The Best (and Worst) in Movies of 2010 So Far

The first Friday Movie Blog mid-year movie awards (sorry, no statues for winners)

I think it’s time to fondly look back over the Movies of 2010 so far. Yes, there have been some major stinkers (more on Sex and the City 2 later), but there have actually been quite a few bright spots. So, I welcome you to the Philly Post’s Friday Movie Blog Mid-Year Movie Awards, or the PPFMBMMAs for short. These “awards” have not been decided by a vote of movie professionals or even a panel of experts. No. They’ve been decided by me — a small-time, part-time, Mac Book-using movie blogger that has tens of readers. Think of these as the Golden Globes, except without the Hollywood Foreign Press, champagne, dinner, or … well … actual awards.[SIGNUP]

[Limitation of nominating process: I was unable to see many award-worthy movies, mostly independent, in the theaters (like Exit Through the Gift Shop, Restrepo, or Piranha 3D, etc); therefore, these could not be included in the PPFMBMMA consideration. Check back for the end-of-year recap. Even though we all know that Piranha 3D will be the best movie of the year.]

Best Picture/Director: The Kids Are All Right, dir. Lisa Cholodenko
In this intimate film, from the spectacular director and writer Lisa Cholodenko, we meet and fall in love with a truly modern, American family. It’s a powerful film that acutely explores nature vs. nurture — how genetics only plays a part in development. And it lets us revel in performances from a perfect ensemble of actors.
Runner-Up: Winter’s Bone

Best Animated Picture: Toy Story 3
By now, Pixar should just be taken out of consideration and be given a mandatory award each year. Even still, TS3 will be one of the best movies of 2010. The animation and storyline simply take your breath away. I still cannot get the image of them grasping each others’ hands while descending into the garbage pit out of my mind. It proves that even the simplest tales can be the most profound.
Runner-Up: How to Train Your Dragon

Best Actress: Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right)
After returning from the bathroom, Bening sits back at the dinner table and looks back and forth between her wife and the man. A subtle gesture, but a staggering reminder of how truly gifted Bening is.
Runner(s)-Up: Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)

Best Actor: Pierce Brosnan (The Ghost Writer)
Brosnan creates and embodies a British Prime Minister in the aftermath of a disastrous fall from grace. He’s only in a few scenes, but when he is, he is menacing and completely commands the screen. Funneling all of his Bond charisma, Brosnan holds this character’s cards close to his chest.
Runner(s)-Up: Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), John Hawkes (The Winter’s Bone)

Worst Movie: The Back-Up Plan
Since I wouldn’t see The Last Airbender, I cannot go with my gut and choose that. Instead, I give the award to the latest J. Lo vehicle, whose horribleness can be highlighted from this snippet of dialogue: J. Lo: “I don’t expect you to stay.” Bland, love interest: “I don’t expect you to expect me to stay.” Horrible, and painful.
Runner(s)-Up: Furry Vengeance, Sex and the City 2

“What the Hell Was That?”: Sex and the City 2
Whose idea was it to turn these (once) smart and brave icons into clothes-hangar caricatures who say things like, “We’ve got a lot of Abu Dhabi to do. Abu Dhabi doo!”? This 2 1/2 –hour, bloated mess should never have been made.
Runner-Up: Jake Gyllenhaal’s accent in Prince of Persia

Best Breakout Performance: Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Others are probably appalled, but I couldn’t get enough of the foul-mouthed, 11-year-old Chloe Moretz. She sliced and diced some bad guys, and made comments that would make Linda Blair turn green. It’s amazing.
Runner-Up: Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)

The Thing I’m Most Tired of People Talking About: Inception
Okay, I really, really liked this movie. So much so that for several days … okay, weeks … I was one of those mega-nyerds out on the interwebs reading all the fan blog theories. Did it keep spinning? Why wasn’t he wearing a wedding ring in that scene? Was that really a Dharma symbol in the dream within a dream? (That last one was a joke — don’t start googling that.) But then I hit the wall. Like the movie’s never, ever, ever ending musical score, I am now at the point where I don’t want to hear it anymore.
Runner-Up: Avatar. Seriously, it’s re-opening this weekend? Do we really need a re-release with additional, all-new, never-before-seen footage (read: a few extra minutes of glowy trees and lanky-Smurf sex)? I’ll wait for the re-re-release on Blu Ray which will have the director’s commentary in Na’vi, I’m sure.

The Movie I Liked (That Apparently Nobody Else Did): MacGruber
The movie is by no means brilliant, or has any lasting effect. But, like the SNL sketch, it’s funny, raunchy, and above all, stupid. Really, really stupid. And that’s the point. For 90 minutes, I enjoyed this one-man Tropic Thunder and the always-hilarious Kristen Wiig.
Runner-Up: Death at a Funeral

Alas, if any of the winners happen to be reading this (ha!), I have no actual statue or medal for you. But leave me a note. Maybe I can take you to Bob and Barbara’s for a PBR.

For everyone else: what do you think? Did I miss anything?

To find any Aaron Mettey movie review from 2010, click here.