I haven’t done a lot of writing about movies here on World’s Strongest Librarian. I’m not sure why. This blog basically serves as a way for me to catalog and organize my own existence, and how I engage with the world, and I watch as many movies as I read books. I’m also a fan of lists, so I’m going to take a brief look back at the films I cared about in 2010.
I’ve heard a lot of people say it was a bad, or a slow year for good movies. I disagree. If there are six movies in a year that I absolutely cannot wait to see in the theater (as someone who doesn’t go to the theater much), it’s a good year. Of course, the ratio of crap:good was heavily skewed in favor of the wretched, but we’re sending the message that that’s okay with us: we’ll keep paying and they’ll keep letting Ashton Kutcher star in films and letting the Focker franchise to ooze back into the public semi-consciousness.
But enough of that.
Not in order of greatiness:
1. True Grit
Actually, this was my #1 movie of the year. After this entry, they’re in no particular order.
Love or hate the Coen brothers, they do their own thing. I love their work almost without exception, and when I saw they were going to do a Western I just about wet my pants. True Grit was everything I wanted it to be. Loved Jeff Bridges’ performance, loved the cinematography, and the starry sky in the final scenes made me want to go camping in Texas. I also loved the original and am finally going to read the Charles Portis novel the movies are based on.
2. The Social Network
“But I don’t want to watch a movie about Facebook.” That was me. Then I got invited to a free screening and wound up loving it. Here’s my full review of The Social Network that I wrote that day.
3. Toy Story 3
I don’t watch kid’s movies unless I have a kid who wants to watch one. My son is at the age where a movie can actually entertain him…for about 15 minutes. But when he ran off after 15 minutes, I watched the whole thing. The sheer creativity of the sight gags and the dialogue is tough to beat, and the first scene where the kids run into the daycare made me laugh pretty hard. A rare third entry in a series that was every bit as good, in my opinion, as the other two.
I wonder if Christopher Nolan ever smiles about anything. His box office takes might give him some joy, but his movies are very light on levity. Doesn’t matter. They still rule. I loved Inception even more than I thought I would. People (my mom) said it was confusing, slow, boring, and that “people don’t really dream in three layers.” Maybe, but it was so unlike anything else that I didn’t care about any possible downsides. I love movies that are obviously labors of love for the writers and the director.
5. A Prophet
I love gangster movies if they’re done well. A Prophet is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It tracks the rise to power of one inmate whose ethnicity (He is a Frenchman with Arab descendants) causes a lot of trouble for him. A complicated, tense, well-written movie with one of the most visceral, grim murder scenes I can think of.
6. Winter’s Bone
As good as the book in its own way. I loved the atmosphere, the acting (especially the lead), and the spareness of it all. I also felt that the filmmakers were able to accurately depict the lives of people that many of us would consider sad and pitiful, without making the film feel judgmental at all.
If you’re a reader, here’s my Winter’s Bone book review.
There were more, but I don’t want to hog the whole post. What did I leave out? What did you love?