Screens Top 10s

<i>Where the Wild Things Are</i>
Where the Wild Things Are

1) 'WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE' The No. 1 spot is reserved for the movie that took my breath away, a most involuntary response. Where the Wild Things Are did and does.

2) 'THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS' Agnès Varda's beaches are festooned with mirrors and scarves and her courtyard with sand and umbrellas. Her film autobiography, like her life, is alive with possibility, passageways, and progress.

3) 'A SINGLE MAN' Acclaimed fashion designer Tom Ford (who was born in Austin) delivers a first film that defies expectations of dilettantism and proves that there can be second acts in American life.

4) 'A SERIOUS MAN' Apart from enjoying the Coens' engagement in ontological questions, this film, more than any other, filled me with the joy of identity: Jewish culture and Jefferson Airplane. L'chayim!

<i>The Hurt Locker</i>
The Hurt Locker

5) 'THE HURT LOCKER' So taut, no movement unpurposed: This movie shows what it really takes to be ready for war.

6) 'SUMMER HOURS' This French film is a lovely rumination on the meaning of things, one that reminds us that meaning is created by human beings and not inherent in the objects themselves.

7) 'AN EDUCATION' Like A Serious Man, An Education is, for me, another experience in identity filmmaking. I recognize too well this movie's young girl who wants nothing more than to shed her mediocrity.

<i>Up</i>
Up

8) 'UP' An instant classic: From the second this one was out of the gate, you could see it was going to be a timeless family jewel, one that spanned generations and seasons.

9) 'ANTICHRIST' Agony, guilt, and psychological suffering are fearlessly expressed by Lars von Trier, Willem Dafoe, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. They truly go where angels fear to tread.

<i>Bright Star</i>
Bright Star

10) 'BRIGHT STAR' Sensuous and voluptuous, Jane Campion's story of the tubercular poet John Keats and his lady love Fanny Brawne recasts the hackneyed old stanza in refreshing new verse.


NEAR MISSES

Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Goodbye Solo, The Baader Meinhof Complex, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire


MOST OVERRATED

Paranormal Activity, Observe and Report, Up in the Air


<i>Drag Me To Hell</i>
Drag Me To Hell

MOST UNDERRATED

The Limits of Control, Brüno, Drag Me to Hell


ACTING KUDOS (MALE)

Colin Firth (A Single Man), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), Stanley Tucci (Julie & Julia, The Lovely Bones), Alfred Molina (An Education), Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)


ACTING KUDOS (FEMALE)

Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Julianne Moore (A Single Man), Catherine O'Hara (Where the Wild Things Are)


<i>The Beaches of Agnès</i>
The Beaches of Agnès

BEST DIRECTOR

Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are), Joel and Ethan Coen (A Serious Man), Agnès Varda (The Beaches of Agnès)


BEST SCREENPLAY (ORIGINAL)

Bright Star (Jane Campion), A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen), The Hurt Locker (Mark Boal)


BEST SCREENPLAY (ADAPTED)

<i>An Education</i>
An Education

A Single Man (David Scearce and Tom Ford), Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers), An Education (Nick Hornby)


WORST FILM

The Ugly Truth. This reactionary movie about acquiescing to outdated sexual stereotypes in order to find happiness is also indicative of the bad screen choices made by America's newest rom-com princess Katherine Heigl.


<i>Precious</i>
Precious

WILD CARD

Ensembles Make the Movie: Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Summer Hours, An Education, Where the Wild Things Are

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More Top 10s
Top Books to Read in 2020 As Everything Falls Apart
Top Books to Read in 2020 As Everything Falls Apart
In a COVID-strained year, tales of families repairing their lives and the caste system's effect of Black Americans made an impact

Joe O'Connell, Dec. 18, 2020

Top Books of 2020 That Struck a Literary or Musical Chord
Top Books of 2020 That Struck a Literary or Musical Chord
A writer's fictional joyride, a rock & roll memoir, and jazz fairy tales are books that sang this year

Jay Trachtenberg, Dec. 18, 2020

More Top 10 Films
Feast Your Eyes
Feast Your Eyes
Introducing the banner crop of 2013 films

Marjorie Baumgarten, Jan. 3, 2014

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Nomadland
Story of America's itinerant population wanders too much

Feb. 19, 2021

The Reason I Jump
Poetic insight into autism, based on Naoki Higashida memoir

Jan. 8, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Top 10s, Top 10 Films, Where the Wild Things Are, The Beaches of Agnès, A Single Man, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Summer Hours, An Education, Up, Antichrist, Bright Star, Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Goodbye Solo, The Baader Meinhof Complex, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, Paranormal Activity, Observe and Report, Up in the Air

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