Here are my five picks for the best films of 2010:
5. Morning Glory
Morning Glory is a remarkably well-thought-out comedy that explores the lives of journalists and talk show hosts.
Harrison Ford plays Mike Pomeroy, a veteran journalist who is assigned, to his chagrin, to a position as a host on a struggling morning news program called DayBreak. Pomeroy, remembering his years as a serious journalist, resists conforming to the expectations of morning talk show hosts by refusing to banter with the other hosts and any assignment that he regards as beneath him (such as cooking specials).
The film poignantly and amusingly portrays Pomeroy’s transformation from an angry, arrogant, washed-up journalist to a more open-minded man who learns that he can have fun and keep his sense of self-respect at the same time.
4. Toy Story 3
Although I will give Despicable Me an honourable mention, Toy Story 3 is by far the best animated film to come out in 2010.
Back in 1995 my Dad took me to my first movie at the cinema, Toy Story. My 3-year old mind barely understood the movie and continually misheard the pronunciation of Light Year’s name. I kept thinking Woody was calling him Fuzz for some reason. A few years later the sequel came out and I understood that one much better.
Throughout my childhood I grew up with Pixar movies and never missed one when they were released. I developed a great deal of appreciation for the two Toy Story movies and when I heard of the third one I was honestly sceptical. Aside from Up and Wall-E I thought Pixar was going a bit downhill in recent years. I was not impressed with Cars or Ratatouille and I was suspicious that Toy Story 3 would be little more than an over-killed cash-grab. That is until I saw it of course.
Toy Story 3 was a terrific end to a story that began when I was 3 years old. Andy was now in college and so was I at the time. The film spoke to me as a newcomer to the grown-up scene as Andy was in the same predicament. Andy was a child when I was child and he grew up when I did Like Andy’s mom, my mother had also grown older and more sentimental by time I moved out. My childhood was also stuffed away in boxes and bags. It impressed me how Toy Story 3 spoke not so much to a newer younger generation of Pixar fans as it did to the now grown-up children who saw the original Toy Story back in 1995.
The ending was sweet, dramatic, and moving. Any scepticism I might have had was gone by time the credits rolled.
3. Let Me In
Let Me In is by far the best horror film of 2010 and the best vampire story in recent years. I have not seen the Swedish film, Let the Right One In, so I cannot vouch for this film’s comparison to it or it’s faithfulness to the original novel; but going from what I know this is a masterpiece of horror cinema.
When this movie came out I foolishly went to see My Soul To Take instead which is a much inferior film. I regrettably did not see Let Me In until its DVD release.
Let Me In could be described as a vampire love story but before the Stephanie Meyer critics storm away from this blog, I should mention that this movie is nothing like Twilight. It’s dark, violent, and disturbing on the deepest levels.
In the film a young boy named Owen is bullied daily at school. He befriends a 12 year old girl who moves in next door named Abby (played by Chloe Grace Moretz of Kick-Ass fame). She is cold and distant to him at first but eventually decides to risk friendship with Owen despite her fears for his safety since she is a vampire.
I will not spoil how far their relationship goes in the end and how the story plays out, but I will say it has a violent, dark; albeit bittersweet climax that leaves the viewer in the position to interpret what the future lies for Abby and the Owen.
2. Black Swan
I do not regard this as one of Darren Aronofsky’s best films. But, I believe it is still one of the better films of 2010.
In a visually twisted and bizarre series of events we see a rivalry between two ballerinas played by Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis develop as they prepare for a performance of Swan Lake. As their hatred and competition grows more and more unstable Portman loses her grip on reality and her obsession with her job and her conflicted feelings toward Kunis all lead to a breakdown that leaves the audience puzzled but fascinated.
Like all Aronofsky films Black Swan is visually arresting and artistic in flavour while telling a gripping story of rivalry, revenge, and growing madness. For those who enjoy art cinema I recommend this film highly since it is a perfect example of a film that can be mainstream and arty at the same time.
I am gonna go on record and say that I love the works of Christopher Nolan. Even his lesser films such as The Dark Knight Rises or The Prestige allow the viewer to think and not shut down cognitive processes for the sake of pop-corn entertainment. Inception is definitely no exception.
In this brilliant film Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb an expert at Extraction which is the theft of valuable information from important figures by entering their dreams.
Cobb is hired by a businessman (Ken Watanabe) to use his skills to take down a rival corporation which threatens his profits. The plan is to instead of stealing info (extraction) Cobb would rather in a reverse process plant an idea (inception) into the heir (Cillian Murphy) of the rival company’s dying owner that he should abandon the company allowing it to dissolve in favour of pursuing Murphy’s personal interests.
I won’t spoil the climax but the Inception has an ending that left me gratified to know that some filmmakers still know how to make movies that don’t need to spoon-feed everything to their audience. Here we have a movie that allows its audience to make their own decisions about the meaning of the ending instead of being benefited with needless exposition. Sometimes questions are more important than answers.
Contributor: Rick McGimpsey