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Best (and worst) of 2010
Time Out New York Project: Issue #795, December 30, 2010-January 12, 2011
Keith Uhlich, film writer
Wild Grass Alain Resnais’s stalker romance brilliantly confounds at every turn. The wry final passage raises it from comic to cosmic statement — what glorious fools we mortals be.
The Ghost Writer From its dark-and-stormy night opening to its hilariously morbid punch line, Roman Polanski’s latest reminds us what an expertly executed thriller is supposed to be.
Step Up 3-D Who’d have thought the third installment in a well-worn Disney musical franchise would one-up the overpraised stereoscopic advancements of Avatar? The dancing is awesome too.
Boxing Gym Frederick Wiseman applies his keen observational eye to the pugilist patrons of an Austin gymnasium. For all the willful blood sport, you’ve never felt such a sense of peace and harmony.
Shutter Island Martin Scorsese’s paranoid thriller may seem like a hoary amalgam of insane-asylum clichés. Then you see the bracing light: It’s about the lies we tell ourselves to keep going.
The Strange Case of Angelica The most recent feature by the spry, sly Manoel de Oliveira is the greatest man-falls-in-love-with-a-ghost story ever directed by a 101-year-old.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I Dark times descend on the boy wizard and his friends in this elatingly downbeat blockbuster. Those of you who need a happy ending can wait until summer.
Another Year Both the seasons and the characters change in Mike Leigh’s superb drama; anyone who’s ever drifted apart from friends or family will nod with recognition at the harsh truths on display.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Which Woody Allen is this? Not the vaudeville jokester or art-cinema imitator, but the wise, bitter sage casting a caustic glare at death. Laugh if you dare.
Have You Heard from Johannesburg? The history and legacy of South African apartheid gets the sprawling multifaceted portrait it deserves. Here’s to documentarian Connie Field, whose efforts deserve more of a spotlight.
Catfish Some callous camera-wielders go in search of a mysterious Facebook friend. Hollywood hack, and eventual producer, Brett Ratner comes calling. It’s the lowest of the low among this year’s crop of is-it-real-or-isn’t-it? faux docs.
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