Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2010: list time

I still haven't come to terms with how good this was, overall, as a movie year. A few things seem clear: it was a stellar 12 months for animation, with two wildly different specialised releases inside my final ten, two mainstream ones (Toy Story 3 and the delightful How to Train Your Dragon) hovering just below, and one belatedly released claymation gem (Mary & Max) justifying everyone's enthusiasm too. It was a pretty weak year for documentaries, with due apologies to Frederick Wiseman's luminous La Danse and a pair of exciting, slippery indie wind-ups in Catfish and Exit Through the Gift Shop. And it really wasn't much of a year for things big and loud from Hollywood, was it? There was a serious lack of basic fun in that department, whatever we extracted from the overambitious Inception; I remember an early summer of Titans, 2012s and Alice in Wonderlands that seemed to go on forever, and the par for even Apatowian comedy and, heaven help us, Katherine Heigl vehicles dipped alarmingly. I still think Tony Scott's Unstoppable might be the most proficient straight action ride I saw this year, but there weren't enough Unstoppables. There weren't even enough Salts.

Anyway, my gratitude for such succulent pickings in the Euro and Asian art-house zones will be pretty clear from the below ten, and it's worth mentioning how many solid-to-good British debuts (Down Terrace, Monsters, Shed Your Tears and Walk Away) buttressed the Leigh and Mullan entries, even speaking as someone much less enamoured of Clio Barnard's The Arbor than most. Having already voted under stricter criteria for the London Critics' Circle Awards and Evening Standard Film Awards, I've cut loose a little here, including several yet-to-be-released movies I saw at festivals, so it's not exactly a level-playing-field list for either UK or US readers, but having put White Material at #4 on my 2009 run-down, this seemed like the most sensible way to go.

PS. I am bound to have forgotten things/people, particularly on the runners-up lists for acting, so will continue to tweak after posting and put any additions in bold.


1. Dogtooth
2. I Am Love
3. Poetry
4. Raging Sun, Raging Sky
5. The Illusionist
6. The Fighter
7. The Headless Woman
8. How I Ended This Summer
9. City of Life and Death
10. A Town Called Panic

runners-up: Another Year, Au Revoir TaipeiNeds, La danse, Carlos, Toy Story 3, Father of My Children, Mary & Max, How to Train Your Dragon, The Maid, Winter's Bone, Beeswax, The Social Network, Whip It, Fish Story, The Temptation of St Tony


Lee Chang-dong (Poetry)
Julián Hernández (Raging Sun, Raging Sky)
Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth)
Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)

runners-up: Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love), Jessica Hausner (Lourdes), Lu Chuan (City of Life and Death), Sylvain Chomet (The Illusionist), Peter Mullan (Neds), Frederick Wiseman (La danse), Mike Leigh (Another Year), Arvin Chen (Au Revoir Taipei), Sergei Loznitsa (My Joy)


Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine)
Louis-do de Lencquesaing (Father of My Children)
Edgar Ramirez (Carlos)
Andy Serkis (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll)

runners-up: Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom), Robert Hill (Down Terrace), Dragos Bucur (Police, Adjective), Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right), Eugene Byrne (The Be All And End All), Riz Ahmed (Four Lions), Jim Broadbent (Another Year), Colin Firth (The King's Speech), James Franco (127 Hours), Jay Baruchel (She's Out of My League), Mathieu Amalric (On Tour), Eric Elmosnino (Gainsbourg), Grigoriy Dobrygin (How I Ended This Summer)


Juliette Binoche (Certified Copy)
Yoon Jung-hee (Poetry)
Catalina Saavedra (The Maid)
Kristin Scott Thomas (Partir)
Tilda Swinton (I Am Love)

Extra-close runner-up, but I just couldn't do it to Tilda... Emma Stone (Easy A)

runners-up: Ruth Sheen (Another Year), Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham), Greta Gerwig (Greenberg), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), Anne Dorval (I Killed My Mother), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Kristen Stewart (The Runaways), Kim Hye-ja (Mother), Hilary Swank (Conviction), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine/Mammoth), Brenda Blethyn (London River), Tilly Hatcher (Beeswax), Maggie Hatcher (Beeswax), Sylvie Testud (Lourdes)


Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Jemaine Clement (Gentlemen Broncos)
Sergei Puskepalis (How I Ended This Summer)
Steven Robertson (Neds)
Peter Wight (Another Year)

runners-up: Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole), Jackie Chan (The Karate Kid), Lawrence Ko (Au Revoir Taipei), Rhys Ifans (Greenberg), John Hawkes (Winter's Bone), Michael Shannon (The Runaways), Colin Farrell (The Way Back), Dan Byrd (Easy A), Eddie Marsan (Heartless), Yvan Attal (Partir), Andrew Garfield (The Social Network), Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech), Mickey O'Keefe (The Fighter), Cillian Murphy (Inception), Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim vs the World), Armie Hammer (The Social Network), Sam Rockwell (Conviction), Pete Postlethwaite (The Town), Jeremy Renner (The Town), Tom Noonan (The House of the Devil), Dakin Matthews (True Grit), David Thewlis (London Boulevard), Daryl Sabara (World's Greatest Dad)


Dale Dickey (Winter's Bone)
Monica Dolan (The Arbor)
Julianna Margulies (City Island)
Anita Reeves (The Maid)
Dianne Wiest (Rabbit Hole)

runners-up: Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right), Imelda Staunton (Another Year), Lydia Leonard (Archipelago), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom), Amy Adams (The Fighter), Juliette Lewis (Conviction), Karina Fernandez (Another Year), Greta Gerwig (The House of the Devil), Charlotte Rampling (Life During Wartime), Kate Fahy (Archipelago), Claudia Celedón (The Maid), Mila Kunis (Black Swan), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Kimberley Elise (For Colored Girls), Anika Noni Rose (For Colored Girls, mainly the monologue), Emily Watson (Cemetery Junction), Rosamund Pike (Made in Dagenham), Rebecca Hall (Please Give), Amanda Peet (Please Give), Cher (Burlesque), Elina Löwensohn (Lourdes)


Andrew Bujalski (Beeswax)
Mia Hansen-Løve (Father of My Children)
Aaron Katz (Cold Weather)
Efthimos Filippou/Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth)
Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective)

runners-up: Adam Elliot (Mary & Max), Jessica Hausner (Lourdes), Götz Spielman (Revanche), Derek Cianfrance/Joey Curtis/Cami Delavigne (Blue Valentine), Alexei Popogrebsky (How I Ended This Summer), Sergei Loznitsa (My Joy), David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), Luca Guadagnino etc (I Am Love)


Shauna Cross (Whip It)
Sylvain Chomet/Jacques Tati (The Illusionist)
Tamio Hayashi (Fish Story)
Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
William Davies/Dean DeBlois/Chris Sanders
(How to Train Your Dragon)

runner-up: Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (click titles for excerpt)

Jeff Grace (The House of the Devil)
Dickon Hinchliffe (Winter's Bone)
Daft Punk (TRON: Legacy)
Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross (The Social Network)
Simon Whitfield (Skeletons)

runners-up: Michael Brook (The Fighter), Alexandre Desplat (The Ghost — and only The Ghost), Hans Zimmer (Inception), Jon Hopkins (Monsters)


Kirk Baxter/Angus Wall (The Social Network)
Ivan Lebedev (How I Ended This Summer)
Christopher Rouse (Green Zone)
Moon Sae-kyoung (Mother)
Dylan Tichenor (The Town/Whip It)

runners-up: Teng Yun (City of Life and Death), Jonathan Amos/Paul Machliss (Scott Pilgrim vs the World), Ti West (The House of the Devil), Walter Fasano (I Am Love)


How to Train Your Dragon
Valhalla Rising
Winter's Bone

runners-up: The Social Network, Inception, The Temptation of St Tony


Thimios Bakatakis (Dogtooth)
Philipp Blaubach (The Disappearance of Alice Creed)
Martin Gschlacht (Lourdes/Revanche)
Oleg Mutu (My Joy)
Y. Mingmongkor/S. Mukdeeprom
(Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives)

runners-up: Pawel Edelman (The Ghost),  Bárbara Álvarez (The Headless Woman), Barry Ackroyd (Green Zone), Harris Savides (Greenberg), Kim Hyun-seok (Poetry), Andrew Reed (Cold Weather), Michael Fimognari (Au Revoir Taipei), Matthew Libatique (Black Swan), Yorick Le Saux (I Am Love), Alejandro Cantú (Raging Sun, Raging Sky), Benoît Debie (Enter the Void), Matt Gray (Heartless)


Antonella Cannarozzi (I Am Love)
Robin Fitzgerald (The House of the Devil)
Beatrix Aruna Pasztor (The Brothers Bloom)
Catherine Marie Thomas (Whip It)
Amy Westcott (Black Swan)

runners-up: Jeffrey Kurland (Inception), Carol Beadle (The Runaways), Mark Bridges (The Fighter), Ruth E. Carter (Black Dynamite)


Donald Graham Burt (The Social Network)
Adam Elliot (Mary & Max)
Bjarne Hansen (The Illusionist)
Stavros Hrysogiannis (Dogtooth)
Hao Yi (City of Life and Death)

runners-up: Francesca Balestra Di Mottola (I Am Love), Bob Pauley (Toy Story 3), Ryu Seong-hie (Mother)


Monsters (for resourcefulness, not perfection)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
The Social Network (for the Winklevi, not the digital breath)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives


Another Year
The Fighter
Whip It
On Tour



NicksFlickPicks said...

Such a fantastic list! Idiosyncratic and eclectic without being show-offy in either respect. So much to savor, re-think, and catch up with here. I'm already kicking myself for spurning Partir during its four-day run here last week.

"Maxific" is my word verification, which seems like the right word for this delicious list. Unless it's a terrible word, like something Peter Travers would coin in relation to the score of I Am Love.

James T said...

Nice to know your choices even though I've seen the minority of them.

I've watched only your no1 and 2 from your top10 and I skipped no3. I do regret it. Maybe if I had friends interested in going to the movies that are not called Avatar or Inception...

I wonder if I take Tilda for granted because I was not impressed by her perf in I Am Love. I just though it was very easy for her.

Glad to see a Greek film topping the list even though I "just" liked it. Our National Theater seems eager to take advantage of Lanthimos since they hired him to direct "Platonov" which seems like minor Checkov. Just because he made a good movie, it doesn't mean we should be dying to watch a play directed by him.

I'm afraid Nathaniel will be pissed to see Stewart and Swank on the same level (runners-up) as Kidman. You're a brave man :p

Dave said...

I must skip straight to a slight complaint: not even a runner-up mention for Michelle Williams? (I somehow find it easier to accept that you perhaps disliked Lesley Manville...)

As always at this point of the year, I'm yet to see much of this, though I heartily endorse such a high placing for Poetry and the mention of Peter Wight. Can't agree on the photography of ... Alice Creed; as I remember it, that was a large part of what I found so obnoxious about the film.

And all the recent love for Julianna Margulies makes me incredibly eager for a City Island viewing.

tim r said...

Funnily enough, Michelle Williams was on and off that runner-up list like a yo-yo. Just as much for Mammoth as Blue Valentine, in which I did find her faintly disappointing. I certainly don't defend Mammoth as a whole, but she's at least as good there if not better. Meanwhile, a second viewing confirmed how uneven I think Manville's work is, particularly her first few scenes. She gets a lot better, but it's one of those instances where she was never going to get into my final five, and I didn't think it was worth the rather grudging consolation prize of a runner-up nod, especially considering all the other awards she's reaping. (Those runner-up fields are absurdly overstuffed as it is.) So it's not that I disliked her at all, it's just that I didn't like her quite enough, and Wight's right there giving us a masterclass in the exact area that's the biggest drawback of her performance, which is to say the depressive drunk acting.

Contrast Firth, in a film I'm pretty down on, but undeniably in complete control of what he's doing, and actually not far from placing. (I'll admit I couldn't bear to seem quite so unoriginal.)

Robert Hamer said...

So you think Christian Bale was a supporting actor in The Fighter? I don't know, he's got an awful lotta screen time...

tim r said...

A borderline case, as often (his category-mate in How I Ended This Summer is too), but in this instance I'm happy to go along with the general trend of current awards handouts. I see Wahlberg as the harassed centre of that movie and everyone else as bickering satellites, if that makes any sense? And Bale is deliberately (if conspicuously) absent for many key scenes? More of a Mo'Nique situation than a Christoph Waltz situation? But I can see both arguments. Anyway, at a certain point I give up with applying too many rules to this game!

Robert Hamer said...

Fair enough. I certainly won't deny that in the cases of performers like Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender and Mark Ruffalo, there's room for interpretation. I'm just glad you didn't go with the "general trend" on Hailee Steinfeld!

tim r said...

No way! She's categorically the lead. And only quite good, I think.

Cal said...

In the Emma-Tilda war, there's only one winner for me, although she might be beaten into sixth place in my ballot too! :-( But I guess that it's just a great year for actresses in general.

I probably liked Manville a bit more than you, but I agree the performance ain't all that. There's some very obvious comic timing going on there, although the anecdote about the car pretty much had me in stitches. A better second half.

Unstoppable not enough for an honourable mention?

Loving the Karina Fernandez and Anika Noni Rose runner-up inclusions.

Colin Low said...

Aw, I was hoping Imelda Staunton's Another Year perf would get a mention here, especially since you devoted a proportionally larger slice of your review to it than it takes up in the movie's running time. 'Twas such a terrifyingly bitter turn.

tim r said...

Colin, you shame me. Clean forgot. Amended! It's because she seems to inhabit her own little movie right there at the start...

Cal, much as I liked Unstoppable, I don't think it quite deserves to be in that company. But it's much closer than I might have anticipated.

Guy said...

I'm late arriving to these, but what impeccable (yet rewardingly, well, peckable) lists.

So pleased I reminded you of Au Revoir, Taipei's endless charms -- but have you forgotten the priceless Lawrence Ko as its po-faced villain? "He's totally on my Best Supporting Actor list," I recall you saying in Edinburgh. Surely that's still good for an honourable mention?

(And while I'm talking supporting charmers from films I ranked jointly in my own list, any love for Raul Castillo in Cold Weather? That Sherlock Holmes is the fuckin' pimp, after all.)

Anyway, enough lobbying, and huzzahs for the names you did include -- I'm particularly pleased to see our beloved Julianna Margulies make it all the way to end of the year. (You did, however, chide me on Twitter months ago for suggesting her as a supporting candidate -- shaming me into placing her in lead for my First-Half FYC column! Not that I blame you for wriggling a borderline case into the category where you can actually nominate her...)

Unimprovable score category, by the way, and yay for The Brothers Bloom in costume design! Why do I feel like I've been on that particular case for the last five years?

Guy said...

One question: Are those runners-up in rank order? Because, if so -- well, Colin Firth ahead of Grigoriy Dobrygin? I won't use the "r" word, but I am surprised.

tim r said...

Yikes, glad to see someone was paying attention to what I was seeing and praising all year. Ko added. Have totally caved into supporting on Margulies, by the logic you intuit. She's almost a lead but wouldn't have placed there. Can't believe I gave you a hard time on twitter about that, nonetheless. Duly retracted. Egg wiped off face. Put her where you like!

The runners-up lists are fairly random, but I've weighted some standouts towards the front. And I'm afraid Firth probably > Dobrygin, yes. Not that I'm suggesting you switch your desktop wallpaper to a picture of the former, or anything.

tim r said...

Just found the offending Julianna tweet and that was not a chiding! I even said I could see the supporting argument! (But that she owned the movie to the point where a lead citation would equally make sense...)

Shtajner said...

Where is Kim Hye-ya??? I thought she was the best thing this year, without any doubt!

гид в барселоне said...

I saw so much worthwhile material here!

Emmanuel said...

This is great! I'm happy to see such diverse film! Loved El Cielo Dividido