Cynthia L. Morefield serves as guest host for a round table discussion of the best films of 2010. Peter Waldron and Elizabeth Rambo share some of their favorite films and look for trends amongst the films we liked best.
In podcasting about my personal favorites for 2010, I asked my friend Peter Waldron, “When did ‘entertaining’ become a backhanded compliment?” I did–and do–see a schism on my list between heavier, more prestigious films and lighter but still well executed fare. A second theme emerged in talking about my choices. All of them, with one notable exception, focused heavily on human relationships.
I’ve always felt that these lists were as much an exercise in biographical revelation as critical analysis, so it’s not surprising that one of the first questions I ask about such lists is “What does it reveal about the person or people who made it?”
What the list and the films on it revealed to me about myself is that no matter how big special effects and spectacle get, the relationship between human beings fascinates me, indeed enthralls me, much more. It also tells me, perhaps, that as the Internet expands our social network (pun intended), it does fundamentally change those relationships in essence and not just in number. The buzz phrase of the hour is “weak ties,” and while I’m not enough of the sociologist to opine an opinion about the causes of weak ties in the social sphere, I do find it interesting that the films the appealed to me are ones that show human beings longing for strong(er) ties.
As always with such lists, your mileage may vary. Obviously no one person can see every film every year. Unlike in some past years, however, I am not aware of any titles that I would expect had a good chance of cracking this list but that I have not yet seen. (The only possible exception I might make to that non-disclaimer is that Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff only had one showing in Toronto while I was there and it was opposite Sophie Fiennes’s Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, so I haven’t seen Meek’s. Based on the responses I’ve heard from the people who saw it, I don’t think it would be on this list when I do, but I did love Wendy and Lucy, so you never know.) Disagree? Feel free to tell me why. Continue reading “2010 Top Ten”