Saturday, January 15, 2011

End-Of-Year: 2010 Film Winners

Last night's Critics Choice Awards reminded me that I haven't completed my own set of film awards. Have spent most of my days either busy at work or catching up on a few more films, so I apologize for the delay. Now, did I see films/performances since then that would've changed some of these nominations? Yes, but that'll be another blog entry down-the-line.

I have to say that narrowing down the list for nominations was very difficult as I thought so many films/performances deserved kudos, which is why I went with six nominees for the acting categories. So you can just imagine me trying to pick my favorite out of that list and, well, as I discovered, it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE. With that said, I made due...

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception/Shutter Island
Jesse Eisenberg, Social Network
James Franco, 127 Hours
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Tahar Rahim, A Prophet

It's weird thinking that Leonardo DiCaprio is once again being largely forgotten for his superb work on not one, but two great films of the past year. Someday he'll get his due. Similarly, Eisenberg and Rahim were magnificent in their respective films offering a strong center to their epic films. But this came down to three actors who I thought really went above and beyond what they've usually done to deliver three of my favorite performances of the year. To say the whole film fell on Franco's shoulder is an understatement since it is pretty much a one-man show, but he was truly effective in channeling Ralston's joy of life then his subsequent fall. Firth, too, wonderfully delivered the struggles of King George VI, which I related to personally. But I finally settled on Gosling's performance for the win, because I do prefer original characters and the performance itself was so natural and emotional, that I can't begin to express how amazing it was.

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan, Never Let Me Go
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Emma Stone, Easy A
Tilda Swinton, I Am Love
Rachel Weisz, Agora
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Mulligan's movie was a quiet film that a lot of people seemed to have missed, but in the film she shows that she's not just some one-movie wonder starlet that's going anywhere anytime soon. Swinton and Weisz both made my Best Actress list LAST YEAR as well (for Julia and Brothers Bloom) which speaks to how truly excellent and consistent they both are and this year they were on top of their games once more delivering confident performances in not-so-easy roles. Stone is probably my pick for breakthrough actress of the year as she was just absolutely delightful in her film. But it comes down to Williams and Portman who probably went through insanely emotional and physical roller coaster to deliver such powerful performances. I, however, will give the slight edge to Portman who just totally captivated me from the first scene to last. She was perfect.

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter
Kieran Culkin, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network/Never Let Go
Tom Hardy, Inception
Oscar Isaac, Agora/Robin Hood
Alexander Siddig, Cairo Time

Such a shame that more people didn't get to see Isaac (Agora) or Siddig's films, because if they did, they would see why I was impressed. Hardy and Culkin were in two of my favorite films of the year and both were essentially the scene-stealers and breakout actors in their immensely talented ensemble. But it comes down to Bale and Garfield for me in the end. It's odd since one can argue that both are co-leads with Wahlberg and Eisenberg respectively, but as Mickey Ward and Mark Zuckenberg keep saying, it's all about them. That's fine, but I was personally more invested and interesting in what Bale and Garfield had to offer. Bale delivers a career performance, one that is every bit worthy of an Academy Award, but honestly, I'm giving this to Garfield just because in the movie that everyone is still talking about, he's the one part of the film I remember most fondly. He is also damn good in Never Let Me Go.

Best Supporting Actress
Marion Cotillard, Inception
Elle Fanning, Somewhere
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Emily Mortimer, City Island/Shutter Island
Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer

Mortimer doesn't have a lot of screentime in her two supporting roles this year, but she was nonetheless memorably effective in both. With another brief, but excellent performance, Cotillard was arguably the heart of her film while the same can be said of young Fanning with a bit more screentime. Melissa Leo provides an unforgettable performance as the dynamic and mother of the Ward brothers while Kunis was absolutely electric playing opposite-twin-whatever to Portman's tour-de-force role. The winner for me, however, was my pick way back in August as my favorite performance of the year so far and suffice to say, it has held up remarkably well. Olivia Williams, to me, encapsulated all the qualities I admired from all of the other actresses. She made the best of the little screentime and focus she was given, she gave the film the heart it needed, and she was simply put astonishing.

Best Ensemble
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
The Social Network

The winner was actually not too difficult for me to figure out. With that said, all of these films were chosen because I absolutely adored all of actors belonging to this ensemble from the sisters in The Fighter to the evil exes in Scott Pilgrim to the kids in The Kids Are All Right to the, um, kids in The Social Network. The prize though, I have to say, goes to Inception since the cast itself comprising of DiCaprio, Cotillard, Hardy, Page, Watanabe, Gordon-Levitt, Murphy, Caine, and Rao were just so uniformly excellent and worked together so well, that it was a no-brainer. Unless someone put this thought in my head without me knowing about it, then I don't know.

Most Disappointing Film
Alice in Wonderland
Eat, Pray, Love
Leap Year
The Wolfman

I had expectations for all of these films. Not terribly high, but expectations nonetheless of them not totally sucking for one reason or another. The trailer for Alice and Eat, Pray, Love showed potential, but instead one delivered a CGI mess of epic proportions while the other self-indulgently lasted an hour or so longer than appropriate. Kick-Ass looked fun and in some spots, it was, but I was largely unimpressed by the lead actor which dragged the whole film for me. Plus who keeps hiring Nicolas Cage? Seriously. A love story starring Matthew Goode and Amy Adams taking place in Scotland? Sounds AMAZING right? Unfortunately it was a little boring and the two actors looked it. I still love them though. The "winner" though is The Wolfman. I literally fell asleep while watching and I wasn't even that tired. Emily Blunt, you need a better agent!

Worst Film
Clash of the Titans
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
When in Rome

I found out after I made this list that I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell was actually not a 2010 release, so it has since been disqualified, which is a bit sad since it so would've "won" this award easily. MacGruber was pretty terrible, but I did laugh at parts that I was supposed to laugh at, so points for that. In the meantime, both Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia were epic... epic disasters. But the title of worst movie of 2010 goes to When in Rome. I always finish movies I start, but I seriously had to force myself to finish this one. Kristen Bell is insanely slumming it and everyone involve should just be ashamed at being part of this movie. Except for Dax Shepard. It's pretty par for the course for him.

Worst Acting Performance
Christina Aguilera, Burlesque
Kirsten Bell, Burlesque/When in Rome
Will Forte, MacGruber
Taylor Lautner, Twilight Saga: Eclipse/Valentine's Day
Taylor Swift, Valentine's Day
Sam Worthington, Clash of the Titans

Aguilera and Swift I'll forgive because it's their first forays into the acting biz. They should just stick to what they are good at. For Aguilera, that's singing. For Swift, that's... um... getting dumped. I was this close to giving this honor to Kristen Bell, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt because she was Veronica Mars, but if anyone ever needed a new agent, it's her. Forte also probably deserves this especially since he created the stupid character. But the choice is really between two actors who were remarkably unimpressive in their films. Worthington was swallowed up by his film, which was also supremely awful while Lautner was like seeing a door act. With that said, Lautner gets this honor because he wasted my time in two films.

Best Netflix Movie
Boy A
Broken Embraces
Close to Leo
The Damned United
The Messenger
Pirate Radio
The Stoning of Soraya M.

I don't even know why I have this category, because like last year, it's kind of silly to pick a favorite out of all of these films from different years, different genres, etc. I do highly recommend all of them and implore you to catch up with them if you have yet to see them. At the moment, I'll give it to the Japanese film and Oscar-winner Departures. Funny, heartfelt, and all around wonderful. No, but seriously all of these films are winners. Go rent and/or download them now!

Complete film rankings will be forthcoming, though most likely closer to the end of the month. To refresh your memories, my personal top ten (which actually might change between now and my official rankings) are... 127 Hours, Agora, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, Easy A, Inception, A Prophet, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Social Network, & Toy Story 3.


  1. They should just stick to what they are good at. For Aguilera, that's singing. For Swift, that's... um... getting dumped


    Very nice post.

  2. Great list! I was pleasantly surprised you put Emma Stone in for best actress, wouldn't that be something if a comedy role went up for a nomination? Tom Hardy definitely deserves some recognition for his lovely little role in Inception, he's the main reason I saw it all times. And thank you--Wolfman is by far the most disappointing movie of the year. I had SUCH high hopes for it...who DOESN'T see Benicio Del Toro making an awesome wolfman? Well, apparently this movie changed the rules. &%#%^#. Nonetheless, lovely list!


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