Watching and waiting: Guy’s best and worst of 2010

Posted by · 10:00 am · January 5th, 2011

What kind of year was 2010 at the movies? You tell me. It’s virtually impossible to find one yardstick to measure 365 days of cinema for a collective audience whose interests seem ever more segregated.

If your film interests are covered largely by the multiplex, chances are 2010 was an unusually unrewarding year for you, challenging even Hollywood’s standard quota of déjà vu — unless, of course, you’re an animation fiend, in which case there was a broad enough range of carefully crafted work to keep you happy.

If you tend to bypass the mall on your way to the arthouse, however, there was any amount of adventurous indie and world cinema, both newly unveiled and backlogged from previous years, to chew on — if, of course, you’re privileged enough to live in a regrettably narrow radius. And if you’re an Academy voter sifting through the crop of generously campaigned prestige fare, 2010 looks rather like the usual, only a little more so.

For me, 2010 was both immeasurably improved and somewhat complicated by the festival circuit — access to which is a luxury I shall never take for granted, but also one that inevitably skews my sense of how the film yearbook reads in the real world. When you’ve had access to most of the big-ticket winter warmers by early autumn, and when the likes of Cannes afford you a head start of many months or even years on certain international art films, things rather lose their shape.

All of which is a long way of saying that the following list is built on uneven foundations. As I don’t live in the US, sticking to that release calendar shoots me in the foot when I encounter films that are either very old news (take “Secret Sunshine,” released just weeks ago Stateside, but which I clapped eyes on in 2007) or still awaiting a UK bow.

In the end, the best my list can do is reflect my own filmgoer’s diary for 2010, of which festivals were such a significant part it seems silly to factor them out. Why wait 18 months or more to recognize films that are on my mind right now? My 2009 list included several titles (“White Material,” “Fish Tank,” “Dogtooth”) that are regular fixtures in the current spate of year-end collectives — in the end, it all comes out in the wash.

So, yes, there are some picks here you’ll have to wait for. I like to think they’re worth it, and in the case of a couple awaiting distribution, I can only hope the wait is a short one. (For the sake of parity, a list of the year’s top 10 US releases is included afterwards.) To each his own cinema, goes the phrase: in 2010, this was mine.


As usual, let’s kick things off with a few honorable mentions, to make up a mathematically pleasing 25 films. (Pedants will no doubt point out, at the end of the list, that it actually adds up to 26. But I’m way ahead of you — I started 2010 as a 26 year-old, see, so of course this number was a symbolic target.) Not entirely a “next-best” list per se, but in terms of viewing experience, this handful of titles stayed nearer my heart than others. Since I spent so much of the year discussing films in the 140-character format, I’ll do these Twitter-style:

Two peak-form stars and an elegant shuffle structure make raw wounds out of familiar domestic politics. Don’t see it with someone you love.

Dry-humping a lamppost at the corner of Tat and Treasure, with a sincere sense of pride in its performance that many loftier musicals could use.

Pleasingly probing teen comedy loses the courage of its convictions, but I couldn’t omit the vehicle carrying the year’s most beguiling lead turn.

Banksy’s shapeshifting study of artistic banditry was the supplest and most penetrating of 2010’s rich run of are-they-or-aren’t-they docs.

Sweeping environmental detail blows up an intimate two-headed study of fraternal dependence and distrust into something well-nigh operatic.

Lisa Cholodenko’s sexy, sun-kissed, spryly performed comedy smartly makes its case for alternative family structures by making none at all.

In her startlingly controlled debut, Katell Quillévéré charts the thrills and fears of teenage sexuality with an unfailingly gentle hand.

Director-writer-DP-designer-FX-artist Gareth Edward’s labor would be laudable even if his trim sci-fi debut weren’t this gutsy and lyrical.

The best documentary I saw in 2010: a freeform ramble through Genoa’s dank alleys, affording its subjects the time to tell their own stories.

All but gold-plated in its visual wealth, and leaking more narratives than I can count, Raul Ruiz’s latest is a sustained 272-minute swoon.

Okay, it rendered a script I wrote redundant. But this thistly domestic drama, elevated by Nicole Kidman in fifth gear, defeated my grudge.

Sofia Coppola audaciously revisits the template of her greatest success, rerouting relationships and taking brave liberties with scene shaping.

Undressing policemen, gimp cabaret, Cannibalism on Ice… Veiko Õunpuu’s dazzling absurdist comedy had something (or nothing) for everyone.

In a pretty joyless year for studio slam-bang entertainment, Ben Affleck and his choice ensemble kept it simple without skimping on effort.

The performances — and what performances — got the lion’s share of the praise, but Debra Granik’s clammy atmospherics take first billing.

(“How I Ended This Summer” will be released in the US through Film Movement, and is awaiting a release date. “Love Like Poison,” “The Mouth of the Wolf” and “Mysteries of Lisbon” are still seeking US distribution.)


Foreplay out the way, then, I give you my, uh, 11 best films of 2010:


Directed by Arvin Chen

Directed by Aaron Katz

I know, I know: starting the list with a tie is something of a copout. But when faced with choosing between two independents from twentysomething filmmakers — one that will have to fight for an audience in February and another that doesn’t even have US distribution yet — booting one out felt akin to kicking a puppy in the face. Plus, the two films make total sense as a double-bill, both of them playful, youthful riffs on the mystery genre: where Chen’s frisky, jewel-toned romantic caper comedy prompts thoughts of Stanley Donen dancing with Wong Kar-wai, Katz quietly clothes the ghosts of Raymond Chandler and Arthur Conan Doyle in dirty jeans and doleful wit. (“Cold Weather” will be released in the US through IFC Films on 4 February.) (Longer reviews here and here.)


Directed by Maren Ade

After months of waiting in vain for some enterprising British distributor to allow me a big-screen introduction to Ade’s critically massaged relationship drama, I finally lost patience and met the film on my laptop last week. It was an imperfect way to view a work whose aggressive sense of intimacy, like warm breath on the back of your neck, must be even more discomfiting in a darkened theatre, but the ruthless precision of this ostensibly simple breakup anatomy hits home on any format: Ade’s unfussy grasp of the central couple’s unspoken narrative suggests many critics’ Cassavetes comparisons weren’t idle ones, while stars Birgit Minichmayr and Lars Eidinger tackle uglier tensions head-on.


Directed by Mike Leigh

Like the builders’ tea his characters glug by the mugful, Mike Leigh’s films tend to be slow-brew affairs with me: in 2008, “Happy-Go-Lucky” went from a three-star appreciation in spring to a #6 year-end placing. His latest started on a higher rung, but still ascended: early concerns about an overly pat single-couple divide gradually evaporated, as savage supporting turns from Imelda Staunton and David Bradley tie knots in what might seem a placid endorsement of marriage. Push-pull auteur that he is, Leigh revisits his last film’s concern with the invention of happiness, but to chillier, more insistent enquiring effect — and finally hands the spotlight, one both generous and punishing, to his longest-serving company player, Lesley Manville. (Full review here.)


Directed by Olivier Assayas

“It’s not a biopic, not at all,” insisted Assayas in our recent interview (still coming on the site, when my hard drive deigns to release the transcript), and one couldn’t ask for a more welcome attitude from a director taking on a study of one of recent history’s most unknowable political figures. Raging, rumbustious and feeling scarcely a quarter of its imposing 330-minute running time (the shorter cut is a thoughtful but unnecessary gesture), Assayas’s epic daringly proves that a dense character study can be constructed as much from incident as from psychology, as it rattles from one electric set-piece to the next with all the letup of a Bourne thriller: its feet may be in TV, but its head is in the cinema. (Longer review here.)


Directed by Pablo Larraín

Without any Venice awards to egg on nervous buyers, Chilean writer-director Larraín’s cold sweat of a follow-up to 2008’s minor critical hit “Tony Manero” looks likely to languish in distribution limbo for some time. That’d be a shame, but also a badge of honor for a probing and profoundly upsetting piece of political filmmaking: the film shares its predecessor’s off-balance milieu of Chile’s early-1970s military coup, as well as its bone-dry humor, but broadens both its personal and historical scope to accommodate black-hearted romance and brazen what-if manipulation of actual events. Larraín’s formal abilities have taken a quantum leap, too: ingenious framing and sound-design culminate in a breathtaking 8-minute closing shot that finally makes a horror film of this dangerous one-off. (Longer review here.)


Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Aronofsky’s glassily enchanting psychological fairytale faced a pretty tough brief at its early-morning Venice press screening: not only did it have to live up to expectations amplified by an alluring trailer, but it had to make me forget my blind (and ultimately unfounded) panic that I’d lost my passport. Both tests were easily passed, as well as others we didn’t know were on the line: Aronofsky’s gleeful folding of trash-film glitter into his independent sensibility, and Natalie Portman’s graduation, before our very eyes, from promising ingénue to self-possessed star. A sister to “The Wrestler” in its evaluation of the rigors and addictions of performance, clad in lace to its predecessor’s leather, and exciting proof of its director’s growing textural dexterity. (Full review here.)


Directed by David O. Russell

In retrospect, it’s hard to believe how low my hopes were pegged here: somehow, my instincts told me this was Russell’s “one for them,” his submission to studio formula as atonement for past professional sins. Happily, my instincts were wrong. Bolshily rousing where most sports dramas settle for being politely inspiring, this proves every inch A David O. Russell Film, spilling messy trails of language and rowdy life at the edges even as it makes unvarnished grabs for audience affection. Produced outside the studio system and then reeled back in by Paramount, the film solders an indie’s sense of domestic specificity and ensemble togetherness onto a noisier mainstream storytelling arc, and winds up winning both weight classes.


Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

It’s always tricky to watch a film one has been eagerly awaiting for years on end, not least in the unforgiving environs of the Cannes Palais – when you’re that desperate to love something, it can be hard to tell if you’re watching a film or a mirage. Five minutes into Kiarostami’s rapturous voyage to Italy, however, I was disarmed to discover the film wants to be a mirage: as Juliette Binoche and William Shimell idle away a honey-colored afternoon in Tuscany, the audience is feverishly deliberating whether we’re watching an languid brief-encounter romance, a harsh cross-section of a failed marriage or, somehow, both. A conversation piece, certainly, but loose, funny and humane with it, magnetized by La Binoche’s serene, origami-intricate star turn. (“Certified Copy” will be released in the US through IFC Films on 11 March.) (Longer review here.)


Directed by Kelly Reichardt

“So, Venice got the new Malick film after all,” I tweeted immediately after emerging from the first screening of Reichardt’s austerely exquisite Oregon Trail western. I was teasing, of course, but even my devotion to Reichardt’s shoestring 2008 drifter study “Wendy and Lucy” hadn’t prepared me for the immense formal advances on display in this lean road movie without a road. Reichardt and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt scrutinize their severe, forgotten landscape like regionalist painters, conjuring narrative out of light, land and sky. In a film so burdened with physical beauty, the human thread could be neglected, but Reichardt is equally attentive to the minute, ambiguous gestures of trust and fear that alternately propel and misdirect her wanderers. (“Meek’s Cutoff” will be released in the US through Oscilloscope Pictures on 8 April.) (Longer review here.)


Directed by Sylvain Chomet

Sylvain Chomet’s blissful across-the-decades collaboration with Jacques Tati is, I’ll confess, a film I saw the morning after the night before: with my birthday falling in the middle of the Berlin Film Festival, drinking ran well into the A.M., with little regard for the one-off breakfast screening just a few hours away. With its airy narrative and moving-watercolor visual splendor, “The Illusionist” first proved a gentle hangover cure, before growing into something rather more precious: a near-wordless essay on aging, placelessness and companionship, leavened by the unmistakeable watermark of Tati’s wry observational comedy. Subsequent viewings reduce me to the same soggy puddle of tears each time. His Hulot-inspired protagonist may be a mere sleight-of-hand artist, but Chomet’s working with rarer magic here. (Longer review here.)


So there you have it. My number one probably won’t come as a surprise to my regular readers, but kudos to Chomet for hanging doggedly on to my top spot from the dark days of February onwards. Apologies if the inclusion of unreleased festival titles irks some readers, but in the January chill, it can’t hurt to give you something to look forward to.

To recap, my top 11 films of 2010:

1. “The Illusionist”
2. “Meek’s Cutoff”
3. “Certified Copy”
4. “The Fighter”
5. “Black Swan”
6. “Post Mortem”
7. “Carlos”
8. “Another Year”
9. “Everyone Else”
10. (tied) “Au Revoir, Taipei” and “Cold Weather”

And, just to please everyone, the top 10 U.S. releases of 2010. (EDIT: “Dogtooth”‘s 2010 release totally slipped my mind here, so in it goes. And because I haven’t the heart to delete “The Portuguese Nun” — a film that needs every bit of attention it can get — we wind up with a First XI to match the above list. Neat, huh?)

1. “White Material”
2. “The Illusionist”
3. “Fish Tank”
4. “A Prophet”
5. “The Fighter”
6. “Black Swan”
7. “Dogtooth”
8. “Carlos”
9. “Another Year”
10. “Everyone Else”
11. “The Portuguese Nun”

That just leaves one thing. Last year, high on eggnog and holiday spirit, I generously dispensed with a “Worst of the Year” list, only to receive complaints from several friends and readers. Having delayed this year’s list to January, however, the Christmas cheer has worn off, and I’m back to my usual crabby self. So it’s back, with the usual disclaimer that until someone pays me to review the likes of “Cats and Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,” I’m certainly not going to see them.

With that, these are the 10 worst films I saw in 2010. (I’m not going to waste any words on blurbs — they certainly don’t merit the effort.)

1. “Chatroom”
2. “Knight and Day”
3. “The Tempest”
4. “Nightwatching”
5. “Alice in Wonderland”
6. “The Extra Man”
7. “A Sad Trumpet Ballad”
8. “Aftershock”
9. “Kick-Ass”
10. “Burnt by the Sun 2: Havana Nights”

And that, patient readers, is the year that was. From where I was sitting, anyway. Fingers crossed for 2011 to offer up its own share of delights — and while those in the know claim the outlook is decidedly grim, at least a couple of titles on this list say otherwise. Happy moviegoing, everyone.

[Photos: Fox Searchlight, Screen Gems, Film Movement, Focus Features, IFC Films, The Cinema Guild, Sony Pictures Classics, Paramount Pictures and Oscilloscope Pictures]

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89 responses so far

  • 1 1-05-2011 at 2:38 pm

    Kevin K said...

    Also I completely agree with Fitz. I wasn’t very enamoured with Exit Through The Gift Shop, but I appreciated Kris putting it as his number 1, since he’s only being honest with how he felt, like Guy did with his list. My list this year is certainly a bit predictable and boring by comparison, I put The Social Network as my #1 after all, but I truly love reading the lists on this site, since they are so unique and honest. Keep up the fantastic work Kris and Guy! Here’s to another year full of great film coverage!

  • 2 1-05-2011 at 2:45 pm

    KNSat said...

    With the exception of Black Swan and The Fighter, I don’t think any of your top 2010 movies have even opened in my city (Honolulu) or ever will. I did, however, see Fish Tank on DVD, and thought it was disturbing but thought-provoking and excellent. I commend you for being yourself and not having the same boring list as too many other critics. I will definitely look for some of the films on DVD if they fail to make it to here.

  • 3 1-05-2011 at 2:50 pm

    terri said...

    Fantastic list. Glad to see The Fighter so high. Really do love that movie. Christian Bale really is phenomenal in this. Loved the whole ensemble too. Hope it pulls an upset at the Academy Awards.

  • 4 1-05-2011 at 3:15 pm

    sp said...

    Guy, you have a tendency to support awful pop singers, no matter how hideous the films & performances are : Cher in “Burlesque” and Taylor Swift in ” Valentine’s Day.” Please, stop, their is nothing artistic about “Burlesque, ” and this film deserves to be placed on a guilty pleasure list – not a honorable mention list .

  • 5 1-05-2011 at 3:17 pm

    Dr. Strangelove said...

    Uncle Boonmee? Definitely up your alley and a legitimately great film.

  • 6 1-05-2011 at 3:29 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Not that this deserves to be here, but I saw it in your honorable mentions:

    I saw ‘Rabbit Hole’ yesterday at my local arthouse.

    Very good. I really got a lot out of it.

    It’s no frills, for sure. But then, I’m glad for that. Nicole Kidman really should be nominated. In fact, I found her almost as good as Portman, and quite a bit better than Bening.

  • 7 1-05-2011 at 3:51 pm

    Eli said...

    I’ve seen only two of your top ten – I loved The Fighter and am overjoyed to see it make your list, but I think I might be the only person in the world that didn’t connect with Everyone Else. Other than that, your fiercely independent lists are always a delight to read and further incentive to see more diverse movies in the new year.

    Incidentally, I finally got to The King’s Speech and was very underwhelmed. Colin Firth was great, but I could not get some spot-on comment you made about Helena Bonham Carter’s lack of a performance out of my mind.

  • 8 1-05-2011 at 4:30 pm

    m said...


    That’s what’s so great about Burlesque. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. It’s not Fellini, but it’s great entertainment. Critics attacked Nine for being too serious and then attacked Burlesque for not being serious enough. To ask for more drama in Burlesque is to take the film more seriously than it takes itself. I have no guilt in saying I enjoyed it. The musical numbers had great choreography, staging, costuming, and lighting designs. Had the film starred Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, no one would have attacked it and written it off the way they did. But because it starred two singers, people predictably went after it. It was a perfectly fun popcorn movie that was a throwback to old Hollywood musicals and contained what so many recent musicals failed to bring: good escapist fun. I completely agree with Guy for putting it on an honorable mention list. In my opinion it’s one of the most overlooked and underrated films of the year. Not a perfect film, and certainly not the best film of the year but enjoyable nonetheless. And mention Cher in the same breath as Taylor Swift in Valentine’s Day is more than ridiculous.

  • 9 1-05-2011 at 4:42 pm

    MovieMan said...

    I only saw three of your top ten: I was not a fan of “Another Year,” “Black Swan” is a smidge overpraised but I still very much like it, and “The Fighter” JUST missed my top ten, which looks like this:
    1. “Somewhere”
    2. “Enter the Void”
    3. “I Am Love”
    4. “127 Hours” (yeah, be quiet)
    5. “Frozen”
    6. “Tangled” (the REAL best animated film of the year…sorry, Pixar)
    7. “The Eclipse” (not the “Twilight” entry, but Conor McPherson’s forgotten ghost story)
    8. “Cairo Time”
    9. “Catfish”
    10. “Easy A”

    Regarding your worst, I’ve also only seen three of those. Two of them (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Knight and Day”) I found mediocre rather than awful, and the third (“Kick-Ass”) I outright liked.
    My worst, since we’re on the subject:
    1. “Furry Vengeance”
    2. “Cop Out”
    3. “Little Fockers”
    4. “Our Family Wedding”
    5. “The Virginity Hit”
    6. “Marmaduke”
    7. “Clash of the Titans”
    8. “The Back-Up Plan”
    9. “Jackass 3D”
    10. “Vampires Suck”

  • 10 1-05-2011 at 4:45 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    @Michael: Glad the list cheered you up. The films, for the most part, won’t — it only just occurred to me what a melancholy bunch they are. (Thank God for “The Fighter” and “Au Revoir, Taipei.”) As for the worst list, if you must look forward to any of them, I recommend “Burnt by the Sun 2” and “Aftershock,” both of which I merrily chuckled all the way through.

    As for “White Material,” I understand your reservations — it’s a punishingly oblique film that asks more questions than it answers. I think much of my fascination with to it stems from my own relationship to Africa, the ambiguities of which the film echoes quite unnervingly.

    @Andrej: “Tony Manero” was a brave choice to submit to the Academy, and “Post Mortem” is an even more prickly film — perhaps the Chilean selectors sensed that.

    @SP: As I wrote in my “Burlesque” review, I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures. A pleasure is a pleasure is a pleasure — we may as well be honest about them. As for the pop singer comment, it’s a little unfair to lump a bona fide actress like Cher (an Oscar champ, lest we forget) in with Taylor Swift, much as I like them both. ;)

    @Dr Strangelove: I’m not in the “Uncle Boonmee” fanclub, I’m afraid. I wrote some brief thoughts on the film at Cannes.

  • 11 1-05-2011 at 4:49 pm

    Graysmith said...

    By the way, Guy, are you planning on doing any column with your favourites in each category, a la Kris’ ballot column? It’d be interesting to see your picks.

  • 12 1-05-2011 at 4:51 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Graysmith: Yes. For the past two years, I’ve done a two-part “ideal ballot” feature in the days leading up to the nominations, and I plan to do the same this year.

  • 13 1-05-2011 at 5:29 pm

    RJL said...

    I finally viewed The Kids Are All Right. The love for it escapes me. Julianne Moore was better than Annette Bening (I’ll admit I’m not a fan of hers), but I don’t think either was an Oscar-calibre performance. And Mark Ruffalo was simply annoying… he delivers the same characterisation and vocal intonations in every movie I’ve seen. Next up for me is Shutter Island. I hope all the previous hype doesn’t make me shudder.

  • 14 1-05-2011 at 5:51 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    RJL: I completely agree. The way people are flipping their shit for TKAAR is completely inexplicable to me. I don’t get it. What is it they are seeing in it? And I totally agree that Moore was better than Bening. I don’t agree with all this nonsense that she should win because she’s “overdue”. Since when? It’s nice to FINALLY here someone echo my thoughts on this film. I thought I was taking crazy pills for a while there.

  • 15 1-05-2011 at 6:08 pm

    Jason said...

    The picture accompanying Meek’s cutoff is not representational of the aesthetics of the film. I saw the film at the NYFF and I was taken by the way Reichardt uses the academy ratio deliberately as a way to demystify the western. The picture you supply provides the wrong impression of the film. It’s not a western of great, vast, beautiful, epic landscapes, but a film about the daily minutia and common toils associated with the journey these families are on.

  • 16 1-05-2011 at 6:14 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Jason: As you can see, all the stills I selected have been cropped to uniform dimensions for my own aesthetic purposes. None of them exactly represent the aspect ratio of the film in question — they’re slices, if you will.

    I do agree that the use of Academy ratio is one of the most arresting features of “Meek’s Cutoff.” You may recall that “Fish Tank” made very interesting use of it, too.

  • 17 1-05-2011 at 7:08 pm

    Andrej said...


    Perhaps, but sometimes our comitee can’t be taken seriously. Last year’s pick was met with harsh words, after they failed to choose The Maid in favor of Dawson: Isla 10, an unknown movie back then. They claimed the comitee was corrupt, especially since The Maid gathered a bunch of nods and wins in critics and filmmakers awards that, if it had been selected, it could have launched it to become the first chilean Oscar nominated movie (it had a preselected song, so the Academy was aware that it existed).

    They even protested in front of our gobernment palace holding FYC ads, and for some bizarre reason a Facebook group spammed Sasha Stone, insisting her to ‘vote for Catalina Saavedra’, because it was ‘NOW OR NEVER!!’ for her. Cute, but frustrating.

    Also, back in 2002 they sent “Ogú & Mampato in Rapa Nui”, merely because it was our first animated movie. A nice achievement overall, but it was sloppy and weird. No way it would ever be considered.

    It’s true that Post Mortem might be judged as “yet another dictatorship movie” (a bunch of our picks have dealt with it in some shape or form, like Dawson: Isla 10, Tony Manero and Machuca), but I thought that the word of mouth from the international press would hint them that it could be a stronger pick than Life of Fish, which here honestly it came and went, without any fanfare.

    Well… at least The Maid became the first chilean Golden Globe nominated movie. Yay. ☺

  • 18 1-05-2011 at 7:24 pm

    Tenzy said...

    Just thought I’d say I really like your list, and I’ve been meaning to see many of the films you’ve listed, especially White Material. But as a young full-time film student, it’s hard to find the time among the hundreds of films I feel I’m obligated to see already from the previous century.

    I’ve only seen 2 Claire Denis films (Beau Travail and 35 Shots of Rum), and they both left me sitting through the credits in awe.

  • 19 1-05-2011 at 7:34 pm

    Carlo said...

    Love your list Guy!

    I’m hoping I can get a copy of these lesser-known festival flicks somewhere here in the Philippines:)

  • 20 1-05-2011 at 7:47 pm

    woot said...

    i was expecting to see Catfish in your list, Guy. Since i follow your twitter and i thought you gave Catfish a B+ and Burlesque only a B-.

  • 21 1-05-2011 at 8:10 pm

    DylanS said...

    Guy, what was your problems with “127 Hours”? I remember Kris saying something in an old podcast about your utter dissappointment with it, if I remember correctly. I haven’t seen the film yet, but will as soon as I get the chance, and I was just curious to hear your opinion on it.

  • 22 1-05-2011 at 8:17 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    I am planning on watching The Illusionist this weekend but I have never seen a Tati film. Does anyone think this will affect my experience?

  • 23 1-05-2011 at 10:32 pm

    Jin said...

    Au Revoir Taipei was SO GOOD. Glad to see it here!

  • 24 1-05-2011 at 11:22 pm

    Glenn said...

    Guy, yet again you prove why you’re my favourite film writer on the net. And you’re so individual and I love it. All the films in your top 26 that I’ve seen (er, about 11?) I love, except for “Winter’s Bone”. Many of the others like “Another Year” and “The Fighter” are finally being released here soon. “Everyone Else” arrived in the mail just TODAY, which is quite fortuitous.

    My favourite thing about this entire article? “Burnt by the Sun 2: Havana Nights”. I may’ve gone with “Armed & Fabulous” though.

  • 25 1-06-2011 at 1:07 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    @Woot: My Twitter grades are only relative — they certainly shouldn’t be used to pit one film against another. I wanted “Catfish” in the honourable mentions — still like the film very much — but I only had so much room.

    @DylanS: To save time, I’ll direct you to the piece I wrote on “127 Hours” here, which should answer your question.

    @Matthew Starr: Your enjoyment and understanding of the film certainly won’t be hindered — though obviously, familiarity with Tati’s work makes certain details more resonant. And if it inspires you to check out some Tati films afterwards, so much the better.

    @Glenn: Yes, “Armed and Fabulous” is still the best one. I’ve also gone through “Tokyo Drift,” “The Deadly Art of Illusion,” “The Klumps,” “Risk Addiction” … it’s the gift that keeps giving. Thanks for the kind words — interested to hear how you get on with “Everyone Else.”

  • 26 1-06-2011 at 2:24 am

    Isaac Richter said...

    Hey Guy, just out of curiosity, was there a Bosnian film called “On the Path” and a German film called “Vincent will Meer” released in your area in 2010. I’m asking because I saw those films this last semester while living in Jerusalem and wondered where they came from or where they have been released (since they haven’t been released in the U.S., or Mexico where I live.
    “On the Path” is about a couple whose relationship is put in jeopardy when the man becomes a Muslim extremist (it’s a pretty intense film, but well done) and Vincent Will Meer (which I believe is German for Vincent Wants to Sea) is about Vincent, a man with Tourette’s Syndrome who is put in an insititution after his mother dies, and escapes from the institution in a nurse’s car with his OCD roommamte and an anorexic girl who has taken a liking. It’s a light-hearted drama, but I really responded to it. I was just wondering if you heard of either of these titles.

  • 27 1-06-2011 at 3:11 am

    Steve said...

    Love the “Au Revoir Taipei” love. Saw it at the Melbourne Film Festival a few months after a visit to Taipei. 1000 Respect points for this list!

  • 28 1-06-2011 at 3:41 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Isaac: I haven’t seen either, though I’m aware of “On the Path,” which I missed (along with so many others) at the Berlinale last year. I will look out for both — thanks.

    Steve: I’m just so pleased when someone else has seen it! So respect points right back at you.

  • 29 1-06-2011 at 7:55 am

    Dominik said...

    Unfortunately I wasn´t able to see yout Top 3 movies yet, Guy, and even “White Material” hasn´t been screened in my german town´s area so far.
    Whomever might take interest in it, this is my TOP 10 (to clarify: Like Ben M, I do include Red Riding, even though it´s a tv-series. I have only seen “1974” so far, because it was broadcasted on a german TV channel last sunday- “1980” and “1983” will follow next week, can´t wait to see them!!)

    1. A Prophet
    2. The Social Network
    3. Another Year
    4. Red Riding – 1974
    5. Carlos
    6. Fish Tank
    7. Mother
    8. The Ghost Writer
    9. Inception
    10. Black Swan

    [haven´t seen “The King´s Speech”, “Winter´s Bone” and “True Grit” yet]

  • 30 1-06-2011 at 9:46 am

    sam said...

    YOU ARE INSANE AND HAVE LOST ALL CREDIBILITY — if you are saying that Knight and Day is one of the worst films of the year — it is actually one of the best — very fun, great performances and one of the most enjoyable times at the movies.

  • 31 1-06-2011 at 9:57 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    YOU ARE INSANE AND HAVE LOST ALL CREDIBILITY if you think Knight and Day is one of the best films of — no, wait, you aren’t and you haven’t. You just happen to disagree with me.

    Some of you guys are such drama queens.

  • 32 1-06-2011 at 10:21 am

    Wrath of Connery said...

    replace Kick Ass with Iron Man 2 in the worst pictures and you have something there.

  • 33 1-06-2011 at 1:52 pm

    GB said...

    Guy, what did you think of True Grit?

    I thought it was great but becuase it was made by the Coens, it seemed almost too conventional. Had it been made by any other film makers it would probably be on more Top 10 lists.

  • 34 1-06-2011 at 4:01 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    GB: I quite like it, and that’s as far as it goes. I’ll stick with my initial Twitter reaction:

    TRUE GRIT (Coens ’10, C+) Easy, droll and handsome in a caramelised kind of way, but brothers make no case for reviving this hoary material.

  • 35 1-07-2011 at 10:13 pm

    Joe7827 said...

    2 Burnt 2 Sun?
    Burnt by the Sunset?

    Sigh… “White Material” played for one week… while I was out of town. And who knows when “The Illusionist” will be coming out.

  • 36 1-16-2011 at 11:00 am

    Sean D said...

    Beautiful list Guy. Meek’s Cutoff needs to be released soon or I’m not sure what I’ll do.

  • 37 2-06-2011 at 8:22 am

    guest said...

    “Vincent will meer” (Vincent wants to sea) is indeed a German movie; released in Germany April 2010 – and available on DVD since November 2010. It has been shown at different international movie festivals – next it will also be shown at the Berlin Festival and in Washington DC