It’s that time of year you’ve all been waiting for where I unveil my top 10 films of the year. Like last year I’ve left it too late to write anything insightful about any of them, so I’ll just try to link to other people’s thoughts. So here we go...
1. Four Lions
Directed by Chris Morris
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar and Craig Parkinson
Funny and surprisingly moving the eagerly awaite feature film debut from Chris Morris takes my top spot. For everything Four Lions related head over to the Cook’d and Bomb Four Lions forum thread.
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo Di Caprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger and Michael Caine
A stunning piece of filmmaking from one of cinema’s most exciting filmmakers.
What the hell was it about? The best analysis of it can be found on the excellent blog ‘Go Into the Story’. Scott Myers offers his own and links to several other theries and opinions on it. If you’re interested start with this one.
3. The Social Network
Directed by David Fincher
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Rooney Mara and Rashida Jones
A film written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher was always going to be a must-see for me. Not much happens in the film, yet it’s still absolutely compelling. Here’s Go Into the Story again on why The Social Network should not have worked, and why it does.
If you want some more reading here’s an in-depth article on the film from New York magazine. It also goes into some detail explaining how although Sorkin’s script was credited in the film as being an adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s book “The Accidental Billionaires”, he could be nominated for an Oscar in the Original Screenplay category.
4. Up In The Air
Directed by Jason Reitman
Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick
A Terrific script, superb cinematography, some great acting and a story that doesn’t really go where you expect it to.
Here’s Go Into the Story on the relationship between the two screenwriters Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner.
Directed by Lee Daniels
Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and Sherri Shepherd
Brutal yet, on occasion, funny. Amazing performances from Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique. Yes, Mo’Nique really is fantastic in this.
Here's an interview with screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher from the Writers Guild of America, West.
6. Big Fan
Directed by Robert D. Siegel
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Rapaport, Marcia Jean Kurtz and Matt Servitto
A career best performance fromone of my favourite comedians, Patton Oswalt. A dark comedy in the vein of The King of Comedy.
Here’s an interview with Siegel and Oslwat from Cinema Blend.
7. A Prophet
Directed by Jacques Audiard
Starring: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup and Adel Bencherif
The only foreign language film in my top ten. This brutal French prison drama was gripping, with a fine central performance from Tahar Rahim as a young man who grows in prison.
Here’s Blog on the Box talking with Rahim.
8. American: The Bill Hicks Story
Directed by Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas
Starring: Kevin Booth, John Farneti and Bill Hicks
An interesting well-made documentary that takes a device seen in ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture’ to tell the story of Bill Hicks. The DVD has a wealth of interesting extras that makes it well worth a purchase.
Here's a video interview with the directors from Screen Rush.
9. The Town
Directed by Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper
Affleck's début feature 'Gone Baby Gone' topped my list in 2008, so this film now confirms him as one of my favourite current directors. Great to see Mad Men's Jon Hamm starting to get meatier film roles now too.
Here's a screenwriting analysis of it from Go Into the Story.
10. A Single Man
Directed by Tom Ford
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult
An incredibly stylish film I don't think anyone on screen this year looked better than Colin Firth.
Here's an interview with director Tom Ford from The Guardian.
This has been the seventh Talking Pish round up of the films of the year. You can find the others below.
Tom's Films of 2009
Tom’s Films of 2008
Tom’s Films of 2007
Tom’s Films of 2006
Tom’s Films of 2005
Tom’s Films of 2004