top 10 films (and other stuff)

What I Saw
Inception
Karate Kid
Shutter Island
Cyrus
Toy Story 3
Splice
The Kids Are All Right
Rabbit Hole
Dinner For Schmucks
The Tourist
Black Swan
True Grit
The Social Network
Let Me In
Bluebeard
Blue Valentine
The Fighter
Red
The Town
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Unstoppable

In addition to my annual top ten(ish), I’ll give a couple of Honorable Mentions, as well as a couple miscellaneous slots and my two favorite perfs in various categories.

Honorable Mentions
The Karate Kid
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Shutter Island
Black Swan

This Could Have Been Really Good But WTF
Splice

I’m Still Not Sure If It Was Actually Good or Just So Strange That I Liked It
Bluebeard

If The Whole Film Was As Good As Your Two Best Scenes I’d Have Sung In Joy
Red

Funniest Line In a Bad Movie
“Before he married her, he tracked down and killed every man she’d been with before him. Then when he discovered how many there were, he killed her too.”–from The Tourist

Best Opening Scene
Toy Story 3 (Pixar takes this award again)

Well Regarded Film I Can’t Be Bothered to See ‘Til Netflix
The King’s Speech

Well Done Film That I Just Didn’t Care About
The Social Network

Successful Indie I’ll Catch Sometime Soon
Winter’s Bone

Filmmaker I Generally Like But Couldn’t Care Less to See This Year
Sophia Coppola, Somewhere

Audacious and Beloved/Be-hated Film That Will Likely Depreciate Over Time
Black Swan (don’t hate me, Keira)

Audacious Foreign Film I Wanted to See But Can’t Yet Because I Don’t Live In Effing Greece
Dogtooth

Lead Actor
Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter

Lead Actress
Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine

Supporting Actor
Jonah Hill in Cyrus
Bob Hoskins in Made in Dagenham

Supporting Actress
Marion Cotillard in Inception
Amy Adams in The Fighter

Cameo Role
Elias Koteas in Let Me In
Winona Ryder in Black Swan

My Top Ten
10: Cyrus–So many ways this could have gone wrong. It could have been a wee bit less fuzzy at the end, but I was still on edge. In a good way.

9: Toy Story 3–I didn’t even like the first one. Hurt me good. Well done.

8: Let Me In–The Swedish original (Let the Right One In) is better, but this is still one of the year’s best. Chloe Moretz. Keep an eye on this kid.

7: True Grit–Never saw the John Wayne original but I don’t think I need to. The last ten minutes are worth every minute getting there.

6: Unstoppable–The best action film of the year.  One of the most subtle class films of the year. And with the best villain: human negligence.

5: Inception–It got better and better for me, months later. The love story kills.

4: The Fighter–How do you reconcile your roots with your dreams? Individuality with family? Watch. And cringe. And laugh.

3: Rabbit Hole–Another film where it could have gone so wrong. But man is it rich. And funny. And un-un-uncomfortable. And the ending. The best moment of writing I saw this year. “We wrap it.”

2: The Kids Are All Right–I’ve written about this before. It’s the political film of the year, and never hints at it once. Rich and true.

1: Blue Valentine–What a bruising. My top three will likely shift spots repeatedly over time, but for now this takes the 1. I’ve never hurt so much for a couple that doesn’t make it. And the way the story is told, the little things. It just doesn’t get done like this very much. When it does, you don’t let go.

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