Considering I've gone to the cinema approximately 100 times (not an exaggeration for those of you who know me), I think I can confidently answer this little prompt. First, let's take a look at the few I think should/will be in the competition:
Toy Story 3
The Social Network
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Now I want to look at which order I would rank these and give my explanations.
7. The Social Network
Why I think it's a good film: The Social Network was an enjoyable film. It had witty dialogue, good acting and a solid subject/plot that appealed to me and a lot of other people.
Why it's only in 7th place: The problems with The Social Network are extensions with what made it a good film. First, the dialogue, while witty and fast felt completely and totally rehearsed. I also see this problem in TV series like the Gilmore Girls. Ordinary people who aren't really given any distinction in their speech characteristics. While I do enjoy it, sometimes during the film I felt that the reality of the situation was lost in words.
Next, the subject was interesting, yes, but somewhat forgettable. There was no real need for exciting camerawork, or even various camera shots, while they were sitting in board rooms and all that. I remember the beginning and end somewhat clearly, but parts in the middle, while I remember the overall story, are a bit vague and lost in mundane filming.
Lastly, it just didn't cause the commotion it needed to. Was it big? Yes. Did people know about it? Yes. But what did people call it? They called it "The Facebook Movie". Was the movie about Facebook? No. Facebook was just a component for a greater story of business, friendship and human interaction. So when a movie is widely known for something it's actually not, I doubt the world can see it as the best picture of the year. I certainly can't.
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)
Why I think it's a good film: The 7th Harry Potter movie was the best in the series thus far even though it had an unfortunately boring half of a book to turn into excitement. With superb editing, a significant improvement in acting, spot on sound work and great story adaption, I really think this is one of the most overlooked films of the year.
Why it's only in 6th place: The Harry Potter series is huge. It is widely adored in both book and film form. For whatever reason, some book fans denounce the movie series as they appear to be incapable of understanding how to view the two separately, which can lead to a lot of unnecessary and, frankly, irrelevant criticism of the films.
This film was great, as I've said, but it did have some drawbacks to prevent it from being higher up on this list. First, it's the 7th of an eventual eight film series. It's hard to consider a film like this as revolutionary or completely different when you've seen something like it 6 times before. Also, the content of this film was, unfortunately, not the most exciting. Of course, there were very exciting scenes, but a large chunk of the film centered around camping and discussion. Although the acting had clearly improved, actors like Daniel Radcliffe did hurt the dialogue sometimes.
Why I think it's a good film: Christopher Nolan's most recent film was an instant success. It was intriguing and original, but also groundbreaking in it's special effects (without using that ~~amazing 3D technology). As a Christopher Nolan fan and a fan of action movies, I honestly thought this film was great.
Why it's only in 5th place: While Inception was truly original and great. It had it's flaws. Although visually stunning and engaging, other parts of the filming fell up a little short. Not in terms of cinematography, but in terms of character development and plot development.
While some people decided this film was a "mindfuck", I think a lot of people just found it engaging and could predict the ending by about halfway through. We all knew the token would keep spinning with no definite ending. In my opinion, those who claim it was a "mindfuck" just haven't seen a lot of movies, read many books and live a very simple life. No offense. Anyway, the story was original, but simple, with a few plot holes and a few contradictions.
What I think hurt this film the most, though, was character development. The characters didn't feel real (no pun intended). We knew almost nothing about any of the characters except for Leo's, but we also knew very little about him. Why should I care about him? I found myself trying to care about him for the entire film, consciously in fact, but I just couldn't get a grasp on him. A great movie it was, but it may have been the best if the characters were there.
Why I think it's a good film: Now, I know you're all getting ready to discount any credibility you may have of me, but hear me out. I know this film won't be up for any awards, but it's still one of my favorites of the year, if not my absolute favorite. I want to defend it's originality, amazing humor, awesome characters and astounding soundtrack here and now.
Why it's in 4th place: This film was great. I saw it 3 times in cinema (well two times in a cinema and once in a drive-in). First, it was so original. The concept and the characters were fresh and different. "Hit Girl", for example, was so controversial, but quite possibly my favorite character of the last few years. I can't wait to see her in the sequel! Even Nicholas Cage played a good role. Unbelievable, right?
The style the movie was filmed in was great, as well. There was awesome jump editing for certain scenes that made it feel so exciting! The shots were all really well done for the action scenes and just, well, exciting. And the music? Perfect for the film. The music just added that much more to the excitement. Really loved it.
Now, this is probably a guy movie, but I highly recommend it. I loved it. Still, it didn't have the Oscar material to be up for an award like that and the humor is a little different, but I still think it was one of the best films of the year. And that's why it's on my list. Deal with it.
3 (or 2?). The King's Speech
Why I think it's a good film: This films reeks of being an Oscar film, but it's also completely enjoyable. Colin Firth and Geoffery Rush were fantastic. And so was Helena Bonham Carter, for that matter. It was engaging, well filmed, well written, and well acted. Overall, it was just a well executed film.
Why it's in 3rd or 2nd place: Personally, I think The King's Speech and Black Swan are interchangeable for the 3rd and 2nd spots on this list. They are both excellently executed and enjoyable, but I put them in these positions based on which one I would first watch again.
I've already said why I thought this film was great, so there you have it. It's earned it's spot here and I won't be at all surprised if it wins the Oscar. It was just a great film in all aspects. It was artistic without being just arty. The characters all had some depth to them. Well, as much as the royal family can have depth. I will be floored if Geoffery Rush doesn't win an Oscar for his performance. He and Firth gave outstanding performances. This will probably be the film to get Firth and Oscar if he can manage.
This is that one British film of the year that really pulls something off. Definitely give it a watch because I'll bet you that it'll be on the Oscar list and quite possibly the winner.
2 (or 3?). Black Swan
Why I think it's a good film: Now for the film that everyone's talking (too much) about. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis gave fantastic performances in a film that was, like The King's Speech, excellently executed. It was also thrilling, sexy and entertaining. Everything a movie should be.
Why it's in 2nd or 3rd place: This is the rival to The King's Speech for the Oscar. It may pull it off because it has generated more interest in the States than The King's Speech, but I really think both are interchangeable.
I had been waiting to see Black Swan since I saw the trailer over the summer and it did not disappoint. I was never a Mila Kunis fan, but this film completely changed my opinion of her. She and Portman were engaging and fascinating in their roles. Portman's character was very interesting and definitely carried the movie's plot.
Of course the plot was predictable, or at least the ending was. But that was kind of the point. The symmetry of the film to Swan Lake was obvious, but it was still creative and interesting. The shots and pieces that held the film together were well done. Overall, the film was just well put together. It's definitely going to be in the running for the Oscar so definitely have a watch.
1. Toy Story 3
Why it's a good film: The final film in the Toy Story trilogy is probably the best and represents the perfect film. It was humorous, emotional, beautiful and appealed to all age groups. It is, in my opinion, the best film of the year hands down.
Why it's the number 1 best film: Toy Story 3 was highly anticipated and it definitely delivered on its expectations. The animation was spot on and it was clear that the artists at Pixar worked on perfection and damn near achieved it for this film. The lovable characters were just as fantastic as always and even funnier than before.
As a member of the Toy Story generation, this film held a special place in my heart. Toy Story was one of the first films I remember seeing the the theater. I remember the theater being sold out and having to sit in the front row with my neck craned. I had eagerly awaited the last film in the trilogy and I laughed and cried along with millions of others.
The humor of Toy Story 3 crossed all age barriers. There were bits for children, teens and adults. But the humor wasn't the greatest part. No, the emotional side of the film was impossibly evocative. I pride myself in not crying at films, but this film was one of the exceptions (as was the beginning of Up). The ending of the film was heart wrenching in both sadness and happiness. It was totally relatable for anyone who had grown up, and even relatable for those who haven't yet.
Yes, the last in the Toy Story series was a perfect film and the best of 2010, in my opinion. It was entertaining and enjoyable. It will forever hold a place in my heart. Finally, the question of whether Andy cared more for Buzz or Woody was answered, but either way it was hard to be surprised or disappointed. There is no question that anyone will soon forget Buzz, Woody or the other toys we've grown to know and love. They will be missed and loved for generations to come.
There you have it. My list of the top 7 movies of 2010. Of course, there are loads of other good movies to see. This post will be x-posted to my movie LJ measureinmovies , which has been long neglected. I plan on keeping up with it for 2011 and making it awesome so add it please :)