We here at hey, that's my bike don't believe in lists...so here's our top ten favorite flicks of the year in numerical order from 10 to 1. Weird.
10. Rabbit Hole
Nicole Kidman's face is starting to move again! Blah blah blah. Everyone was doing it dammit. Leave a brow alone...And so what if Nic and Aaron Eckhart apparently didn't become besties during shooting. Not everyone gets along at the office either.
Their relationship, as grieving parents, as broken lovers, couldn't feel more real in this third feature from John Cameron Mitchell (the amazing Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Rabbit Hole embraces the honesty, the voyeurism, one often finds only in the theatre: the simplicity of just watching. John Cameron Mitchell makes us witness to a parents struggle and puts his own ego second. Rare for a director. Not so rare for someone as talented as Mitchell.
Call Christopher Nolan Senor Batman no more! Well, not until the next Batman anyway...
This year Nolan reminded us who he was before he started dressing Christian Bale up in a cape and stuff: a mind bender. Inception may not be Memento, but it feels closer to the roots of the twisted storyteller that once amazed with so little (if not murred every now and then with some crazy expensive effects). The under rated cast is one thing (talking about you Marian Cotillard). It's the trippy hallway fight that still has me man swooning.
8. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Michael Cera's shtick kind of rules? Yup.
I love it when Amazon.com brings people together...
7. 127 Hours
Feel free to check out the earlier review in the bike archives (Red Rock. Red Rock). Sitting through this movie was almost completely unbearable (something about a nerve or tendon. I still shudder), but it's more than worth enduring. After all, it's not like you're the one cutting off your own arm.
Get more insight in this Christmas message from Franco...and his Grandma:
6. The Kids Are All Right/The Ghost Writer
What if your biological dad was a sperm doner and your parents were lesbian moms, one a successful if not slightly overbearing doctor and the other a free spirit of love...?
What if your biological dad was Mark Ruffalo? Now that would be all right.
The Ghost Writer:
It may not be Chinatown but it's the closest I've seen in years. There's something so compelling, and so unnerving, about watching a Polanski film. You can't help but be enamoured by the detail and beauty of his storytelling: the angle of a shot that puts you just slightly off centre, the layers of mystery stripping away in the story, the compulsion not to trust anyone. When a ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) is hired to complete the biography of a questionable Prime Minister, he begins to investigate what became of the original author. The cast does a remarkable job (kudos to Kim Cattrall for not being all SATC), but it's the man behind the curtain I can't help but pay attention to. This one has my bet for Oscar underdog.
5. Black Swan
I want Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan to wrestle. I just wanna see what happens.
Again, there's one for this in the bike archives (Creepy Bird) but to reiterate: Natalie Portman is just wow. Just wow. And birds are seriously f'd up.
4. Animal Kingdom
A debut film is more than a calling card for a first time director. It's a dream come to fruition with a passion that often can't be replicated. Aussie first timer David Michod is just beginning, and I'm seriously hoping for replication.
Animal Kingdom takes us to the underbelly of a crime family in Melbourne and reintroduces us to characters we think we already know in a world we think we've already seen. Twists, turns, and more than a flip or two, it's not just the flick that will leave you reeling...it's mommy dearest.
3. Let Me In
Remake? Yes. Horror flick? Well, kind of. Awesome? Totally. Number 3? Sure.
It's rare to see such a complex relationship between two children on screen, one without the learned baggage an adult would carry, one with a warmth and heart of pure innocence, and sure, one with a vampire.When an alienated boy befriends the new girl in town he gets a little more than he bargained for (hint: fangs). But so do we in this remake of the Swedish stunner Let the Right One In from Felicity/Cloverfield alum Matt Reeves. In Swedish or English, it still kills.
PS. I dig Matt Reeves.
2. The Fighter
I don't box. Nor do I particularly like movies with people who box (Rocky?...meh...bunch of steps, cool hoodie). But I found myself on the edge of my seat more than once in The Fighter, a film that lets you root for the underdog without ever telling you who the underdog truly is. A family so consumed in their faded history it takes an outsider to show their meal ticket the present...and his potential future. Wicked smaht cast!
1. Blue Valentine
Ahh, love. Fickle friend, bountiful beast. There's such a beauty in finding each other, in falling in love. And there's a beauty, however aching, to the destruction of falling out of it. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are stunning. This one's also in the bike archives (When Sean Met Jen), but here's another look...
Happy end of 2010 bikers. Thanks for pedaling....