At last, we're down to the probable grand finale. I'd love to toss in a couple more essays (best trailers/posters, the year in review, etc), but that depends on whether or not my daughter takes a nap on any given afternoon. But should this be the final major entry of 2010, so be it. Below is a list of fourteen of my favorite pictures that were released in theaters or DVD in 2010, plus a final nod to my favorite film of 2010 (no surprise if you've been reading me with any regularity). They are not necessarily 'the best', as there are plenty of allegedly great films that I missed (likely contenders: Inside Job, Blue Valentine, Animal Kingdom, Tiny Furniture), but they are all pretty great. As usual, the first fourteen are in alphabetical order.
First and foremost, that 'incident' that occurs at the third act isn't nearly as hard to watch as you've heard. If you're staying away out of fear, buck it up, because James Franco's grandmother thinks you're a 'p***y'. Danny Boyle's dazzlingly compelling and sharply edited character study about a young climber trapped in a cave is about so much more than its climax. It's a shockingly unsentimental yet genuinely moving look at the choice that we all have to make to truly live. James Franco, Hollywood's most versatile entertainer (he's the equivalent of that kid in high school who wanted to be on every page of the yearbook), gives the performance of his career. And you know what? If you want to close your eyes and ears at the end, I won't hold it against you. The movie works whether you keep your eyes open or not.