Our special correspondent Flora Collins has her answer, at least — and there’s more than one surprise in her list.
2010 was a fantastic year for film — and with so much choice, we asked Flora Collins to narrow it down to five for us. Here’s how she, at least, pared it down.
1) The Social Network – With its fast-clipped dialogue and quirky cast, this movie became an instant favorite of mine. I loved how Aaron Sorkin‘s script converted a potentially boring and technical story into an alluring, suspenseful, and even sexy tale. I was absolutely captivated the two times I saw it, and I definitely think Jesse Eisenberg deserves his Oscar nod.
2) Life During Wartime – As always, director Todd Solondz delivers a masterpiece of wit and black humor. Similar to his other works, Life During Wartime delves deeply into the human psyche, presenting us with situations which seem disturbingly odd but all too real: a son must face his convicted pedophile father, a young boy learns a distressing family secret in the midst of preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, and a woman is haunted by the ghost of the ex-boyfriend who committed suicide over their break-up.
3) Remember Me – Though the ending was gimmicky, this film’s emotional impact puts it in my top 5. The characters are filled with longing, love, and despair, often achieving gratification in immoral ways. I admired how realistic the situations were and how relations between the characters were so believable. No one is black or white, evil or thoroughly well-intentioned. Also, Robert Pattinson breaks away from his vampire persona and proves his true talent.
4) Shutter Island – I was both traumatized and excited the two times I saw this movie due to its strong sense of suspense and horror. The flashbacks and complex plot twists kept me fascinated, a great accomplishment for a lengthy film. The ending left me horrified and distraught, proving Martin Scorsese’s off-balance talent for eliciting turmoil.
5) 127 Hours – I was amazed by a director Danny Boyle’s talent for creating an exciting movie out of a story that could have been unimaginative and hopeless. I was over-wrought with anticipation the whole way through, and pulled, figuratively, into the crevice and emotionally into Aron’s dismal situation and regrets. I felt empowered as I walked out of the theater, a feeling I have not acquired from a film in a long time.