*Originally published on 1/1/11 on another site.
Peter Greenaway posits that the remote control killed the cinema. If that’s true, iTunes and Video On Demand are finishing the job. I don’t mean that to sound bitter, the medium is changing. But having everything at your fingertips and available through your iPad is going to change the way films are made and consumed forever.
The year’s big story may ultimately be the death of the modern movie star. Even Will Smith, the last actual movie star, sat ’10 out. Big stars are no a guarantee on box office returns. And bigger than that, the two films that really captured the imagination of the audience were Avatar (a 2009 release but it made most of its money in 2010) and Inception, both of which were original films (non-remake, non-sequel). This sent a clear message to the studios that we can all rejoice over even if Cameron and Nolan’s films weren’t your favorite.
But of course, the studios will ignore the audience’s clear reference for new stories and continue to give us remakes and films based on board games in 2011. They have had to accept that the story is now more important to the audience than stars. And that may in the end be the ray of hope delivered by 2010.
1. Carlos – France – Olivier Assayas
2. The Tillman Story – USA – Amir Bar-Lev
3. Poetry – S. Korea – Lee Chang-dong
4. I Am Love – Italy – Luca Guagadino
5. Mesrine (Killer Instinct & Public Enemy No. 1) – France –Jean–Francois Richet
6. Animal Kingdom – Australia – David Michod
7. Night Catches Us – USA – Tanya Hamilton
8. Exit Through The Gift Shop – UK - Banksy
9. The Social Network – USA – David Fincher
10. How To Train Your Dragon – USA - Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders
11. True Grit – USA – Joel & Ethan Coen
12. A Prophet – France – Jacques Audiard
13. Toy Story 3 – USA – Lee Unkrich
14. Vincere – Italy – Marco Bellocchio
15. Another Year – UK – Mike Leigh
16. Inception – USA – Christopher Nolan
17. The Other Guys – USA – Adam McKay
18. The Kids Are All Right – USA – Lisa Cholodenko
19. The Fighter – USA – David O. Russell
20. Please Give – USA – Nicole Holofcener
21. Women Without Men – Iran - Shoja Azari & Shirin Neshat
22. Fish Tank – UK – Andrea Arnold
23. Soul Kitchen – Germany – Fatih Akin
24. The Ghost Writer – UK/France – Roman Polanski
25. Agora – Spain – Alejandro Amenabar
Special Award: Enter The Void – I didn’t love Gaspar Noe’s film but he undeniably did something unique and bold that stayed with me. Noe may annoy you, but you gotta respect what he’s done with his three films. Dont’cha?
Big Damn Genius Award – RED Camera: this HD camera can now do virtually anything that 35mm film can. Several times I saw films last year that Id have sworn were on film and was amazed to see that they were shot on this format.
Runner-up- Marky Mark Wahlberg: as an actor and an executive producer he’s becoming one of the most reliable brands in Hollywood.
Steel Drum Award (for that which I’d like to see sealed in a steel drum and thrown into the deepest part of the ocean)– the Iranian Government: Among its myriad abuses, the current regime has committed a crime against cinema by sentencing Jafar Panahi to six years in prison and a 20 year ban on filmmaking. Disgusting.
Runner-up: M. Night Shyamalan
2nd Runner-up: 3D