Sunday, December 26, 2010

Was 2010 A Good Year For Movies?

It’s that time of year when the film industry takes a few moments to give its verdict on the year’s best movies. In years gone by, magazines, newspapers and countless websites publish their yearly reviews with filmmakers, critics and audiences alike voicing their opinions on their favourites movies of the past year.

The beginning of 2010 was promising and saw the big Oscar hopefuls being introduced to multiplexes: Crazy Heart, A Single Man and Precious all warming up nicely for the big event at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker surprised everyone and overpowered ex-husband James Cameron and his sci-fi blockbuster Avatar in the major categories.

March saw the start of what was to be a standout year for Leonardo DiCaprio with the release of his fourth collaboration with Martin Scorsese, the psychological thriller Shutter Island. Audiences were also introduced to another face of 2010, Swedish actress Noomi Rapace who became The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo based on the Millenium Trilogy of books that later spawned two sequels. An American remake is currently shooting at the helm of David Fincher for a 2011 release.
The Summer period flooded cinemagoers with the usual flurry of popcorn blockbusters (Iron Man 2, Salt, The A-Team, The Expendables), but failed to really make a convincing impression which led to a slight downfall. Unquestionably however, it was two films that stood out from all the rest. Christopher Nolan shook, twisted and exploded our minds with the most talked about film of the year, Inception. DiCaprio proved once more why he’s one of the most powerful actors working today and the most profitable. He has recently been recognized as the highest grossing actor of 2010 with Shutter Island and Inception earning $1.1 billion worldwide.

It was the final chapter of Woody, Buzz, and Co In Toy Story 3 that wrapped up the trilogy to perfection and left kids and adults weeping into their popcorn buckets. Grossing over $400milion worldwide this has raised the bar for animation.

2010 saw new talent making their mark on the big screen. Chris Morris (Four Lions), Gareth Edwards (Monsters) and J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) all proving successful with the critics. A few of the old timers could still show how it’s done including Werner Herzog (Bad Lieutenant) and Tony Scott (Unstoppable).
The box office witnessed three movies to pass the $1billion point with Avatar (a 2009 release but reaching $1billion in 2010), Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3 all achieving that illusive ten-figure mark. All of which were released in the 3-D format - what is this trying to say … 3-D is the future perhaps?

Later on in the year it was The Social Network that stood out like a shining beacon. Depicting the rise and fall of anti-hero Mark Zuckerberg, David Fincher delivered an astounding piece of filmmaking focusing on the creation of Facebook and the countless legal battles that Zuckerberg had to come face-to-face with. A sharp script from Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) and Fincher’s direction, this was the first major film to create Oscar buzz.

There were some inevitable downfalls in 2010. The Last Airbender, The Back-Up Plan and The Bounty Hunter were just a taster of some of the turkeys of the past year. When will the likes of M Night Shyamalan, J-Lo and Jennifer Aniston learn their lesson.
With two Summer films being a huge success worldwide, it wasn’t such a bad year in movies. Although they could have tried harder and turned mediocre films into bigger earners (Knight and Day and The Other Guys). However that could all be put to bed with what looks like a fantastic start to 2011 in prospect (127 Hours, Black Swan and True Grit all featuring in the early months).

My Top 10 Movies of 2010:
  1. Inception
  2. The Social Network
  3. Shutter Island
  4. The Town
  5. Toy Story 3
  6. Up In The Air
  7. Kick-Ass
  8. The Disappearance of Alice Creed
  9. Let Me In
  10. Machete
Written by Michael Cunneen