As I promised when I posted the entry about my favourite songs of 2010, here are my film choices for the first part of 2010 in the categories of best film, directing, acting (both leading and supporting) and writing (original and adapted).
As my absolute favourite film of 2010, Mike Leigh’s Another Year is ubiquitous in virtually all categories. With a good US release date towards the end of the year and the critical support it has managed to gather so far, my dream of seeing the film recognised should become true, come award time. It’s been difficult to place its actors in the right categories, but I’ve finally gone for Lesley Manville (my favourite performance of the year) in the leading and Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen in the supporting, since that’s how they’ll most likely be campaigned for.
Christopher Nolan’s Inception is, by and large, the biggest film released so far this year. I enjoyed it the first time around and, having watched it again recently, I’m glad to state that everything actually makes sense in that seemingly nonsensical brain-teaser of dreams within a dream. The idea is not new and I don’t think the film is memorable in any way, but to take such a huge blockbuster project and turn it into a smart film is praiseworthy. Plus, the movie is simply too big to ignore it at this point of the year.
I’ve included in this list films like The Secret in Their Eyes or A Prophet which were originally released in 2009. Both were nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar last year as the official submissions of Argentina and France respectively (The Secret in Their Eyes finally got the trophy). However, they have been commercially released in the US in 2010 and could therefore be elegible for any category this year, except of course the Best Foreign Film. It wouldn’t be the first time to happen. In 1973 Truffaut’s Day For Night (La Nuit Américaine) won the Best Foreign Film Oscar and one year later Truffaut and Valentina Cortese received nods in the directing and supporting acting categories. I believe that, with a good campaign (although I doubt they’ll do anything at all) The Secret In Their Eyes could sneak in one of the 10 Best Picture slots or, more easily, in the adapted screenplay category.
I don’t include in my list hot contenders like Colin Firth, James Franco, Natalie Portman, or Annette Bening for the simple reason that I haven’t seen the pictures yet, and I have to admit that it’s been hard to fill in the 5 spots for the leading actor and actress categories. I’ve had to turn to good performances in weaker films (Patricia Clarkson in Cairo Time) or highly unlikely choices like Tahar Rahim in A Prophet and Korean actress Yun Junghee for her unforgettable turn in Poetry. With too strong performances at this point of the year, Leonardo Dicaprio has virtually a lock on a nomination. I guess he’ll be recognised for Inception, but I’ve chosen his (curiously similar) performance in Shutter Island because I think it’s the better one.
I have to confess that I’m not a cartoon fan, and accordingly I haven’t seen Toy Story 3 yet, which many are calling the best film of the year. There is, however, an animated film among my best film and script picks: a little French gem called The Illusionist, directed by Sylvain Chomet, the creator of Les Triplettes de Belleville. This is, I have to admit, a guilty pleasure choice, since the film is based on a script the great Jacques Tati wrote between Mon Oncle and Playtime back in 1956. It’s wishful thinking, I know, but wouldn’t it be fantastic to see Jacques Tati, in my opinion the greatest comic of all time, posthumously nominated for an Oscar almost 30 years after his death for a script he wrote in 1956?
Anyhow, here are my 2010 (so far) choices:
ANOTHER YEAR (Winner)
THE GHOST WRITER (Runner-up)
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES
JACQUES AUDIARD for A Prophet
MIKE LEIGH for Another Year (Winner)
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN for Inception
ROMAN POLANSKI for The Ghost Writer (Runner-up)
MARTIN SCORSESE for Shutter Island
RICARDO DARÍN in The Secret in Their Eyes (Runner-up)
LEONARDO DICAPRIO in Shutter Island
MICHAEL DOUGLAS in Wall Street 2
HRISTO HRISTOV in Eastern Plays
TAHAR RAHIM in A Prophet (Winner)
JULIETTE BINOCHE in Certified Copy (Runner-up)
PATRICIA CLARKSON in Cairo Time
YUN JUNGHEE in Poetry
LESLEY MANVILLE in Another Year (Winner)
TILDA SWINTON in I Am Love
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
NIELS ARESTRUP in A Prophet
JIM BROADBENT in Another Year (Runner-up)
PIERCE BROSNAN in The Ghost Writer
GUILLERMO FRANCELLA in The Secret in Their Eyes (Winner)
MARK RUFFALO in Shutter Island
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
MARION COTILLARD in Inception
GEMMA JONES in You’ll Meet a Drak Tall Stranger (Runner-up)
KRISTIN SCOTT-THOMAS in Nowhere Boy
RUTH SHEEN in Another Year
OLIVIA WILLIAMS in The Ghost Writer (Winner)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
WOODY ALLEN for You’ll Meet a Dark Tall Stranger
ABBAS KIAROSTAMI for Certified Copy
MIKE LEIGH for Another Year (Winner)
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN for Inception (Runner-up)
JACQUES TATI for The Iluusionist
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
NIKOLAJ ARCEL/RASMUS HEISTERBERG for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
JUÁN JOSÉ CAMPANELLA/EDUARDO SACHERI for The Secret in Their Eyes (Runner-up)
ROB EPSTEIN/JEFFREY FRIEDMANN for Howl
LAETA KALOGRIDIS for Shutter Island
ROMAN POLANSKI/ROBERT HARRIS for The Ghost Writer (Winner)