Ed Hu, 2010
Jean Talon Marche, Montreal My Favorite Movie Experiences of 2010 The Well-Told Story Toy Story 3—Rarely do you walk away from a movie-going experience feeling totally and utterly satisfied. This is one of them. Pixar does it again with a tremendously moving, touching and perfectly executed feature for all ages. The end brought me to tears.
127 Hours—Who knew that the harrowing true story of canyoneer Aron Ralston who cut off his arm to survive his torturous ordeal could be so entertaining, dazzling and beautiful. Credit an outstanding James Franco and director Danny Boyle in his follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire.
How To Train Your Dragon— Perhaps DreamWorks Animation’s best pic to date, this is an incredibly heartwarming coming-of-age story that took me by surprise. Great story combined with dazzling animation; for those who care (or notice), consultation from veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins helped create a truly sophisticated visual look.
The Fighter—Trust me, I am not a boxing movie fan, but a terrific, spot-on performance by Christian Bale and a supporting cast of Amy Adams, Melissa Leo and whoever plays the six (or is it seven) big-haired Lowell, MA sisters of the Ward brothers puts this comeback story on the list.
The Kids Are All Right—Smart, bittersweet, honest, and sophisticated dramedy about the trials and tribulations of a “modern” family. With outstanding acting performances from Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo.
Real Real Life Stories aka Documentaries
Like Them or Not, Movies That Mess With Your Mind And Stick With You Black Swan—Not for everyone, this trippy, psychosexual thriller by Darren Aronofsky features mesmerizing performance by Natalie Portman as fragile ballerina on a frighteningly emotional journey pursuing the role of a lifetime. Also features great Barbara Hershey as controlling mother. Inception—Ambitious thriller that demands multiple viewings to fully capture and appreciate the dream-world creation of Christopher Nolan with some dazzling sequences, including a “how’d he shoot that” zero-gravity sequence. Pay attention or you’ll be as lost as Ken Watanabe’s character in the movie. Movies Based on Real Life Stories The Social Network—Sorkin + Fincher + great cast = entertaining perfection. Who knows (or cares) what’s true or not, this impeccably made film about the founding of Facebook is story -telling, writing, acting and directing at its best. Performances are all great, but Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield are perfect, respectively, as id and superego to Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg. The King’s Speech—Does it get any better than Colin Firth? Throw in a deliciously superb Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, and you are in for delightful treat--a thoroughly satisfying story about the future King George VI overcoming his stammering with an unorthodox treatment and friendship. An elegant British historical buddy movie. I Love You Phillip Morris— A deliriously funny, oddball romantic dramedy. Jim Carrey is at his charismatic best in a tour de force performance as real-life con man Steven Russell (currently serving 144 year sentence in Texas for his crimes) who will literally stop at nothing to be with the love of his life played by Ewan McGregor as you’ve never seen him.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work—A ruthlessly honest and revealing documentary about a year in the life of Joan Rivers at 75 years old. A riveting “piece of work.” Art of the Steal—If you care about art or the art of politics, this is a gripping and entertaining must see about the battle over the Barnes Foundation (and its estimated $25 billion+ worth of art) and its move from the quiet suburb of Merion, PA to museum row in Philly. Catfish—Less said the better. One of the most intriguing movies of the year, this is the “other” Facebook movie—the real one. Interestingly marketed as a potential mystery/docuthriller, it goes someplace totally unexpected; a fascinating commentary on 21st century social media. Comic Book Related Films Scott Pilgrim vs. The World— Comic book + indie rock + video game = Michael Cera fighting off the seven ex’s of his new girlfriend. One of the most refreshingly original, vivid and inventive movies of the year. It won’t be everyone’s taste, but for me, this was just plain spirited fun. Kick-Ass—Absurdly and darkly funny, this ultra-violent and outlandish film features DIY superheroes with standout pre-teen Hit Girl (a terrific Chloe Grace Moretz in a breakout role) and a very funny Nicholas Cage as her father, Big Daddy. Not for faint of heart, but wildly entertaining. Honorable Mention: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Waiting for “Superman”, The Town, Green Zone, Despicable Me Still in the queue: True Grit, Winter’s Bone, Inside Job, The Illusionist, Tangled, Rabbit Hole, Inside Job, Let Me In, Blue Valentine, Biutiful, Get Low. Also, discovered the joys of Friday Night Lights. Wow, how did I miss this wonderful television the past few years.