1. The Kids Are Alright (2010)
Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their birth father into their family life creating turmoil for their lesbian parents. Annete Benning and Julianne Moore play gay convincingly and without issue. High Art (1998) director Lisa Cholodenko orchestrates relationships realistically and without typical hollywood sentiment. The script is witty and fresh and embraces the theme of family, but the characteristic that makes this the standout film of 2010, is that the actors are given the opportunity to do their job. The acting is perfect, (this is the best I have ever seen Mark Ruffalo since You Can Count on Me (2000)). The film is at its most touching in its moments of silence with the expressions and interactions between the characters revealing more about their family bond than any script ever could.
2. The Town (2010)
See Blake Lively and watch the trailer.
3. A Single Man (2009)
Read the Culturine Review
4. The Social Network (2010)
I had read articles on Mark Zuckerberg, and whilst they were interesting, I would never have imagined that they would have been filmable or compelling to watch. However, David Fincher managed to make a movie that is just as addictive as the website on which it is based. The acting, directing and cinematography were mesmerising and made all the more gripping with a snappy and exceptional. screenplay. The soundtrack, composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is one of the best of the year (although one track blatantly rips off Blur’s Girls and Boys). The film raised two questions… How on earth did the casting director find two identical and totally unrelated twins? And when did Justin Timberlake become such a girl?
5. Please Give (2010)
Another female director in the top 5! Like The Kids Are Alright (2010) director Nicole Holofcener, does an amazing job of allowing her the stars to act and coincidentally both Holofcener and Cholodenko had previously directed episodes of the wonderful Six Feet Under, the influence of which remains in their realistic depiction of family life. I left the cinema with face-ache and sore ribs after watching Please Give, due to ninety minutes of non-stop smiling and a heart bursting with joy.
Other films worth mentioning…Four Lions (2010), Dogtooth (2010), Kick-Ass (2010), Nowhere Boy (2009), Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010), White Ribbon (2009), Whip it (2010), Fish Tank (2009), Precious (2009), Up in the Air (2009)