My favorite thing to do is start out a fairly obvious list with its own list of special disclosures that make everything much more complicated than it needs to be.
As 2019 and the 2010s draw to a close, I’m starting to think about favorites, namely my favorite films of 2019. While I’ve seen a lot of movies this year (probably more new releases than any other year), there are still exactly 19 movies that I have not seen (many because they have not yet been released in France). In order to buy myself more time to catch up, and to get myself in the movie-list-making mood, I’ve decided to do a quick look at the past decade, starting with 2010.
Disclosure: I know that technically decades go 1-10, 11-20, etc. But that’s because some idiot who didn’t understand math/had never used a ruler decided to call the first year Year One, as opposed to Year Zero, as he should have. That’s like saying your newborn baby is already a year old. Let’s stop with the nonsense. My decade is 10-19.
Disclosure: I haven’t seen all of the films from 2010.
This list is in no particular order.
Some films I saw too long ago to make a good call about. I’ll mention those after.
- Black Swan: Black Swan was a big one for me, given my love of Natalie Portman and ballet. And the depiction of destructive magical thinking really resonated with my little OCD heart. The ending is a bit on the nose in terms of hammering home the ‘theme’, but I don’t mind.
- The Secret of Kells: This is a brilliant and brilliantly strange animation by the same group that did Song of the Sea. It’s beautiful, it’s intricate, and it’s magical. I do like Song of the Sea better but that may just be because it involves the ocean.
- How to Train Your Dragon: I’ve enjoyed the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy right through to the end, and Hiccup (Harold, if you’re in France) has had a great arc over the course of the saga. I would still say the first film is the best.
- Toy Story 3: It was a good year for animation. Toy Story 3 was the first film I saw in the series as a more or less adult, and it carried some pretty dark themes. It hit me pretty hard and I loved every minute of it. I do think this was the natural end for the franchise, and while Toy Story 4 this year was nice enough, I found it largely uncalled for and, in the end, unearned.
- Inception: Inception is one of those that I expect will go down as a modern classic. It’s still very much appreciated and talked about, and I would say rightfully so.
- Mao’s Last Dancer: While Inception is as much a people’s favorite as it is my favorite, this one is a bit more niche, what with the ballet and the politics. It’s excellent.
- Undertow: This I saw the most recently, which is to say only about a year ago. It’s a foreign film about sexual identity, secrets, intolerance, and the fallout. Would make a good triple feature with The Talented Mr. Ripley and Call Me By Your Name.
- True Grit: Back when I didn’t have any idea who the Coen brothers were. It’s a great cast and a great Western, a remake of a John Wayne film (which no, I have not yet seen). Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges. and I believe also Matt Damon?
- The Social Network: Facebook’s just gotten more and more shady as time’s gone on, hasn’t it?
Yes, that is 9 films, not 10. We’re leaving a space open for whatever film I haven’t seen/saw to long ago. Like the guy you leave a seat for at passover.
(Can you tell I’m not religious?)
I have NOT seen Never Let Me Go, Grizzly Man, Restrepo, The Fighter, and many others.
Things I saw a long time ago: The Runaways, Easy A, Ondine, and The King’s Speech. I have mixed feelings about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Shrek Forever After does not make the list.