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My Top Ten List – 2010

February 15, 2011 1 comment

Last year, I can remember the huge uproar against the AMPAS extending the amount of Best Picture nominees to ten. I can also remember, that through it all, I was one of this notion’s strongest supporters. I recognize the faults in the logic. It allows for lesser films that have no business being considered one of the year’s best to fight their way in due to endless campaigning and the votes of stupid people. This flaw took shape last year in the form of “The Blind Side” getting nominated for Best Picture.

However, the upsides of the expansion are far greater. It gives the field a more diverse look, for one. It’s nice to see films from a wide range of directors and collaborators. If allows also a mix of both intelligent box office hits and scrappy indy favorites. More than anything else, however, is that five films is just two few to sum up a year in cinema. Had the Academy enacted this ruling ten years ago, one would look back on certain films and think it a crime had they not been nominated, which they haven’t. Imagine a world if films like “The Wrestler,” “The Dark Knight,” “WALL-E,” “Into the Wild,” “Once,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “United 93,” “Little Children,” “Children of Men” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” could have been Best Picture nominees, and that’s only the last five years.

It must be for that reason that critics, for over fifty years, have been issuing top ten lists of their favorite films, rather than top five lists. It’s about that time, therefore, for The Edge of the Frame to release its own list for the 2010 year. I have now seen sixty films from 2010, which is low for me and not quite an respectable amount. Over the years, I’m sure that this list will change a spot or two as I see more, but for now, I believe that I’ve seen an acceptable sum to create an adequate list.

This has been a good year for film, but not really a great one. Out of sixty films, I gave only two films “A” grades. The year has had its high points and low points. For instance, it has been a great year for lead acting performances, but a rotten year for cinematography. For sure, I will always remember 2010 as the year that the Oscars snubbed its nose at great film and went home to their comfort zones. More than anything else, however, 2010 has been the year of the documentary. Never have I seen a year in cinema in which so many documentaries have captured my interest, let alone made it into my top ten.

As always there are a few stragglers that, even though they don’t qualify for my top ten, they still deserve an honorable mention. Therefore, this next selection of films are all very good, but just not good enough. They may be packed with amazing moments, but there’s also one too many flaws that have kept them down. So without further adieu, here are the films that just didn’t quite make it:

THE RUNNERS-UP


“127 Hours”

Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy

Click HERE to see the rest of the list

Read more…

Roger Ebert’s Top Ten List

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times, arguably the most famous movie critic in history, has released his Top Ten of the year. While it’s not that close to my own choices, it’s far more interesting then Peter Travers, which was released a bit earlier this month. The lists do, however, share the same choice as Best Film of the Year.

Not hard to guess what it is.

1. The Social Network
2. The King’s Speech
3. Black Swan
4. I Am Love
5. Winter’s Bone
6. Inception
7. The Secret in Their Eyes
8. The American
9. The Kids Are All Right
10. The Ghost Writer

Here is what he had to say about his number 1 choice:

1. “The Social Network” Here is a film about how people relate to their corporate roles and demographic groups rather than to each other as human beings. That’s the fascination for me; not the rise of social networks but the lives of those who are socially networked. Mark Zuckerberg, who made billions from Facebook and plans to give most of it away, isn’t driven by greed or the lust for power. He’s driven by obsession with an abstract system. He could as well be a chessmaster like Bobby Fischer. He finds satisfaction in manipulating systems.

The tension in the film is between Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins, who may well have invented Facebook for all I know, but are traditional analog humans motivated by pride and possessiveness. If Zuckerberg took their idea and ran with it, it was because he saw it as a logical insight rather than intellectual property. Some films observe fundamental shifts in human nature, and this is one of them.

David Fincher’s direction, Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay and the acting by Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and the others all harmoniously create not only a story but a world view, showing how Zuckerberg is hopeless at personal relationships but instinctively projects himself into a virtual world and brings 500 million others behind him. “The Social Network” clarifies a process that some believe (and others fear) is creating a new mind-set.

Read more about Ebert’s other choices for best films of the year over at his blog, Roger Ebert’s Journal.

The Golden Globes: My Thoughts

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, my first reaction to the Golden Globes was, of course, uproarious laughter. HFPA, you crazy bastards, you. Every year, when I make my predictions out, I actually imagine that they will make rational decisions, decisions actually catered to how good a film is rather than how many celebrities they can kiss ass to and cram onto a red carpet. Then, every year, I have to give a little giggle and remember who I’m dealing with.

Let’s actually go through the good, first, because believe it or not, there is some. The HFPA actually showed more love for “The Social Network” than I thought that they would. 6 nominations, tying the second largest amount for the year, including what I believe to be an Oscar nomination-sealing nod to Jesse Eisenberg, as well as much deserved recognition to Trent Reznor and Atticus Finch for their unorthodox and compelling score. I do believe that “The King’s Speech” will take down this particular Best Picture award, due to the HFPA’s penchant for grandiose over edgy (“The Aviator” over “Million Dollar Baby,” which I was actually happy about, “Atonement” over “No Country for Old Men,” “Avatar” over “The Hurt Locker”). However, “Social”‘s strong showing proves that it is definitely in it for the longterm win.

Some other things that I liked: “Inception” pulling in such a great reception. After the HFPA’s proverbial snub of “The Dark Knight,” I expecting the Christopher Nolan hate to filter into this film’s chances, as well. I was pleasantly surprised. The film pulled in 4 nominations. Also, it was very nice to see noms for both Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. I have not yet seen the film so I can’t say that I’m pleased because they impressed me, but just that the Globes had enough hootspa to nominated such a dark and gritty film, especially with all of its MPAA controversey. Plus, Ryan Gosling is one of the most impressive young performers working in the game, today.

All right, let’s move on to the laughable. The Drama section was fine, if not predictable. The Musical/Comedy section is a travesty. I will refrain from completely ripping apart their nominations for “Burlesque” and “The Tourist” for I have not seen them. However, when a film receives a Metacritic score of 48 as in “Burlesque,” or much less a 37 that “The Tourist” received, there is something to say about the finickiness of nominating said films for the distinction of Best Picture of the Year. Even the Globes would stoop that low for a chance to get Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Cher all at their swanky party. I think that I’m actually going to see at least one of those films just to relish in my ridicule of them.

Here’s a few more things grinding my gears: Michael Douglas’ last ditch nomination for “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” I know that the man is inching close to death, but couldn’t they have at least given him a goodbye nom for something like “Solitary Man,” something he might be proud to be remembered for? The snub of Sally Hawkins, to make room for Angelina Jolie, no less, is an insult. I’m sure it was also necessary to make sure Johnny Depp had two nominations instead of recognizing some of the amazing work done by Jim Carrey in “I Love You Phillip Morris?” And the big finale…..not a single nomination for “True Grit.” Tell me that they just didn’t see it and not that they would literally hand a complete snub to it on purpose.

Some day, I hope that the Golden Globes are fully recognized for the sham that they are, or maybe they’ll just shape up. Who knows? Until then, I will try to forget that these ever happened.

68th Annual Golden Globe Nominations

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, here they are. Some good things and bad things. It appears that “The King’s Speech” leads with 7, while “The Social Network” and “The Fighter” in a close second with 6.

More later, but I leave you with this. Leave it to the HFPA to nominate one of the worst-reviewed and worst received films of the year for 3 awards including Best Picture for the sole reason that it has Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in it. I don’t know if it’s better to use that excuse, or to just say they have bad taste. Starfuckers, we salute you.

Best Picture, Drama
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

Best Picture, Comedy/Musical
Alice in Wonderland
Burlesque
The Kids Are All Right
Red
The Tourist

Best Director
David Fincher, The Social Network
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O. Russell, The Fighter

Best Actor, Drama
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

Best Actress, Drama
Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Actor, Musical/Comedy
Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack
Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs
Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version

Best Actress, Musical/Comedy
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
Angelina Jolie, The Tourist
Emma Stone, Easy A
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Christopher Nolan, Inception
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right
David Seidler, The King’s Speech
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours

Best Original Score
Alexander Desplot – The King’s Speech
Danny Elfman – Alice in Wonderalnd
A.R. Robin – 127 Hours
Trent Reznor – The Social Network
Hans Zimmer – Inception

Best Original Song
“You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me,” Burlesque
“Bound to you,” Burlesque
“Coming Home,” Country Strong
“I See The Light,” Tangled
“There’s a Place For Us,” Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Best Animated Film
Tangled
Toy Story 3
How To Train Your Dragon
Despicable Me
The Illusionist

Best Foreign-Language Film
I Am Love
Biutiful
The Concert
The Edge
In a Better World

Toronto Film Critics Association Announces

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Toronto has just announced not only a “Social Network” win, but more or less a complete sweep of their awards. One of the most interesting of these awards, and I believe the first of its kind, is the Best Supporting Actor Award going to Armie Hammer in his duel performance as the Winklevi. While I believe Andrew Garfield is the soul of the supporting roles in this film, it’s very nice to see Hammer get some recognition for such an energized and inspired performance.

Another big surprise is “How to Train Your Dragon” upheaving “Toy Story 3” in Best Animated Feature. “HTTYD” is an enjoyable and thrilling film, but “Toy Story 3” is one of the greatest animated achievements of all time, in my opinion. It deserves a sweep of that category as much as “The Social Network deserves its.

Here’s the full list of winners:

BEST PICTURE
“The Social Network”
R/U: “Black Swan” AND “Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives”

BEST DIRECTOR
David Fincher – “The Social Network”
R/U: Darren Aronofsky – “The Social Network” AND Christopher Nolan – “Inception”

BEST ACTOR
Jesse Eisenberg – “The Social Network”
R/U: Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech” AND James Franco – “127 Hours”

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence – “Winter’s Bone”
R/U: Natalie Portman – “Black Swan” AND Michelle Williams – “Blue Valentine”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Armie Hammer – “The Social Network”
R/U: Geoffrey Rush – “The King’s Speech” AND Christian Bale – “The Fighter”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Hailee Steinfeld – “True Grit”
R/U: Amy Adams – “The Fighter” AND Melissa Leo – “The Fighter”

BEST SCREENPLAY
“The Social Network”
R/U: “The King’s Speech” AND “True Grit”

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”
R/U: “Get Low” AND “Monsters”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“How to Train Your Dragon”
R/U: “Despicable Me” AND “Toy Story 3”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”
R/U: “Inside Job” AND “Marwencol”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”
R/U: “Mother” AND “Of Gods and Men”

“The Social Network” Takes Top Honors at NYFCC

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, I think that nearly marks a clean sweep for “The Social Network.” It takes the Best Picture and Best Director awards. “The Kids Are All Right” actually had the biggest day at this particular junction though, gaining much needed traction for the rest of the season. I think this is the first time a film has, in fact, beaten out “Social” in a straight-up Best Screenplay fight. Kind of an overrated film, in my opinion. Funny and interesting at times, but it has the least amount of satisfying closure that I’ve seen in a film all year.

Colin Firth picks up another win, perhaps once again solidifying himself in the Best Actor race lead. Also, Melissa Leo wins yet another Supporting Actress honor. I think that she may have just become the frontrunner for the Oscar.

Here is the full list of winners:

BEST PICTURE
“The Social Network”

BEST DIRECTOR
David Fincher – “The Social Network”

BEST SCREENPLAY
“The Kids Are All Right”

BEST ACTOR
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening – “The Kids Are All Right”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mark Ruffalo – “The Kids Are All Right”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melissa Leo – “The Fighter”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“Black Swan”

BEST ANIMATED FILM
“The Illusionist”

BES DOCUMENTARY
“Inside Job”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Carlos

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“Animal Kingdom”

AFI Top Ten List

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Quite a boring list, but they’re still AFI, so I guess I have to report this. Unordered, so we don’t know what their favorite is. I’ll just assume that it’s “The Social Network.” : )

AFI TOP TEN LIST

Black Swan

The Fighter

Inception

The Kids Are All Right

127 Hours

The Social Network

The Town

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone