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Best of 2010 at the Halfway Point

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Here's a placeholder for the "best so far" lists that crop up earlier and earlier each year, it seems -- well before June has ended.

It's a good time to post, I think, because the best film I've seen this year comes out on DVD this Tuesday.

I can't think of other titles that would qualify for a "best of" list. Lots of middling films, borderline recommendations pro or con. What am I missing? Let the listmaking begin!

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The only two films from 2010 I've genuinely liked so far are THE GHOST WRITER and SHUTTER ISLAND (especially the former). Looking at the 2010 release schedule, it does seem like we'll be seeing some nice things down the road, but 2010 hasn't exactly been a garden of cinematic delights in these first six months.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I haven't seen much this year yet. The book's taking most of my time.

But I've managed to enjoy these so far. (My 2010 list refers to films that became available/accessible in Seattle in 2010.)

LOVED IT: The Secret of Kells, The Secret in Their Eyes, The Secret of the Grain (2006, but finally available in the U.S.)

LIKED IT: Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky; How to Train Your Dragon; Shutter Island; The White Ribbon; Police, Adjective; The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

WANTED TO LIKE, BUT COULDN'T: Revanche

FILMS I'VE LOVED THAT ARE YET TO BECOME AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC: Lucky Life

FINALLY CAUGHT UP WITH THESE WINNERS FROM PAST YEARS: The Limits of Control; The Headless Woman; Julia; Yella

Edited by Overstreet

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I was wondering when this thread was going to pop up.

2010 feels to me like it's going to need a much stronger second half to be a decent film year. But as always, some of it is going to depend on what counts as a 2010 film. 35 rhums made it on quite a few film lists last year, which I simply don't get. IMDB shows it was released to three U.S. film festivals in 2009. I saw it first chance I got, which was in January. A case could also be made for The White Ribbon and Broken Embraces.

Personal taste enters into it, too. I could see someone having Harry Brown on their list at this point in the year. It doesn't make my list because I believe its worldview is misleading and false -- otherwise I see it as a very strong film. A similar case could be made in this category for Fish Tank.

So, for me, I only feel nine are worthy of ranking at this point, and I've probably seen less than twenty:

Forbidden Fruit

A Film With Me In It

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

35 rhums

Broken Embraces

The White Ribbon

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Disengagement

Shutter Island

EDIT: I think I could count The Wind Journeys and Only When I Dance, too. Forgot about those wonderful Film Movement releases.

I'm hoping to make it to The Ghost Writer this weekend, and The Secret of Kells plays again later in the month...

Does Revanche count? That would make my list.

EDIT: I would like to point out that this is me talking, and not only is there a prankumentary on my list, there's also a comedy.

Edited by Persona

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Well, in 2010's second half, I'm at least looking forward to INCEPTION, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, TRUE GRIT, and THE TEMPEST, so I wager we'll have a relatively strong second half, particularly if some off-the-radar stuff gets a release (ala Kar-Wai Wong's THE GRAND MASTER or Sokurov's FAUST, both of which I'm dying to see). It might not be a banner year, but I don't think it's going to be terrible, either.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Is The Tempest coming out this year? (Scrambles to look it up...) Wow, I didn't know it was that far along. That is exciting. I just bought the CliffNotes for 25 cents, I found them in a second hand store...

And what about Agora? The thread keeps popping up all the time, I only skim it when it does but it looks like some of our crowd have seen it. I saw a trailer for it before The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo last week.

And speaking of which, those two films are also scheduled for release this year: The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. This could be a year where an entire trilogy makes it into someone's Top Ten.

Edited by Persona

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Is The Tempest coming out this year? (Scrambles to look it up...) Wow, I didn't know it was that far along. That is exciting.

It's been done for a while, as far as I'm aware. Did some test screenings recently. AICN has a rave that suggests it's a real return to form for Taymor, and that casting Mirren as Prospera was a very smart decision.

And speaking of which, those two films are also scheduled for release this year: The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. This could be a year where an entire trilogy makes it into someone's Top Ten.

Maybe so. I've also heard some very, very good things about the RED RIDING trilogy, which I'm quite eager to see.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I've also heard some very, very good things about the RED RIDING trilogy, which I'm quite eager to see.

I actually thought about that too, right after posting about the Swedish trilogy. Yeah, the way those films came out in this area was unfortunate: if you wanted to see all three you needed to schedule them in the same week. It's too great a gamble, too much of a risk, if you don't know whether you're going to like any of them at all. Had they chosen to release the films the same way The Millennium trilogy is being released, where you know other films are lurking around the corner but have already heard rave reviews about the first one, I might have been just as excited for the Red Riding Trilogy.

I guess the Swedish films also had the edge of millions of books already sold, too.

Edited by Persona

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I never got around to coming up with a Top Ten list for 2009, so I'm not sure I should bother with any listmaking THIS year. And are we really almost halfway through the year already? Yikes.

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So far the ones I'd give much consideration to include in a year end list would be in no particular order Secret of the Kells, Shelter Island, The White Ribbon, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Abuelo (short), and North Face. Never included a short on my list before.

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I can't believe I forgot about The White Ribbon, which knocked my socks off. Maybe because I thought it was a 2009 release? Still, I didn't see it until 2010. Yes, it's maybe a stronger film than Shutter Island. I need to see both again.

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LOVED IT: The Secret of Kells, The Secret in Their Eyes, The Secret of the Grain (2006, but finally available in the U.S.)

You are a sick man Jeffrey, wanting to know everybody's secrets! wink.gif

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I should probably add Mother and Child to my list if for no other reason that the strength of performances - but I think as I think more about it there will be more to qualify it for consideration than just the performances.

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I think, technically, THE WHITE RIBBON is a 2009 film. That said, if we're counting it, I suppose I'd add that to my list. Not that I loved it, mind you, since I didn't. It's undeniably beautifully shot and is very well acted, but as a statement, it leaves something to be desired.

Edited by Ryan H.

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So far the ones I'd give much consideration to include in a year end list would be in no particular order... Shelter Island...

Bzzzzt. It came out in 2003 and starred Ally Sheedy. :)

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So far the ones I'd give much consideration to include in a year end list would be in no particular order... Shelter Island...

Bzzzzt. It came out in 2003 and starred Ally Sheedy. :)

And so good it still makes my list. ::blushing::

Ok. How about Shutter Island.

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For my own lists, I'm counting White Ribbon as '10 because Seattle didn't even get a press screening until January 19, 2010.

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What about performances? The ones that stand out to me (haven't seen Winter's Bone yet):

Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in The Runaways

William Hurt in The Yellow Handkerchief

Maybe Colin Farrell in Ondine, but it's too fresh right now for me to say.

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What about performances? The ones that stand out to me (haven't seen Winter's Bone yet):

The ensemble of women in Mother and Child.

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So far my personal list is at -

1 - The Pacific (Miniseries)

2 - Boardwalk Empire (Season One) - and I've only seen the first two hours

3 - Robin Hood

4 - Shutter Island

5 - Inception

6 - Kick-Ass

7 - Let Me In

8 - Ondine

9 - Treme (Season One)

10 - Iron Man 2

Compared to everyone else, I suppose this isn't a very "cultured" list. And when it comes to voting, I'll have to take off the TV Shows (although I still personally consider a good TV Show to just be a 10-12 hour film). On the other hand, I want to but still haven't been able to see Get Low, Never Let Me Go, Toy Story 3, and Winter's Bone, all, from what I hear, could end up on the list. I also expect Hereafter, 127 Hours, The King's Speech, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Fighter, and True Grit to be contenders for the list. Based on the trailer, I'm tempted to just put True Grit as #1, but I'm trying to keep my expectations for it in check so that I don't find myself disliking it only because I expected too much. Make fun of my enjoying Robin Hood all you want, but I liked it twice as much as I did before on a second viewing.

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I've missed a lot in the past couple years, and first half of this year, what with being in Thailand. But I caught a couple of films at TIFF for the first weekend that will possibly make the final list.

2010 so far:

(Shoo-ins/Excellent)

INCEPTION

SHUTTER ISLAND

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

NORWEGIAN WOOD

(Very good)

THE KING'S SPEECH

THE GHOST WRITER

THE KID'S ARE ALL RIGHT

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

(Probably won't be around when Jan. comes knockin')

NEVER LET ME GO

THE ILLUSIONIST (2010)

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So far, my list looks like this:

1. I AM LOVE

2. THE SOCIAL NETWORK

3. THE GHOST WRITER

4. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

5. INCEPTION

6. SHUTTER ISLAND

7. TOY STORY 3

We'll see how it looks at the end of the year. I have plenty of films to catch up on. I hope to see NORWEGIAN WOOD, BLACK SWAN, and TRUE GRIT make it. Maybe JACK GOES BOATING.

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Add LEUNG BOONMEE RALUEK CHAT (UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN REMEMBER HIS PAST LIVES) to the upper echelon of my list.

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Compared to typical years, I've seen very few films in 2010. And many of the heavy hitters are on my calendar for the next several weeks.

Nevertheless, in ALPHABETICAL order, my top 15 of 2010* at this point:

  • Babies
  • Blue Valentine
  • Four Lions
  • I Am Love
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Inception
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Shutter Island
  • The Secret in Their Eyes
  • The Secret of Kells
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Waste Land
  • Winter's Bone

*I'm qualifying this because, for me, 2010 movies are those that were available in the U.S. beyond NY and LA in 2010.

I'm guessing that only four or five of these titles will be in my updated 2010 Top 10 a month from now. Normally I want DVDs of my full top 10 list in my collection, but here, I'd only spend money on a few titles.

I'm tempted to include Sokurov's The Sun and Kechiche's The Secret of the Grain as 2010 films, since non-festival-going Americans didn't have a chance to see them until their 2010 DVD releases. If I decide to go that way, both will be near the top.

I'm also frustrated about Lee Isaac Chung's Lucky Life, which I saw early in the year, and would be near the top as well. But so far, no distributor. When will folks ever get to see this movie?

And while we're at it:

Movies I finally saw for the first time this year...

SIGN ME UP FOR THE CRITERION EDITIONS

(OR TELL CRITERION TO PRODUCE ONE RIGHT AWAY)



  • Close-up

  • F is for Fake

  • The Hit

  • La Jetee

  • Grand Illusion

  • The Secret of the Grain

  • The Sun

ALSO ENJOYED:



  • Yella

  • The Big Clock

  • Night of the Living Dead

  • The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

  • Invictus

  • The Headless Woman


DISAPPOINTED IN:



  • Revanche

  • Volver

  • Drag Me to Hell

  • Sugar

Edited by Overstreet

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I'm delighted you enjoyed F FOR FAKE, Jeffrey. It's a fascinating film and one that rarely gets the respect it deserves.

What didn't you like about VOLVER?

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