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Film Comment Year-End Best List

by Anne Thompson
December 18, 2010 10:15 AM
10 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

One good thing about year-end best lists from such places as Film Comment--posted below-- is that you can be reminded of the arcane fest films you missed, no matter if you've probably seen more movies than most. Already on my screener pile (thanks Fredell) is Claire Denis's White Material, which came in third on this list. Many of my ten bests rank high here, including Carlos, The Social Network, The Ghost Writer, Winter's Bone, Inside Job and Toy Story 3. (I put A Prophet on my list last year.) And I put True Grit, The King's Speech, and Fish Tank on my ten-best as well.

I admired Greenberg without ever wanting to sit through its tortures again. (I am a big fan of Noah Baumbach's Margot At The Wedding, which few liked.) Dogtooth is a brilliant exercise in taboo-breaking cinema; it inspires many walkouts. Don't expect this Greek entry for the Academy Awards to be nominated. I would love to see the insiders on the Academy doc committee nominate Exit through the Gift Shop even though Banksy is a total outsider.

I may have to watch Gasper Noe's Enter the Void; I loved Irreversible. Others to catch up with: Mother, The Oath, Boxing Gym, Secret Sunshine, Bluebeard, Vincere.


1. Carlos (Olivier Assayas)
2. The Social Network (David Fincher)
3. White Material (Claire Denis)
4. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski)
5. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard)
6. Winter's Bone (Debra Granik)
7. Inside Job (Charles Ferguson)
8. Wild Grass (Alain Resnais)
9. Everyone Else (Maren Ade)
10. Greenberg (Noah Baumbach)

11. Mother (Bong Joon-ho)
12. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich)
13. Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl (Manoel de Oliveira)
14. Another Year (Mike Leigh)
15. The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel de Oliveira)
16. The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko)
17. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese)
18. Around a Small Mountain (Jacques Rivette)
19. Our Beloved Month of August (Miguel Gomes)
20. Ne change rien (Pedro Costa)

21. Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos)
22. I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino)
23. Sweetgrass (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash)
24. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)
25. The Father of My Children (Mia Hansen-Løve)
26. Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman)
27. Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong)
28. Bluebeard (Catherine Breillat)
29. Enter the Void (Gaspar Noé)
30. Inception (Christopher Nolan)

31. Alamar (Pedro González-Rubio)
32. The Oath (Laura Poitras)
33. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy)
34. World on a Wire (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
35. Animal Kingdom (David Michôd)
36. Vincere (Marco Bellocchio)
37. Daddy Longlegs (Ben and Joshua Safdie)
38. Lourdes (Jessica Hausner)
39. Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz)
40. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold)

41. Please Give (Nicole Holofcener)
42. True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen)
43. Lebanon (Samuel Maoz)
44. The King's Speech (Tom Hooper)
45. I Love You Phillip Morris (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa)
46. Last Train Home (Lixin Fan)
47. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance)
48. Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont)
49. The Anchorage (Anders Edström and CW Winter)
50. Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno (Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea)

UNRELEASED 2010
1. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
2. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard)
3. Poetry (Lee Chang-dong)
4. Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt)
5. Aurora (Cristi Puiu)
6. Mysteries of Lisbon (Raúl Ruiz)
7. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu (Andrei Ujica)
8. The Four Times (Michelangelo Frammartino)
9. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)
10. Tuesday, After Christmas (Radu Muntean)

11. Oki's Movie (Hong Sang-soo)
12. Ruhr (James Benning)
13. I Wish I Knew (Jia Zhangke)
14. My Joy (Sergei Loznitsa)
15. Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzmán)
16. Robinson in Ruins (Patrick Keiller)
17. Black Venus (Abdellatif Kechiche)
18. Of Gods and Men (Xavier Beauvois)
19. Tabloid (Errol Morris)
20. The Robber (Benjamin Heisenberg)

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10 Comments

  • Robert Hamer | December 20, 2010 9:45 AMReply

    Or the obscenely overrated Shutter Island, for that matter.

  • Robert Hamer | December 20, 2010 9:42 AMReply

    A shame that The Fighter didn't make this list. It easily blows Inception and Black Swan out of the water.

  • Peter | December 20, 2010 7:12 AMReply

    About time "LOURDES" got the recognition it - and the film's director Jessica Hauser - deserve. In addition, Sylvie Testud's performance is astonishing, worthy of comparison with Swinton, Bening, Portman, et al.
    Sad that so few moviegoers saw this rich, profound and haunting film.

  • DavidC | December 20, 2010 5:43 AMReply

    A friend points out that, in keeping with what some of us have been saying for a while (TV is a more interesting period than movies), the number one spot on this list goes to a work made for television.

  • ari candido | December 20, 2010 2:58 AMReply

    Its too for yours comments and appreciation!Heaven Garden short film from Brazil.Thanks
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zFsb5rl0Q4

  • ari candido fernandes | December 20, 2010 2:57 AMReply

    Very Good Film!
    ari candido
    director of Heaven garden from Brazil short filmlink:(for appreciation your!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zFsb5rl0Q4

  • Sam | December 19, 2010 11:02 AMReply

    Dragon Tattoo was forgettable in the scheme of things. A locked room mystery set on an island. That's about it.

  • matt s | December 19, 2010 12:30 AMReply

    i would dispute your claim that the girl with the dragon's tattoo was't impressive visually--the entire film rested upon the sequence in which the pictures from 40 years ago were restored thanks to modern technology.
    That sequence which was much more lo-tech in the novel could've been made boring as you're watching the main character assenble these old pictures from these ancient rolls of film together but the film made it not just narratively interesting but visually fluid as well.

    Girl who played with fire might have been a jumble of events (its almost as if the screenwriter couldn't determine what to excise from the book so he threw as much into the final screenplay as he could possibly get away with) but you know i would argue that even that was done with a certain visual panache--even if it was far less sturdy (and chilly) then the sweedish countryside on display in the very much instant classicism of the first one.

  • CJG53 | December 18, 2010 11:40 AMReply

    @Albert: While GIRL/TATTOO was far superior to GIRL/FIRE, neither were terribly special, either narratively or visually.

    As to INCEPTION, I wasn't a big fan, either, but I really enjoyed reading the script yesterday. (Though there are still logic holes you could drive that errant-locomotive through...)

    I'm pretty impressed w/ AT's list.

  • Albert | December 18, 2010 11:06 AMReply

    I fail to see how anyone could put "inception" on this list and not put "The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo". While I admit that I enjoyed "Inception" while I was watching it, I am not particularly anxious to see it again. It is very overrated and has a plot so complicated that one has to read a summary of it to fully understand it. The performances are not especially good either. I was under the impression that critics loved "Dragon Tattoo", as I did, but if they did, they certainly aren't demonstrating it in their year-end roundups.

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