My ten favourite films of 2010

The best actor

1. The Road – visually stunning, utterly believable evocation of a post-apocalyptic future and a haunting meditation on loss. Viggo Mortensen, I take my hat off to you.

2. Of Gods And Men – serious, relevant and moving, this left me awestruck. My initial reaction here and afterthoughts here.

3. The Arbor – highly original, stylish and unflinching documentary on the life and legacy of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar, using actors who lip-synch to real recorded interviews to tell its story.

4. The Social Network / Catfish – these two would make a superb double bill: one a fast-paced, witty and slick retelling of the creation of Facebook, the other an unsettling low-fi doc on its implications.

5. Lourdes – portrait of a modern pilgrimage which wryly portrays all the tackiness and bureaucracy whilst allowing for the truly miraculous and even the faintest hint of menace. Perfectly balanced and beautifully composed.

6. Dogtooth – barking mad family drama/dark comedy/not-quite-sure-what from Greece – the m0st original screenplay of the year for sure. Also contains the best bonkers dancing ever.

7. A Prophet – big old muscular beast of a film by France’s most invigorating director, Jacques Audiard. Deserving of all its media praise.

8. Revanche – this dazzlingly shot (non-)revenge thriller, a study of a man’s smouldering grief and envy in the Austrian woodlands, was the most aesthetically pleasing film I saw all year.

9. Bad Lieutenant – loved this for the same reason I loved Inglorious Basterds last year: it was carefree, reckless fun. Nicholas Cage wins best-delivered-line-of the-year for “I’m trying to remain courteous, but I’m beginning to think it’s getting in the way of my being effective”.

10. Mother – Korean cinema is great, and this was another example. Creative camerawork, ingenious storytelling and brilliant acting from the eponymous leading lady.

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4 Responses to My ten favourite films of 2010

  1. Kevin Mansell says:

    I saw Mother and A Prophet and agree both were excellent. But the film that really lingers in the memory for me was Restrepo , an account of a 2 year tour of duty by an American unit in a remote valley in eastern Afghanistan. A deeply human account of modern soldiering which puts all the media and political posturing about Our Mission there, and the nonsensical loss of life on both sides, into clear perspective

    • JamieR says:

      Aye, that was a very well made documentary which managed to be anti-war without shouting about it – although I suppose I didn’t feel much was being revealed that I didn’t already suspect went on. I just kept thinking, I can’t believe he’s got that footage…

      Just watched the opening sequence of Mother again. Wonderful!

  2. Thomas Mansell says:

    You’d take your hat of to Viggo Mortensen – and he’d probably eat it.

    Nice segue from “Dogtooth” to “barking”.

    Shamefully i have not seen a single one of these films (yet). But surely the greatest film of 2010 doesn’t even make it onto your list: Chris Morris’s “Four Lions”. Give it another chance!

  3. Nicy C says:

    This is me resting my case – I feel my suggestion of Toy Story 3 is validated!

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