Thursday 30 December 2010

My Cinema Highs & Lows 2010

Only made 77 visits this year, my 3rd-lowest count since 1974. Anyway, let's get on with it.
In the order of seeing them, with the odd 'clue' for some, and with a * indicating really good, the best for me were:-

Sherlock Holmes (Dir: Guy Ritchie)
*Nowhere Boy (Re: pre-Beatles John Lennon)
The Road
Un Prophete
*Invictus (Clint Eastwood back on form)
*Exam (8 candidates sit exam. Question paper blank. Gradual elimination follows. Intriguing)
*The Ghost (Polanski's best in years - No, decades!)
I am Love (Italian film - Tilda Swinton's love interest, Edoardo Gabriellini, such a hottie!)
Lourdes (French film located at the pilgrimage site. Well-balanced tale of seeking miracle)
The Bad Lieutenant - Port of call New Orleans (Good, despite my not being fan of N. Cage)
The Killer Inside Me (probably most controversial of year. Graphic violence against 2 women)
The Brothers Bloom
Lebanon (Israel - set almost entirely within an army tank. Remarkable)
Partir (French film with Kristen Scott-Thomas excelling in French-speaking role)
Cyrus (John C. Reilly playing very well, as usual, in film which pleasantly surprised me)
Metropolis (The Classic! - now for first time showing virtually complete.)
Buried (along with 'Cyrus' above, tale of being buried alive I hadn't expected to like, but did.)
*Another Year (Mike Leigh, with 'Inception''s Christopher Nolan, has yet to make a dud film!)
Monsters (this year's brilliantly effective film made on shoestring budget. See, it can be done!)
Catfish (absorbing tale of Facebook deception. Claimed to be true story. Is that also a deception?)
Des Hommes at des Dieux (Factual story - monks in Algeria threatened by Islamists. Moving.)

(Note: I did see the complete 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' trilogy, and though all were pretty good, none of them quite made my final list of honourable mentions.)

And my least enjoyed/what was the fuss about? films:-

Cemetery Junction (Ricky Gervais, whom I usually like, misfiring badly)
Iron Man 2 (not as interesting as the first)
Robin Hood (Russell Crowe as our Robin? 'Ha ha' or 'Ho hum'?)
Avatar (Zzzzzz zzzzzzzz)
Get him to the Greek (Russell Brand failing to be as interesting as he could be - again!)
The Social Network ('cos I couldn't hear what the hell they were talking about! Mumble mumble.)

And the winner of My Best Film is:-

'Inception' - the only film this year I paid to see twice. Intelligent, multi-layered and it lingers in the mind. Ever since 'Memento', Nolan maintains his very high standard.

And my 'razzie' goes to, yes: -

'The Social Network'
As if it wasn't bad enough for two of my most respected British film critics to drool over this film, one of them actually nominating it as 'film of the year', hearing that it's also likely to be nominated for multiple Oscars, including BEST FILM, is the final straw. That just totally pisses me off. Anyway, aside from all the incoherent mumbling through 80% of this 'entertainment' (hah!) I've not only got no interest in computer 'nerdology', 'Facebook' itself is not a big part of my life anyway. So there!

With 2011 beckoning and my financial plight not improving, let's try to save a bit of cash next year by being a bit more discerning. Happy viewing, folks!


  1. I think Inception was the best film I saw this year too... but I saw considerably less than you!!

  2. Excellent list Ray!
    First, I can't get over the fact you count the films you've seen and can remember them. I can't remember what I had for breakfast 15 minutes ago, much less the films I saw all year. You have an impressive mind.

    I'm very happy you liked Inception so much. So did I. Perhaps it will be nominated for Best Film, but there is no way it will win. Most of the air-heads in the Academy couldn't possibly appreciate it enough for it to win.

    Your term "nerdology" made me start laughing and now I can't stop!!

    'Exam' sounds very interesting. I really enjoy psychological thrillers. I just added it to my Netflix queue.

    No mention of Harry Potter? Awwww. Something tells me you haven't seen any of them. Maybe someday I'll wrestle you down on a sofa and force you to watch the complete septology. LOL

    I enjoyed Ironman 2 more than I possibly thought I could. We watched the DVD twice in fact. Maybe it's because I like Robert Downey Jr. Isn't it cool how easy it is to build a super-weapon with just an acetylene torch and an old blueprint?

    What will be your first film for 2011?

  3. I'm impressed by your 77 visits. I manage about 10 a year, as I've grown so lazy that I prefer to watch dvds on Blu-ray.

    I agree on most of your choices. "The Ghost Writer" was a complete surprise. Polanski did a great job - almost like a Hitchcock film.

    I do love French film and I was excited to learn about the film "Partir" It has not played here so I have just added it to my Netflix queue.

    My favorite movie of the year is a very dark one: "All Good Things" based on an unsolved case in New York. What probably influenced my choice is that it starred that gorgeous, wonderful actor, Ryan Gosling.

    I am going tomorrow, New Year's day, to see "Black Swan." Can't wait for the dvd to come out. "Swan Lake" is my alltime favorite ballet(I manage to see it every year) and being that Benjamin Millepied is the choreographer, makes it that much more exciting to see.

    I'll also ask: What will be your first film for 2011?

  4. Thanks, Andrew, Cubby & Paul. It's only an hour since I'm back on the computer after it went dead on me in the early hours of 31st. So, with the holiday week-end I had to wait until now for someone to come out and fix it (at a price I could have done without!). Anyway, back in operation, now.

    Andrew: Your shared liking for 'Inception' validates my own. Makes me feel even better now.

    Cubby: I only wish I COULD remember all the films I've seen. My ratings are entered in my 'register' as soon as I get home from the cinema. Often I have to go to the IMDb site to remind myself of what they were about. But also sometimes I'll watch one on TV which I thought I'd missed and ought to be worth seeing. Then only near the end does it start looking familiar and I find I did in fact see it only two or three years previously.

    I'm pretty sure you'll like 'Exam'. It's a sort of 'who's the imposter?' scenario. It kept me guessing.
    I have actually seen all the Harry Potters in the cinema (and read the first 4 or 5 books) but find the films every bit as heavy-going as the novels. Must be an age thing. So I'm afraid you won't have the excuse of wrestling me down on the sofa to watch them. But you may be able to find another excuse! ;-)
    My first 2011 film in a day or two will be the French 'On Tour' with the (mature) hottie Mathieu Amalrac who both stars and directs.

    Paul: Glad you too liked 'The Ghost'. It was well worth the time and the money.
    I didn't know 'All Good Things', but it certainly sounds like one to go out of one's way for.
    We've got 'The King's Speech' coming in a few days time, then comes 'Black Swan' which I am definitely looking forward to. I wonder what your New Year's Day experience of it was? Btw, difficult to credit 'Swan lake' being such a disaster at its first performance. I agree, such tunes!

  5. Drat! Just noticed that when I was copying my list from a pencilled draft I omitted what could well have been my runner-up for Best Picture of 2010, 'London River' - Brenda Blethyn giving blistering performance as mother trying to find out what happened to her daughter following the 2005 terrorist attacks on London Underground, and in the process befriending an Ethiopian Muslim, her deep distrust turning to grudging, then open, respect and friendship. A shattering film, made even more poignant by the actor playing the Muslim himself dying shortly after film was completed. Strongly recommended.

  6. Ray, I'll have to add several of these to the already bulging list of things to see. I'm amazed that I don't have some of these on our list. Must be slipping up. I'm happy you gave the Razzie to The Social Network. It didn't even sound good as a premise.

  7. Kyle, I'm always conscious that because I liked or disliked a particular film it doesn't mean that it's necessarily good or bad. That's why I try to personalise my own reactions. But if my list above can be a guide to you (and we do seem to have an uncanny synchronicity of tastes in several fields) then it'll be useful.
    I'm frustrated about 'The Social network' because although I agree with you that the subject matter is dull, I feel I'm missing out on something that so many are raving about. Pity that I found the dialogue so indecipherable - and it can't be just MY hearing, otherwise there'd be the same problem with most films, which I certainly do not have.
    Btw: Please do include on your 'must see' list the film 'London Bridge',which I inadvertantly missed out from my original blog. It includes an incredible performance in a heart-breaking story.