Cinema Psychologia's Top 10 Films of 2010

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It's almost that time of the year when I have to make a new top 10 list, so it's probably a good idea to store the old one somewhere. I actually have two separate top 10 lists, to reflect my crazy film fest year. There should be another post forthcoming on my pick for various Oscar categories for the year 2010.

Without further jibberish, here they are, with one-line comment each (for efficiency!):


Top 10 films released in 2010, excluding films shown only at film fests by year end
  1. L'illusionniste (The Illusionist; Chomet, 2010) ****1/2 Magical tribute to Jacques Tati's way of connecting through gestures and suspense of disbelief
  2. The ghost writer (Polanski, 2010) **** Stately pacing with an intelligent way of engaging the audience - one of Polanski's better films
  3. Exit through the gift shop (Banksy, 2010) **** Intriguing and humorous human interest story with a twist
  4. Inside job (Ferguson, 2010) **** Interesting political portrait damning of the corrupt ways the US system recycles its criminals
  5. The kids are all right (Cholodenko, 2010) **** A good-humoured story of a family's attempt to navigate the modern disconnect and confusion
  6. True grit (Coen, 2010) ***1/2 A fun, typical light-touch Coen fare
  7. The American (Corbijn, 2010) ***1/2 A well-made, patient thriller perfectly adapted to Clooney
  8. The King's speech (Hooper, 2010) ***1/2 A light affair with a notable cast
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Yates, 2010) ***1/2 Surprisingly chilling and lonely prelude to the final showdown
  10. The Social Network (Fincher, 2010) ***1/2 A conversational starter and a technically well made picture


Top 10 films released in 2010, including films shown at festivals (my general top 10 list, all things considered)
  1. Copie conforme (Certified copy; Kiarostami, 2011) ****1/2 Chamber cinema returns with a vengeance
  2. L'illusionniste (The Illusionist; Chomet, 2010) ****1/2
  3. Armadillo (Metz, 2010) ****1/2 Profound recount of what it's like to be in a war of no purpose, at the front line where no hero lives
  4. Schastye moe (My joy; Loznitsa, 2010) **** Depressing, pessimistic, shocking and surreal fairytale of a corrupt society in hell, where absolute power rapes absolutely
  5. Los ojos de Julia (Julia's eyes; Morales, 2010) **** Scary and romantic psychological horror bearing the good name of Guillermo del Toro as a producer gracefully
  6. Uncle Boonmee who can recall his past lives (Weerasethakul, 2011) **** One hell of a trance
  7. The ghost writer (Polanski, 2010) ****
  8. Poetry (Lee, 2010) **** A well-lived film of much optimism, in part due to the irrepressible central character's screen presence
  9. Exit through the gift shop (Banksy, 2010) ****
  10. Cold Fish (Sono, 2010) **** Cannibalistic lust for blood, human flesh, bones, and more blood in a bleak, disturbing account of a true serial killer story

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TIFF 2011 People's Choice Winner: Where do we go now?

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The Toronto Film Fest wrapped this weekend, and despite Hollywood glamorous heavyweight presence, Toronto decided that it would be all film-festy and chose a little known film for its winner: Where do we go now? As it is also Lebanon's entry for Best Foreign Film Oscar, it's safe to say we're looking at a likely Foreign Film winner. It's hard to tell whether it would make an impact beyond that category, but it's good news for Lebanon, nevertheless.

Runner up: A separation (Golden Bear winner) ...


... and a Canadian comedy, Starbuck:


The raid also won in the Midnight Madness screening category. I can't wait for its wide release!

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The Raid: Holy Mother of Pearl!

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Indonesia's latest entry into the horrifically inventive world of Asian action/horror films is about to hit cult status: The Raid (Evans, 2011) is getting some very excited ink, including this glowing review of the TIFF screening from Hollywood Reporter:

Audiences will be scrambling to find enough compound adjectives to describe Gareth Huw Evans hard-driving, butt-kicking, pulse-pounding, bone-crunching, skull-smashing, blood-curdling martial arts siege movie, The Raid. “Squeezing a trigger? That’s like ordering takeout,” scoffs one particularly psychotic killing machine when faced with the choice of using a gun or his lethal fists and feet. The director is similarly disdainful of swift execution, instead favoring the adrenaline rush of sustained pummeling.

More on the film:
In the opening scene, rookie cop Rama (Uwais) puts in time on his prayer rug and on his workout. Both are good insurance for the ordeal he is about to face. Kissing his pregnant wife, he heads out with a SWAT team on an ill-planned mission to bring down sadistic underworld kingpin Tama (Ray Sahetapy), who rules over a seedy population of thugs, criminals and junkies from his headquarters in a fortress-like Jakarta tenement block. While Evans has little use for character establishment, he introduces Tama calmly snacking on noodles before icing a lineup of bound-and-gagged rival gang members, playfully switching to a hammer when he’s out of bullets.

As soon as the cops get past the outer defense barriers Tama deploys his goon squad, as he monitors the entire building via closed-circuit surveillance cameras and a PA system. Most of the 20-member SWAT team are pulped before they know what hits them, leaving only a handful of men to weigh the choice of survival or the near-certain suicide of proceeding to the 15th floor to get the man they came for.

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September's Most Anticipated: Drive

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It's the year of the Gosling: he's got a trifecta of film genres in Crazy, Stupid Love (rom-com), Drive (action/thriller), and The Ides of March (political drama). One of those ought to land him an Oscar nomination. It's probably going to be Ides, but Drive looks to be the fun one.

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