Monday, 14 February 2011

More Excellent 2010 Films to Watch For

The more I catch up on 2010 films, the more I think I was premature in saying it was a relatively poor year for films. In the past few weeks, I have seen three more excellent films made in 2010.

Barney’ Version

The best of these was Barney’s Version, a Canadian film starring Paul Giamatti as a flawed man obsessed with love. It’s a tragicomedy in typical Canadian style and I loved it. As I am once again writing regular reviews for Media Matters (Third Way Cafe), my full review of Barney’s Version can be found there. Here is the link: ****

Another Year

Mike Leigh is my favourite British director and Another Year is another typical and typically excellent Leigh film. My favourite Leigh film, All or Nothing, featured a very dysfunctional family struggling to find a way forward. Another Year, by contrast, features a remarkably functional and happy family whose struggle (during the year in question) revolves around their dysfunctional friends. Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen are perfect as the older couple (Tom and Gerri) whose closest friends are desperately lonely, depressed and always drinking, and Lesley Manville (who also starred in All or Nothing) is outstanding as the key friend, a woman with serious boundary issues.

Another beautiful family drama, involving the ordinary people of London, made by the master of such films. This also gets ****. Would Barney’s Version and Another Year have made my top ten of 2010? I’m not sure and I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about it.

The Town

I’ve said before that Ben Affleck should stick to directing and leave the acting to others. In The Town, he tries to do both, starring as a thief (banks and armoured cars) who lives in the Charlestown area of Boston, an area apparently renowned for its thieves. This tale centres on the developing romantic relationship between the thief and one of his victims (who doesn’t know he was the thief in question because he was masked). It makes for a very intriguing premise and interesting story, and it’s all done quite well, with plenty of drama and suspense, but The Town doesn’t quite pull it off for me.

At the centre of that failure, I come back to Affleck’s acting. He isn’t terrible here by any means, but neither is he particularly convincing as a man struggling with his conscience and his life of crime. Nevertheless, The Town is well worth watching and gets a solid ***+.

1 comment:

  1. Saw The Town on the plane on the way home, and I'd agree with most of what you say about it, though as usual when that is the case, I would rate it lower. At best *** from me. Watchable but missed the something special that Gone Baby Gone had, for example.