erik lundegaard

Friday December 17, 2010

Ten Top 10 Movies of 2010

It's mid-December and the top 10 lists are coming fast and furious ... and annoying. Critics struggle to post their annual top 10 lists earlier and earlier (to be first) even as studios release their most critically acclaimed movies later and later (to stay in the minds of Academy members as balloting progresses). Thus top 10s are full of movies that haven't been released in a theater near me (“The King's Speech”), have just been released (“The Fighter,” today), or which showed up for one showing in one weekend in October and are otherwise available, thus far, only in truncated versions (Olivier Assayas' “Carlos”). No wonder people pay less and less attention to these lists. The now is future.

That said, here are ten Top 10s. Extra points, kids, for including “Un Prophete” or “Restrepo.”

  • Anthony Lane at the New Yorker leaves off “top” for “10 Movies I Liked.” Including: “Un Prophete” (no. 1), “The Father of My Children,” “Life During Wartime,” “Dogtooth,” “Toy Story 3,” “I Am Love,” “The Social Network,” “Mother,” “Winter's Bone” and “Sweetgrass.” (Not “Wild Grass”; “Sweetgrass.”)
  • His colleague David Denby (do they talk? Pal around? Drink beers? Fake punch each other in the shoulder?) went with a “Best and Worst List.” He says the best movie of the year is “The Social Network,” then adds, “The Fighter,” “Company Men,” “The Ghost Writer,” “Toy Story 3,” “Winter's Bone” and “Please Give.” For docs he chooses three of my five: “Restrepo,” “Inside Job” and “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” For “big deal aesthetic disasters” he points to “Alice in Wonderland” (flat, repetitive), “Inception” (absurdly overelaborate and empty), and “Black Swan.”
  • In another, bloodier vein there's Stephen King over at EW. His goes: 10) “Green Zone” 9) “Jackass 3D” 8) “Monsters” 7) “Splice” 6) “Kick-Ass” 5) “Takers” 4) “The Social Network” 3) “Inception” 2) “The Town” and 1) “Let Me In.” Cute.
  • Jeff Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere? 10) “The King's Speech” 9) “Toy Story 3” 8) “Inception” 7) “Rabbit Hole” 6) “Let Me In” 5) “The Ghost Writer” 4) “Greenberg” 3) “The Fighter” 2) “Black Swan” and 1)“The Social Network.” (Wells gets extra points taken away for flailing against the L.A. Critics' decision to award Niel Arestrup's mob boss in “Un Prophete” their best supoorting actor award. Sure, the critics went for outside the box, but Wells, in his slam, comes across as decidedly provincial.)
  • Richard Corliss at Time magazine gets a little mainstream: 10) “Four Lions” 9) “Waiting for 'Superman'” 8) “Green Zone” 7) “Wild Grass” (not “Sweet Grass”) 6) “Rabbit Hole” 5) “The Social Network” 4) “Life During Wartime” 3) “Never Let Me Go” 2) “Inside Job” and 1)“Toy Story 3.”
  • AFI gets into the act and goes alphabetical with: “127 Hours,” “Black Swan,” “Inception,” “The Fighter,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “The Social Network,” “The Town,” “Toy Story 3,” “True Grit” and “Winter's Bone.”
  • For the grand man, Roger Ebert, it goes: 10) “The Ghost Writer” 9) “The Kids Are All Right” 8) “The American” 7) “The Secret in their Eyes” 6) “Inception” 5) “Winter's Bone” 4) “I Am Love” 3) “Black Swan” 2) “The King's Speech” and 1)“The Social Network.”
  • For the trend searcher, A.O. Scott: 10) “Exit Through the Gift Shop” 9) “Secret Sunshine” 8) “Last Train Home” 7) “127 Hours” 6) “Greenberg” 5) “The Kids Are All Right” 4) “Somewhere” 3) “Carlos” 2) “Toy Story 3” and 1)“Inside Job.”
  • Tim Robey over at The Telegraph gives us: 10) “Inception” 9) “The Ghost Writer” 8) “How to Train Your Dragon” 7) “Dogtooth” 6) “The Kids Are All Right” 5) “I Am Love” 4) “I Am Love” 3) “Toy Story 3” 2) “Un Prophete” and 1)“The Social Network.”
  • Finally, there's David Edelstein: 10) “Despicable Me” 9) “Marwencol” 8) “Exit Through the Gift Shop” 7) “Vincere” 6) “Mother and Child” 5) “Another Year” 4) “Toy Story 3” 3) “Please Give” 2) “Client 9” and 1)“Winter's Bone.”

So that's two “Un Prophete”s (Lane and Robey) and only one “Restrepo” (Denby). But four “The Kids Are All Right”s (AFI, Ebert, Scott and Robey) and two “Please Give”s (Denby and Edelstein)? The world is mad.

“The Social Network,” no surprise, wound up on eight of the 10, with only Scott and Edelstein abstaining. You don't get to Oscar without making a few top 10 lists.

“Toy Story 3”? Also eight of 10, with only King and Ebert kicking it to the curb.

“Winter's Bone” on five lists? Yep. Including Lane, Denby, AFI, and Ebert. Edelstein thought it the best movie of the year.

“Inception” also wound up on five lists (King, Wells, AFI, Ebert and Robey).

“The Ghost Writer,” being resurrected by European breezes, wound up on four lists (Denby, Wells, Ebert, Robey).

“Inside Job”? Three lists (Denby, Corliss, Scott).

Of the three late-season, buzz films, “King's Speech” made just two lists (Wells and Ebert), while both “Black Swan” (Wells, Ebert and AFI) and “The Fighter” wound up on three (Denby, Wells, AFI).

And no “A Film Unfinished” at all? Guess the Holocaust is so over.

My top 10 will come later. When I get a chance to see, you know, “The Fighter” and “The King's Speech” and “Black Swan.” For the five-hour “Carlos,” at this moment I can only dream.

Qui est Jeff Wells? Il est mort. MORT!

Posted at 08:27 AM on Friday December 17, 2010 in category Movies - The Oscars  
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