Top 10 Films and Best Actors of 2010
As promised, here's the list of the top 10 movies of 2010 with brief reviews. Unfortunately I haven't seen 127 Hours yet, so it doesn't feature on the list.
Try and watch every film on this list, they truly deserve your time.
1)BLACK SWAN (Psychological Thriller/Drama)
The story of a ballet dancer 'Nina Sayers'(portman) who's given the lead part in the prestigious 'Swan lake' ballet, Sayer's has to tackle her insecurities and an overwhelming pressure to deliver the perfect performance, the one she's been waiting for all her life.
Sayer's is an underdog, a fighter, a psycho, a talent but most importantly she's YOU.
What really works for 'Black Swan' is the fact that no matter who you are, you will miraculously relate to 'Nina Sayers' and find a bit of yourself in her, as the director succeeds in creating the most beautiful multi-layered on-screen character this year.
Even though she races towards insanity with each proceeding frame, you sub-consciously cheer her on as the sadist inside you wants her to carry on and never stop.
The film shocks you and stays with you long after you've left the theatre, cause Aronofsky helps you discover a weak, vulnerable side of your personality that is unabashed and determined to fulfill its lust at any cost.
I thought 'Requiem For A Dream' and 'The Wrestler' were average at best, over hyped really, but Black Swan deserves all the credit its been getting as it is most definitely the film of the year. This Darren Aronofsky is good.
Run Time : 01:48 Director : Darren Aronofsky
Starring : Natalie Portman , Mila Kunis , Vincent Cassel, Barabara Hershy and Winona Rider .
2) FOUR LIONS (Comedy - Black)
It's a shame that a film as effective and as well researched as Four Lions will not feature at any award ceremonies this year. May be it hasn't got the buzz going for it, maybe it's the reservation against comedies by juries world over but whatever it is, isn't fair.
To think of a done to death subject such as 'Jehad' and to totally spin it around to deliver a non-stop laugh riot should get director Christopher Morris all the accolades he hasn't been getting.
Four Lions is the story of four wannabe English 'Mujahids' - Waj, Barry, Omar and Faisal, who struggle with formulating the perfect strategy to carry out their 'Jehad'.
The film thrives on its brilliant script and near perfect performances by all the actors specially Nigel Lindsay as Barry.
About 50% of the film has been shot in a small room where the group schemes and plots on how to wage war on the 'kafirs' of the western world so the director has purposefully kept all sequences and dialogues fast paced and extremely engaging so much so that you feel like watching a live theatre play , being in the same room as the characters.
My favourite film of all time is Stanley Kubrick's black comedy Dr Strangleove. This film is now my second favourite black comedy of all time followed by Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and In The Loop, an extremely intelligent and hysterically funny film.
Run Time : 01:42 Director : Christopher Morris
Starring : Rizwan Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak
3) THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Drama-Comedy)
Back in 2006 I was rooting for 'Little Miss Sunshine' at the Oscars, it was my favourite film of the year. But the academy chose to disagree with me (as it always has) handing the trophy to Scorsese who finally won an Oscar for a film that he least deserved it for (The Departed).
Lias Chodolenko's 'The Kids Are All Right' is this year's Little Miss Sunshine.
The story of an abnormal family with two lesbian mothers - Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) with kids Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson).
As Joni turns 18 she decides to track the sperm donor who contributed to her existence. Enter Paul (Mark Ruffalo). What follows is heady mix of pure emotions which the director sometimes serves as a soothing cocktail and sometimes as raw country liquor served on the rocks, and you do feel the buzz after it hits.
It's the kind of film that doesn't necessarily force you to laugh out loud but makes you smile, with a little teardrop in your eye.
Annette Bening as Nic delivers the best performance of the year - male or female.
Run Time : 01:46mins Director : Lisa Cholodenko
Starring : Annette Bening, Julliane Moore, Mark Ruffalo
4) I LOVE YOU PHILIP MORRIS (True Story / Comedy)
The first of the 4 spell bounding true stories that we've seen this year, 'I Love you Philip Morris' is by far the most entertaining film of the year, but sadly again the awards will choose to stay light years away from the film.
Jim Carrey is an outstanding performer and as entertaining as he was in the Mask or Dumb And Dumber etc, no one took his goofiness seriously. He got critics talking about his 'acting' capabilities courtesy 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind' which didn't do much for me. This time good old madcap Jimmy is back, but there's a credibility to his over the top clown act because as they say in the beginning of the film - This really happened, it really did.
Ewan McGregor who plays Carrey's gay love interest in the film delivers a performance of a lifetime. Both Carrey and Mc Gregor take you on joyride through company frauds and prison escapes - some really weired yet amusing ones. Must, must watch.
Run Time: 1:42 mins, Directors : Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor
5) THE SOCIAL NETWORK (True Story / Drama-Comedy)
No review here as everyone has already seen this one, but I will recommend you watch 'Pirates Of The Silicon Valley', the story of Microsoft (Bill Gates) and Apple (Steve Jobs). A far more enjoyable and eye opening film, the story is unbelievable. Damn these billionaires!
Duration : 2hr Director : David Fincher
Starring : Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer Jr.
6) THE KING'S SPEECH (True Story / Drama-Comedy)
I'm not quite sure how King George the 6th spoke but I'm quite sure it was like Colin Firth.
His struggle with stammering in 'The King's Speech' will pierce through the most unforgiving of viewers. Firth is wonderfully supported by Helena Boham carter (wife) and Geoffery Rush (speech therapist) - both of whom are also favorites to pick up best supporting actor trophies at most awards.
King George 6 is given an opportunity to become King as his brother abdicates the throne, struggling with a speech impediment. The King has to deliver his country a speech before Britain goes to war. Geoffery Rush and Colin Firth play a game of act and mouse as a hopeless King is pushed to the hilt by his unique Aussie teacher.
Subtle yet classy, The King's Speech is a fulfilling experience.
Run Time : 01: 51mins Director : Tom Hooper
Starring : Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce
7) THE FIGHTER : (True Story / Drama-Sport-Comedy)
What is wrong with Christian Bale? Or is something right about him and wrong with rest of the actors? If you've seen 'The Machinist' (Bale lost almost 28kgs for the role) where he seems like a head fixed on certain ribs and American Psycho - where is in perfect shape ripped to the core, you wont believe he's the same actor.
Bale once again sheds weight to an unrecognizable extent for The Fighter as he plays has been boxer Dick Eklund. The role of 'The Fighter' or Irish Micky Ward played by Marky Mark, sorry Mark Wahlberg. Eklund is Ward's elder brother and coach, he is also a crack addict. Bale genuinely seems drugged throughout the film as he's put in a lot of effort getting those droopy eyes and a doped out diction. Eklund and Ward have 7 sisters and mom and dad as managers. Ward's quest for the championship belt is both painful and fascinating at the same time.
There's a perfect balance of sport and emotion in this 'Rocky' meets 'Trainspotting' flick.
Amy Adams stands her own amidst powerhouse performances by Bale and Mallisa Leo. Wish the in-ring boxing would be a little more authentic, but that's too much too ask I guess.
Duration : 01:54 mins Director : David O. Russell
Starring : Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo
8) TRUE GRIT (Western/Drama)
I thought Colin Firth deserved the best actor Oscar for 'A Single Man', Jeff Bridges won for 'A Crazy Heart'. Bridges once again delivers the second best performance of the year following Firth's King's Speech act, and I believe this time it will stay this way.
The real hero of this magical cross country western adventure is little Hailee Steinfield, her stern punch dialogue delivery takes you by surprise. Every scene that Mattie (Steinfield) so much as speaks in, is a treat .
Mattie hires Rooster Cogburn(Bridges) to hunt the muderer of her father - Tom Channey. Cogburn is a trigger friendly alcohol prone country marshall who is joined by Marshall LaBoeuf whose been following the same convict for the past 6 months. Evidently the partnership of the two marshals and the 14 year old girl is more by fate than by choice as mutual mistrust grows throughout the chase.
It is an extremely gripping, funny and intently watchable film. Matt Damon once again proves that he's the actor with most caliber in the current era as he matches Bridges frame for frame.
Watch it for Damon, Bridges and Steinfield, most of all - as a rule 'never miss a COEN BROTHER'S flick'. Get on this horseback watch that rope hurl in the air and catch the bull .
Duration : 01:50 mins Director : Joel & Ethan Coen
Starring : Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld
9) INCEPTION (Sci-Fi/Adventure)
Every now and then there comes a film that pushes the art of filmmaking further. Stanley Kubrick did it with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Steven Spielberg did it with Jurassic Park and Christopher Nolan has done it with Inception.
Everyone's seen this flick so no review again .
Duration : 2:28 mins Director : Christopher Nolan
Starring : Leonardo DiCaprio
10) ANIMAL KINGDOM / GET LOW / RABBIT HOLE
It's a tie for the tenth place as I feel all the three films deserve to be in the top 10 list.
Animal Kingdom is a gripping Australian crime drama with Jackie Weaver delivering the best - best supporting actress performance of the year.
Robert Duvall gives a flawless performance in 'Get Low' - as he throws his own funeral party with the help of funeral planner Bill Murray. They don't disappoint, as they never have.
Nicole Kidman has more than an outside chance at the best actress trophy courtesy her performance as 'Becca' in Rabbit Hole. She is supported by Aron Eckhart who plays her husband 'Howie'. The story revolves around the couple coming to terms with the loss of their only son, who dies in a car crash at the age of 4. A beautifully told story .
Finally, here's my pick for best actors in descending order, best supporting actress and moreover best director are the toughest ones to pick, very tight competition.
Best Actor: 1) Colin Firth (The King's Speech), 2) Jeff Bridges (True Grit), 3) Robert Duval (Get Low), 4) Christian Bale (The Fighter), 5) Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Best Actress: 1) Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), 2) Natalie Portman (Black Swan), 3) Mattie Steinfield (True Grit), 4) Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Best Supporting Actor: 1) Nigel Lindsay (Four Lions), 2) Geoffery Rush (The King's Speech), 3) Ewan McGregor (I Love You Philip Morris), 4) Matt Damon (True Grit)
Best Supporting Actress: 1) Jackie Weaver (Animal Kingdom), 2) Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech), 3) Amy Adams (The Fighter), 4) Barbara Hershy (Black Swan), 5) Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right)
Best Director: 1) Christopher Nolan (Inception), 2) Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), 3) David Fincher (The Social Network), 4) Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), 5) Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right)
More about Sushant MehtaSushant Mehta is Senior Correspondent (Films) at CNN-IBN. He will be writing about stars, their films, gossip and his day-to-day experiences with actors. He is interested in knowing what the stars really are when the camera has been switched off.
- + Crime master Gogo - uncut
- + Prakash Raj: the real Singham
- + The 'cheap heat' of Delhi Belly
- + Exclusive: Big B uncut, Imran on Coke Studio
- + Exclusive: Stars caught with their guard down
- + Exclusive: Bollywood stars, candid and uncut
- + 'Maine Pyaar Kiya': 22 years and counting
- + Sharmila Tagore on Saif-Kareena & Soha
- + Colin Firth & the Tragedy of Awards