Thursday, December 30, 2010

InRO Feature: Year in Review - Top 20 Films (Staff)

We're closing out the year at InReviewOnline over the next couple of days. This weekend brings the final End of Radio podcast of the year-- a countdown of the 15 best albums of 2010-- but today our staff polls have been revealed for both film and music. Our top 20 films list is kind of a mixed bag in my view-- certainly no bad films, but a handful of solid films by great filmmakers (see: Shutter Island, True Grit, and Black Swan-- even Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl, which is actually very good, but like a lot of Oliveira's most recent work, relatively minor when contrasted with his great late-December release, The Strange Case of Angelica, my #1 film of the year, which enough of our staff just obviously didn't get a chance to see in time) which slid their way in through the consensus-built process of averaging out individual writer's top 10/15/20 lists.

Beyond that, it's mostly all pretty great (and there's really no point arguing our top three films-- seriously legit), though it's unfortunate that some of the year's tougher offerings-- such as Harmony Korine's underground gutter-film homage Trash Humpers or Alain Resnais' dizzyingly brilliant Wild Grass-- were excluded in favor of, say, the visually interesting but hollow Amer or a couple of documentaries (October Country, Exit Through the Gift Shop) that are enthralling but aren't what I would consider amongst the best of a very strong 2010 non-fiction field (do yourself a favor and seek out Last Train Home, Sweetgrass, or Henri Georges-Clouzot's Inferno for examples of a few that just missed out on my personal list). Perhaps because of this, I didn't contribute a capsule to this feature, though I did vote and feel that, at the very least, each of these films is worthy of consideration. Anyway, decide for yourself, but after such a scatter-shot twelve months, it'll be nice to welcome 2011, a year which is already lining some of the best films in recent memory. Prepare accordingly.

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