Favourite films from 2010:
First: my absolute favourite of the year was Never Let Me Go, which was tremendously powerful. It has that wonderfully still quality that I associate most with Stephen Daldry's films. The actual director, Mark Romanek, wasn't really on my radar, but the two other films that Wikipedia lists as directed by him are films that I've enjoyed: Static (incredible example of a sharp change in tone in the film) and One Hour Photo (which totally surprised me by not being the type of movie I pegged it as). I'll probably make a point of seeing any other film with his name on it. Although it looks like he's gonna direct a Ben Stiller movie, so I might hafta rethink that.
Second: As if I Am Not There -- one of the films that I saw at the film festival. Incredibly powerful story about the use of rape as a tool of war in the Bosnian conflict. Juanita Wilson seems like another director to watch (she was previously nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2010).
Third: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- okay, everyone's reading the books these days, but I think that the film is very well done. The book is also quite good, but I'm comfortable with the idea that films are not books, and I don't expect them to be exactly the same. I think that the film is pretty close to the book, even though the film omits some stuff that I quite like in the book.
Fourth: The Trotsky -- surprisingly, a comedy. I loved this film. It made me laugh harder than any comedy I've seen in a long time.
Fifth: Inception -- after seeing it opening weekend, I wasn't sure that it was as good as some of the other Christopher Nolan films that I've seen. After watching it a number of times (I like that his films are layered) my appreciation for it has increased.
Other films I liked (Some of these came out in 2009, but I didn't see them until 2010): I Am Slave -- another film from the film festival. Hard to watch. An Education -- the film I would have chosen as Best Picture for the 2010 Academy Awards. Up in the Air -- I really like the fact that because Vera Farmiga is the love interest, Anna Kendrick gets to Do Something Else! It's kinda shocking how rare that is.
The American: again, a quiet and slow film. I enjoyed Scott Pilgrim versus the World a lot more than I thought I would (Michael Cera. Ugh.) And The Town was enjoyable. I was strongly reminded of Heat -- in fact, I think there's a brief clip of a scene from Heat playing on a TV at one point in the film.
I thought that The King's Speech was just fine, but I don't think it's quite as amazing as people seem to make it out to be.