My top 10 films of 2010

Notice my top 10 includes only a couple of releases from 2010, as I don’t think there have been many truly brilliant films this year. Sorry, Inception, The Social Network, and Greenberg, they were good, but not great in my opinion.

I’ve seen so many movies this year, that inevitably some will not make my top 10, which is why I’ve added a list below of films just outside my ten best.

1. A Patch of Blue (1965)

(I love heart-warming films like this, which avoid being cheesy. The friendship on display here is just so touching. On top of that, as I pointed out in my review, the story can make the viewer contemplate how we treat others)

2. Box of Moon Light (1996)

(Another warm-hearted film, the summer atmosphere was amazing, and I agree with a YouTube-user that I wish I could jump into the screen and just live in this film!)

3. Imitation of Life (1959)

(Recommended by a film blogging buddy at I shoot the pictures, I can’t praise this movie enough, the story is about self-acceptance. Now I want to check out Douglas Sirk’s other films!)

4. Mother and Child (2009)

(Similar to such ensemble films as Magnolia. Took me by surprise. An underrated gem about having a child, belonging and growing up, and the flawed characters stayed with me. Recommended by my blogging pal Colin over at picknmixflix)

5. Marty (1955)

(Judging from this top 10, you might think I watch a ton of old films, As a matter of fact, I actually watch mostly new stuff. Marty is yet another very heart-warming and sweet movie, and one I will want to revisit.)

6. Armadillo (2010)

(For me, a very original documentary about the ambiguity of war, the doc raises many interesting questions such as should soldiers enjoy combat? After watching this I looked at war in a whole new light! The only foreign language film in my top 10)

7. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

(This film is not for everyone. A brilliant career-defining performance by Sally Hawkins divided audiences. Some found her irritating, I found her very likeable. The driving lessons are so funny!)

8. Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)

(A quirky oddball love story, and the only John Cassavetes movie I enjoyed. The other ones for me were irritating, had too much screaming and people acting like jerks. This gem is mellower, and the script is excellent, too)

9. Great Expectations (1946)

(For me, an improvement on the book, by stripping away all the unnecessary details and focusing on the essential. Captures the atmosphere brilliantly, far better than the 1998 movie(which to be fair had an awesome 90s soundtrack)

10. Dummy (2002)

(An underrated indie movie you should seek out, if you haven’t seen it! Some very funny dialogue. And memorable characters. The main character played by Adrian Brody being my age is obviously appealing to me)

Others I enjoyed very much, just outside my top 10, in random order:

Random Harvest (1942)
Henry Poole is here (2008)
Mary and Max (2009)
Hunger (Norway, 1966)
Open Hearts (Denmark, 2002)
Please give (2010)
Greenberg (2010)
Paper Moon (1973)
Bright Star (2009)
Moon (2009)
Never Cry Wolf (1983)
Wendy and Lucy (2008)
[Rec] (Spain, 2007)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Seconds (1966)
Siblings (2004)
Talk Radio (1988)
The King of Comedy (1982)
What Happened Was (1994)
The Marriage of Maria Braun (Germany, 1979)
The Vicious Kind (2009)
Body Heat (1981)
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)
5 Centimeters Per Second (Japan, 2007)
Caught on a train (1980)
Ikiru (Japan, 1952)
Mr. Brooks (2007)
Ninotchka (1939)
Nothing Personal (2009)
Of Human Bondage (1964)
The Accidental Tourist (1988)
The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
The Vanishing (Netherlands,1988)
White Dog (1982)
The White Massai (Germany, 2005)
Inception (2010)

Exit Through the Gift Shop (documentary, 2010)
A Decade Under the Influence (documentary, 2003)
Crumb (documentary, 1994)
The Cove (documentary, 2009)

Quite a few films from 2010, I have yet to see, such as Jack goes boating, 127 Hours, Somewhere, Another Year, etc. Go here, for more films I’m dying to see.
For this reason, I don’t think my top 10 of 2010 releases would be very accurate, so I’ll skip that for now.

Do you agree?, disagree? with my top 10? What are your top films of 2010?

Songs for your iPod

Continuing my top songs of 2010...

If You Run - The Boxer Rebellion

(Found on list of contenders for best original song at 2011 Oscars, I think this could win. IMO the other contenders were useless...Guitars remind me of U2. The related movie is the romantic comedy “Going the distance”)


Behind The Mask - Michael Jackson

(The first 2 min are amazing. For me, his best and most personal lyrics since the 1995 album History. For the record, I disliked his album Invincible (2001), and the rest of Michael (2010) was disappointing.

(For me, his most personal song since the 1995 album History. Not really a new song, co-written with Eric Clapton. The only song I liked on Michael (2010)


I'm a Hummingbird - Eels

(Beautiful and haunting)

Film review: 5 centimeters per second (2007)

I love beautiful movies, and this is highly recommended, if you enjoy that kind of thing. I urge you to watch the trailer below!
I seldom watch animated films, but this has some of the most dazzling visuals you are ever likely to see! Kyle over at enterthemovies recommended this 1 hour Japanese feature. Directed by Makoto Shinkai, the story is a series of short films on love and distance. The atmosphere draws you in more than the actual voice-overs. Might make you fall in love with nature all over again! For me, words don’t do the film justice, so I’ll leave you with some screenshots instead :




Readers, any thoughts?

Songs for your iPod

Hadestown was surprisingly overlooked on some of the major music magazine’s year-end lists. I did find it on this top 50 of 2010 at thelineofbestfit. Thanks to boycottingtrends for recommending me this gem of an album. I just wish I could have found videos including lyrics)

Wedding Song - Anais Mitchell feat. Justin Vernon


Hey, Little Songbird - Anais Mitchell feat. Greg Brown


Our Lady Of The Underground - Anais Mitchell feat. Ani DiFranco

Film review: Santa Claus - The Movie (1985)

This is my favourite Christmas movie ever. Granted, Gremlins (1984) is also, but that was not strictly an Xmas film in my mind. I didn’t find It’s A Wonderful Life until much later.

They seemed to show Santa Claus - The Movie on TV every Christmas in the UK when I grew up. It’s probably my first movie memory, I was not very old when I first saw it, maybe 5 or so, so it’s obviously very nostalgic. Heck, I even rented this film once as a child when it wasn't even Christmas! It would appear from youtube the movie has a larger following in the UK than other countries due to aforementioned repeated screenings.

The whole atmosphere of the film is so “Christmassy”. There was something about those candy bars in the back of the flying vehicle, which caught my imagination. It kind of makes you still believe in Santa Clause. The effects still hold up pretty well, especially the reindeer sleigh-rides, they had a budget of 50 million dollars, which in 1985 was huge. The actors I thought were perfectly cast, the short actor Dudley Moore as the small elf Patch, the fatherly David Huddleston as Santa Claus, and John Lithgow as the sinister toy manufacturer.

The story is partly about the origins of Santa Claus and might even get you interested to find out more about the history of the real Saint Nicholas.

I was shocked to discover that rottentomatoes and IMDB absolutely killed this film with their rating system. I usually agree with them, but this time, I totally disagree. I am not the only one, plenty of people are positive on youtube and imdb. I guess you'll just have to trust me on this recommendation.

The kind of harmless entertainment where you can put your feet up, and relax on a cosy couch with your family, and a warm cup of coco, while it’s freezing outside. And just escape into this magical world the filmmakers have created.

Probably will appeal more to kids, but really gets me in the mood to celebrate Christmas. One of those you can easily rewatch. As some guy on youtube says, it ain’t Christmas without this movie.

Could this be the most underrated family film ever!? What movies get you in the Christmas spirit?




Songs for your iPod

(My top songs of 2010 will be a regular feature all through December and January)

Lets get lost - Bat For Lashes/Beck


Hægt, kemur ljósið - Ólafur Arnalds

(He's from Iceland, and has toured with Sigur Rós. Thanks to Mildly interesting films for sharing this track)


The Suburbs - Arcade Fire

Film review: Random Harvest (1942)

I watched this, as people were calling Random Harvest one of the most romantic movies ever made. As faithful readers will know, I seldom get excited about old black-and-white films. Well, in this case. Wow! That movie magic sure was present.

This film was so romantic, and not in a romantic comedy kind of way, but a genuine adult relationship with real emotions. No spoilers here. You don’t want to hear the plot twists beforehand, which IMDB and RT annoyingly give away in their brief summaries.

The first half of the film impressed me the most. The scenes between Ronald Colman and Greer Garson steal the show for me, they have great chemistry, very moving. Although I would clearly say Greer Garson’s acting is more soulful than Colman’s. Then again, her character Paula is more outgoing, so it’s hard to put a finger on this. No wonder Garson won a best actress Oscar the same year for Mrs. Miniver (1942), she is a great actress.

It’s unusual to see the leading lady character taking the initiative at the beginning of a relationship. Paula is a popular singer among her male audience in the music hall, but she prefers the quiet and memory-disadvantaged Charles Rainer from the asylum. This is puzzling, why? Because he is more mysterious? Because she likes to be in control and he lets her? Or is she the helpful type, who wants to assist a shell-shocked WW1 veteran in distress who appears lost? Could she be lonely in spite of all the male attention? Is Paula simply tired of the same kind of men admiring her body and not her heart? She is almost like a mother figure, treating him like a patient in a tender and kind manner. She appears to know what he needs right away. I wondered at first if she had a history as a nurse during WW1. I think her motivations are interesting.

I like Paula's encouraging line about how gaining a bit of confidence is the best medicine in life, I think that’s my favourite quote.

Visually the cinematography is outstanding. Some scenes have a gothic or ghostly atmosphere, which I liked. The cottage with the bridge is so romantic.

There are some minor inconsistencies in the script, such as how could they afford a house and maid? A little overlong as well. Not a perfect film, occasionally implausible, but I wasn’t too bothered by these flaws, and this didn’t take away from my enjoyment.

The American Film Institute (AFI) revealed it's 100 greatest love stories of all time, and Random Harvest (1942) came in at number 36.

If you like a good old-fashioned romance, Random Harvest is a must-see. They don't make films like this anymore. I can understand why it was nominated for 7 Oscars, and why some people on YouTube call this their favourite film that they can watch again and again. The character’s really got under my skin!

I still haven’t decoded the title? Is it how Charles Rainer’s memory is very random?

Thanks to musicinephiles for recommending this film.




Songs for your iPod

(Singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom's album "Have one on me" for me is a highlight of 2010. Readers, what are your top albums of the year?)

Good intentions paving company - Joanna Newsom


On a good day - Joanna Newsom


Kingfisher - Joanna Newsom


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