And, so, yes... I decided to wait until today, January 3rd, 2011 to post my end of the year movie blog. I went right on ahead and wrote this thing on a day when I knew everyone and their brother would be absolutely sick and tired of Best of the Year lists.
A tragic case of short-sighted foolishness?
Or!!! A crafty maneuver of genius??? Hmmmm...
Whatever it was (and it was definitely NOT procrastination, THAT'S for sure!!!), I hope you'll still be able to find a movie among the 25 that you'll be encouraged to check out. I was reading an article today about what a low point the film industry was in from a financial standpoint, but... call me crazy-- I thought this was one of the best years ever concerning the quality of films in theaters. There are GREAT movies out there, my friends. Y'just gotta know where to look!
Anyway, here goes. My list. And I'm sticking to it. And I'm not all that embarrassed to admit it-- 'Eat, Pray, Love' just barely missed the cut!
25) "Shutter Island" God bless Martin Scorsese. I hope he lives forever.
24) "Tiny Furniture" Lena Dunham!!!
23) "Please Give" This movie doesn't have every one of my favorite actors in it, but it comes pretty close.
22) "Cairo Time" Patricia Clarkson is kind of/sort of my hero.
21) "Tangled" When I saw this trailer, I thought this movie looked pretty awful. Clearly, I am not that bright. This was the best thing Disney's done in Icantrememberwhen.
20) "Restrepo" One of the best and most intense war documentaries ever made.
19) "Toy Story 3" Yes, I cried. And so did you.
18) "The Ghost Writer" One of my favorite endings of any movie in years.
17) "The American" Upon second viewing, it might be a touch too heavy on the butterflies. But, still. Great film.
16) "True Grit" Can't wait to see what Hailee Steinfeld does next!
15) "The Kids are All Right" Best two seconds on screen all year: Watch Annette Bening react when Julianne Moore joins the dinnertime conversation at the hour and a half mark of this film. There are about 12 different things going through her mind in such a short time, and you can see all of it unfolding. Pain, anguish, anger, grief-- You can see her trying to hide it for the sake of her kids, and see the exact moment she decides to let it go. She's just amazing.
14) "Greenberg" I've talked to a few people who hated this movie because the title character was such an ass. And I get it, but... Y'know, not really. Ben Stiller had me on the edge of my seat-- Sure, Greenberg's an ass, but will he begin to learn how to become a better person? Will he want to? Is there any hope for him at all? I loved this movie.
13) "Marwencol" Full disclosure: A good friend of mine co-produced this film, and through him I got to meet the director and his wife, another co-producer. All three of these folks are really, really good people, so I was absolutely rooting for them. BUT! --And you should know this about me-- I love the movies too much to put a film on my Best Of List just because I like the people behind it. I wouldn't praise it if it was a piece of turd.
(Worst quote for a dvd cover ever: "Marwencol is not a piece of turd" --Ryan Martin)
Marwencol is really hard to describe. It's better to see it for yourself, really. But, I can just about guarantee that, when you do see it, you'll thank me for it. It's surprising, unique, incredibly entertaining, and-- more than anything else-- inspiring.
12) "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" You know the feeling you get when you look around at your music collection and you're not sure what you're in the mood for, so you sort of lazily go to something reliable, and think, "Well, I'm never disappointed by this album" ...And then you completely fall in love with it all over again, and listen and listen and listen and listen to it for about a month straight...? Yeah, I think this is going to be that kind of movie for me. Scott Pilgrim will probably always make happy.
11) "The Social Network" Aaron Sorkin!!!!!
10) "The King's Speech" Full disclosure: The screenplay I'm (STILL!) writing features a man who stutters. So, a part of me was really hoping this movie would suck. Because, then I could respond when all the bigwigs in Hollywood would inevitably cry out, in unison, "DAMMIT!!! Why can't we find anyone who can write a DECENT movie about a guy who stutters?!?!?!?!?!"
Sadly, The King's Speech was amazing.
9) "The Town" Terribly underrated, terribly under-seen movie. Ben Affleck kind of blew me away!
8) "127 Hours" Unbelievable story. And, sheeshlouise! James Franco! Unreal!
7) "The Fighter" Here's another movie that took me by surprise. Didn't think I'd love this as much as I did. Minor criticism, though-- did you ever notice that Mark Wahlberg can't talk to a kid on screen without doing a Mr. Rodgers impersonation? Drives me crazy. Watch him talk to his daughter in this movie-- does he think she's... y'know, slow or something? Why is he talking to her like that?!
6) "Black Swan" Natalie. Freaking. Portman.
5) "Winter's Bone" I want to say this felt so real, it made me feel like I was watching a documentary. But, I think any rational documentary filmmaker would have dropped his camera and run away screaming a few times during the making of this production.
4) "Inception" I know every secret there is to know about this movie... So, so true...
3) "Rabbit Hole" Heartbreaking, devastating, beautiful, truthful. Can't take your eyes off it.
2) "The Secret in their Eyes" Released in the US in 2010, this was actually the Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film in 2009. So-- minor controversy to put this film on the list, i guess... I'll probably not get that gig on the Today show now.
But, such a great film!!! It's a bright, stellar and downright horrific mystery mixed with a terrifically-portrayed, bittersweet romance. I don't think I've seen anything like it. Which is EXACTLY the sentence I can say about...
...THE NUMBER ONE MOVIE OF THE YEAR!!!!
1) "Exit Through the Gift Shop" This one knocked me on my arse. I walked out of the theater that day not knowing exactly what I'd just seen, really. And, it's another documentary that's difficult to talk about without giving anything away. Best to just walk into it with an open mind, and a willingness to question... everything around you, basically.
"Exit" has to be the best movie I've ever seen surrounding the question "What is art?" And it's smart enough to ask that question in a new way, and on a variety of levels. It's confident enough to let you answer that question on your own terms. And it's ballsy and free enough to make fun of you for not asking the question at all.
I don't drink, but I'd have a beer with Banksy.
Very much looking forward to 2011...
The five things i fell in love with today...
1) Seriously, I thought 'Eat, Pray, Love' was really, really good! Don't judge me.
2) Also just missing the cut-- 'Fair Game', 'Waiting for Superman', and 'Easy A'.
3) Some classics I got to see on the big screen again this year-- 'Back To The Future', 'American Splendor' and 'Reservoir Dogs'. Life is good in New York!
4) Not being able to say or write the words "Full disclosure" without giggling, thinking of C.K. Dexter Haven and I, and the eccentric owner of that fancy restaurant who kept coming over to our table talking about fondue. God bless him.
5) Pete Postlethwaite. I just heard the news of his passing a few hours ago. Very sad, terrific actor. May he rest in peace.
Movie of the night...
"Crazy Heart" --missed the Best Of 2009 list, because I didn't get around to seeing it until 2010. Fantastic film, though. Underrated script. (I should point out, that there are three 2010 movies I keep hearing great things about, but have yet to see-- 'Blue Valentine' 'Another Year' and 'Somewhere')
Song of the night...
"We are Sex Bob-Omb" by Sex Bob-Omb