Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 Films of the Year: The Rest Of It!

To make up for some lost time (I was sick for about two weeks, had to catch up with school, make up an entire English project that I missed, and now finals week, I really shouldn't be posting), I've decided to post he rest of the random categories I selected, not the rest of the top 10 films, which will still be getting their own pages, but the rest of the, well, you'll see.

Honorable Mentions:
Spike Jonze - Adaptation
The Coen Brothers - Blood Simple
Terry Gilliam - Brazil
Daryl Wein - Breaking Upwards
Michael Haneke - Cache
David Slade - Hard Candy
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Pascal Laughlier - Martyrs
Duncan Jones - Moon
David Lynch - Mullholland Dr.

Top 5:
#5 Spike Jonze - Where The Wild Things Are
#4 John Cameron Mitchell - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
#3 Lars von Trier - Antichrist
#2 David Lynch - Inland Empire
#1 Charlie Kaufman - Synecdoche, New York

Supporting Actors:
Honorable Mention:

Robert De Niro- Brazil

Top 5:

#5 Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
#4 Tom Noonan - Synecdoche, New York
#3 Eugene Hutz - Everything Is Illuminated
#2 Daryl Sabara - World's Greatest Dad
#1 Christoph Waltz - Ingourious Basterds

Supporting Actresses:
Honorable Mention:

Andrea Martin - Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Top 5:

#5 Andrea Martin - Breaking Upwards
#4 Hope Davis - Synecdoche, New York
#3 Katharine Helmond - Brazil
#2 Cathrine Keener - Synecdoche, New York
#1 Dianne Wiest - Synecodoche, New York

Top 5:

#5 Zoe Lister-Jones - Breaking Upwards
#4 Ellen Page - Hard Candy
#3 Naomi Watts - Mulholland Dr.
#2 Charlotte Gainsbourg - Antichirst
#1 Laura Dern - Inland Empire

Honorable Mention:

Max Records - Where The Wild Things Are

Top 5:

#5 Sam Rockwell - Moon
#4 Robin Williams - World's Greatest Dad
#3 Willem Dafoe - Antichrist
#2 John Cameron Mitchell - Hedwig And The Angry Inch
#1 Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Synecdoche, New York

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top 10 Movies of the Year: #6-TIE! Being John Malkovich/World's Greatest Dad

Top 10 Movies of the Year:
Being John Malkovich
World's Greatest Dad

The first tie to appear on the list, and a well deserved one from both of the respective films. These two both go together quite nicely as well, considering they are both dark comedies, with some really serious tones to them. Being John Malkovich was the film that put both Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze on the map, and rightfully so. It's a clever, mind-bending little fantasy, that has Kaufman's typical oddities and craziness, but also comes with his always great world views. Jonze's directs well here, and excellently for a first timer. The film is given magnificent life with solid peformances from John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catharine Keener, and of course, John Malkovich, who plays himself zany enough so that we can set aside reality, but straight enough that it allows drama to develope well within the story. It is by far the most fantasy based of all of Kaufman's work, and has its own strengths and flaws because of it. It is probably my least favorite of his work, aside from little talked about Human Nature, and it stilled managed to get into the sixth spot.

In the other corner we have World's Greatest Dad  a dark, dark, dark, comedy about a struggling author and poetry teacher, who struggles just as much at connecting with his son. The film goes about it's course playing as a straight comedy about the occasional awkwardness of raising a child by yourself, but around the half-way point takes a complete left turn and doesn't tell you were it's headed next. Robin Williams is cast perfectly here, in a more subtle comedic role than his usual schtick, and he plays it perfectly straight all the way through. The zany character here is in the form of his son played also to perfection by Daryl Sabara (of Spy Kids fame), who though is outlandish, and obnoxious, and all around just a terrible person, we end up having tinges of sypathy for by the end. Writer and director Bobcat Goldthwait has created something else with this piece, what exactly? I'm not sure, but I am sure that I had a hell of a time with it, and will eagerly wait in line for his next offering. The perfect mix of being a 100% raunchy comedy, and a 100% heartwrenching drama is something hard to do, but some how, it all works out in the end.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 Films of the Year: #7-Breaking Upwards

Top 10 Films of the Year:
Breaking Upwards

I'm a sucker for romance movies that do something differently, or that are somewhat realistic in presentation. I hate modern romance that seems to only to be adapted from Nicholas Sparks novels, it's all chivalrist and unrealistic, and therefore never connects with me, because I cannot connect with it. Then came Breaking Upwards an indie film with a budget of about $15,000 and it did everything right. The way the characters interact with each other, things that are said, little inside jokes that we get to be apart of. It creates an amazing world that seems to grow with the characters and the plot, and because of its realism, the film really draws you into the characters lives, and we get amplified emotions because we know what they are feeling, as we have felt it before. This makes Breaking Upwards more funny, more thrilling, more romantic, and even more sad than most other romances on the market, and thats why I loved it so much, more than most actually. Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones give excellent performances, playing themselves in a film that is based on their real relationship, Daryl has writing, starring, directing, producing, and editing credits, and Zoe has writing, starring, and producing credits as well. Andrea Martin shows up in an excellent and hilarious supporting role, and further proves my theory she is one of the most underrated actresses of all time. The film is excellently acted, has a great script, is directed marvelously, has some really good songs to its soundtrack (written by Zoe as well) and all around is just a solid romance movie, to put it all into perspective, and let everyone watching know: You aren't the only one.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top 10 Films of the Year: #8-Antichrist

Top 10 Films of the Year:

Oh dear, not this again. It's hard for me to talk about Antichrist, especially when there is so much to be said, and so much that already has. Though I'm not sure how much I actually liked the film, I do know how much it effected me in the end. To still be thinking about it, to this day, nearly a month after I first watched, and still be mining through all the different possibilites, with absoloutly no clue at all which ones are right or wrong is just extraordinary to me. At first the only reason I wanted to watch the film is because I knew that it was going to have something shocking, then I learned of Lars von Trier's involvment, and then saw the trailer, and I was sold. The film is brutal and shocking, and disgusting, and violent, and depraved, and all the better for it. I am the kind of person that just eats that stuff up. Graphic violence? Sign me up. Controversy? I'm there. There is just something about that sort of outlaw film making that attracts me to them, and for that very reason I have sat through a lot of bad movies, Antichrist however is not one of them. The sheer beauty of the film is enough to watch it for alone. The opening sequence is just pure, pure genius, and has some of the most beautiful cinematography I've ever seen, the entire film just weaves this dreamlike quality that is impossible to shake. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe give some of the strongest performances of all time, and Von Trier directs like a pro, because he is, he really is. The succes of the film comes with mixing together beauty, and violence, and making these two polar opposites mesh in such a way that emotion stirs within the viewer, and all this goes on around a complexly wonderful story, and psychological study that almost puts the film over the top. It walks a very fine line between pushing boundaries, and just being over the top, and I think it found a near perfect balance. Antichrist is a fear to beautiful to resist.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Top 10 Films of the Year: Screenplays

Top 5 Screenplays:
Adapted and Original

Honorable Mentions:
-Charlie Kaufman
-(Based on the novel The Orchid Theif by Susan Orlean)


-Terry Gilliam
-Tom Stoppard
-Charles McKeown

Inland Empire

-David Lynch

The Nines

-John August


-Nathan Parker
-Duncan Jones

Top 5 Screenplays:


Breaking Upwards
-Daryl Wein
-Zoe Lister Jones
-Peter Duchan

Hard Candy
-Brian Nelson

Where The Wild Things Are
-Spike Jonze
-Dave Eggers
-(Based on the book by Maurice Sendak)

Inglorious Basterds
-Quentin Tarantino

Synecdoche, New York
-Charlie Kaufman