More of the best things that defined 2010 in movie-world…
Character of the Year
This time last year only a handful of people outside of Ikea had heard of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. 12 Months, 3 films and a US reboot (headed up by none other than David Fincher) later and the eponymous heroine is the iconic character of 2010. Aided by a distinctive get-up of black leather, half shaven head and rings in every orifice, Lisbeth Salenders’ kick ass attitude and very un-leading lady tactic of actually being the one to save the day made Salt and others look like table decorations.
Witty, sexy, intelligent, sexy, fun, did we mention sexy? Easy A‘s Olive is reason enough for students the world over to rejoice amid chaos. If via the invention of time travel she could hook up with John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler, King and Queen of Movie Prom Night would be a certainty. Together, these two could save the world.
There could and, by all accounts, should be a massive backlash against George Clooney. Successful, sexy, so powerful within the industry that if he looks at a script it gets made, yet because of choices like Up In The Air‘s Ryan Bingham he remains hugely likeable and strangely pitiful. Bingham taught us, in a round about way, money and all the trappings of success don’t bring about companionship, love and happiness.
When TV Beat Film
2010 wasn’t one of Hollywood’s finest years. Subsequently television seemed to shine in comparison. Yet if Boardwalk Empire (from Martin Scorsese and Soprano’s writer Terrence Winter) had been released in any year it would have stood out as the most accomplished work on the tube. Politics, Prohibition and the Price of Sin. A thousand times more than just an Irish Sopranos.
Zombies from the director of The Shawshank Redemption? And why not. Having cut his teeth with pessimistic fair like The Mist, Frank Darabont proved just the right person to bring the graphic novel to the smaller screen. With our very own Egg as the lead sheriff, any doubts that this wouldn’t live up to expectation were quashed in the opening, zombie child moments.
This Is England ’86
Hilarious and harrowing in equal measure, Shane Meadows first dalliance with the smaller screen suited his style down to the ground. Containing one of the bleakest and barely watchable moments in British Television History, that ’86 wasn’t just an experiment in miserabilism was down to fine performances and some of the funniest characters to grace any screen, big or small.
Best Trailer of the Year
Say what you will about the end result (and Inception does have it detractors) when this first hit the net any doubts that Christopher Nolan would be unable to follow up The Dark Knight behemoth were quickly dispelled. A city, bending in half! A CITY! BENDING! IN HALF! A rare example of trailer building expectations that a film could actually meet.
The exact opposite could be found in Legion, tantalising trailer, miss-able movie. Armies of gun-toting angels, a rabid granny, Dennis Quaid, what could have been a fun take on the Assault on Precinct 13 stand-off, ended up being an assault on all that’s good and holy in the world of film.
Time and time again a comedy can be ruined by having all the funny bits in the trailer. Thankfully Four Lions has so much more than just a few jokes. Whether you find it funny at all, the humanity displayed by Chris Morris et al for these deeply confused young men ended up making it the Best British Film of the year. By the Toploader trailer’s ending you probably knew that already.
The Road is not a happy film. But it is a brilliant one. Ignored by audiences and looked upon indifferently by many critics (even the Oscars considered the cinematography as inferior to, of all things, Harry Potter) The Road will hopefully be reconsidered over time as much more than simply; Better than The Book of Eli.
Going The Distance
Not exactly a groundbreaking take on the romantic comedy, the Drew Barrymore/Justin Long vehicle was, however, much funnier than the trailer would suggest or most critics would have you believe. A clever script that avoided the usual cliches, Going The Distance almost travelled to the heights of last years standout couples tale, (500) Days of Summer.
This may be turning into a ‘Why Doesn’t Anyone Love Drew Barrymore?’ piece, but her directorial debut was a stirring love letter to being young and dumb. Featuring a great soundtrack from the Ramones to Radiohead, if Whip It didn’t remind you of your youth, you may have never been young.
Next week. The Bad and The Downright Ugly of 2010…