inception, The Social Network
Best Ending: The Ghost Writer
Worst Ending: Inception
Favorite film-i-should-have-seen-last-year: A Single Man
Favorite TV performance of the year: Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Favorite Moments in Film: Mother Knows Best Reprise, Tangled
Honorable Mentions: Eduardo’s shimmy, The Social Network; Stalking the chef, I am Love; that brick in your pocket, Rabbit Hole; Nina sprouts wings, Black Swan; The beginning/end of a marriage, Blue Valentine; anything involving the sisters, The Fighter; speaking of ogresses, Bluebeard, Sharlto Copley helicopter spinning, The A-Team
Villain of the Year: Mother Gothel, Tangled
Heroine of the Year: Marie-Catherine, Bluebeard
Hottie of the Year: Vincent Cassel, Black Swan
Honorable Mentions: Alexander Siddig, Cairo Time; Paul Bettany’s abs, Legion; Patrick Wilson’s behind, Morning Glory; William Shimell’s voice, Certified Copy
un-favorite movie of the year: Burlesque, for its laughable unsexiness
honorable mention: the snoozefest that was Robin Hood, the stiff and unmagical Avatar: The Last Airbender
…to be continued with the actual list favorite films and tv shows of the year (as soon as I have time to make picspams. haha.)