Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rethinking 2010 Cinema

I recently screened Easy A, The Social Network, Please Give, The King's Speech, Black Swan and Catfish so I could be more sure about my Top Ten list (coming out very soon!). You can see all the new scores on the Recent Reviews page, but a few quick notes.

First, The Social Network and Black Swan both hold up impressively upon repeat viewings. I thought that Network would, but I was actually quite surprised that despite knowing what would happen, I found Swan just as captivating the second time around. Both films truly are instant classics.

Second viewings were kind to Catfish and Easy A, two films I had long considered among my favorites but I hadn't quite realized how good they were. A is far better than I gave it credit for--while its true that star Emma Stone is working overtime to elevate the material, the material itself, as well as the star-studded supporting cast, is pretty damn great. And Catfish was just as suspenseful and chill-inducing the second time around, while I noticed exactly how well-made the film really was.

Not so good on repeat viewings are The King's Speech (truly a crowd experience--when you're not with others laughing along, the movie is a lot less fun) and Please Give (was everyone this whiny the first time I watched this?)--though the performances, especially Geoffrey Rush's from the former and Amanda Peet's and Catherine Keener's from the latter, still hold up.

I also recently viewed Rabbit Hole for the first time, and you can expect a Rapid Review on that along with True Grit, The Fighter, Winter's Bone, The Ghost Writer, I Love You Phillip Morris and Animal Kingdom as soon as I get around to them (this week, probably). I'm also going to start a new series, Netflix Picks, of movies available on Netflix Instant Stream that are necessary to watch. (First in the series, the classic All About Eve.)

I wrote on this site in the summer how doomed I felt 2010 cinema was. At that point, that fate appeared irreversibly true. However, I have been pleasantly surprised at every turn with the movies that have emerged. There are instant classics and feats of direction, screenplays to be remembered forever, and quieter films among louder films that will all be remembered with great fondness. It looked like it was going to be a hard year for film, but in truth, it looks like everything turned out just fine.

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