Everyone presumably remembers Joe Queenan‘s 7.28 Wall Street Journal piece that called 2010 the suckiest movie year ever. No surprise hits, no out-of-nowhere dark horses, and no cunningly hyped film “that either exhumes a noted actor from the grave or greases the skids so some solid journeyman can ascend to the ranks of the Oscar Winners of yore.”
Here it is three and half months later and Queenan looks like a shoot-from-the-hipper with egg on his face. If anything 2010 is feeling more and more like an avalanche of riches — The Social Network, Black Swan, Inside Job, The King’s Speech, Inception, Blue Valentine, 127 Hours, The Tillman Story, Toy Story 3, Biutiful, etc. David O. Russell‘s The Fighter may not be an out-of-nowhere dark horse, but it sure is a hot late-season arrival. The Social Network has clearly greased the skids so that solid journeyman David Fincher is now looking like the most likely recipient of the Best Director Oscar. And if you want a surprise hit, look no further than Ben Affleck‘s mystifying popular The Town.
And what about the praise that continues to be showed upon Banksy‘s Exit From The Gift Shop? And the sudden and surprising critical embrace of Matt Reeves‘ Let Me In (despite the idiotic general-audience response). And the punch-through accomplished by Olivier Assayas‘s epic-sized Carlos? And the avalanche of world-class docs besides those already mentioned? Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Countdown to Zero, Tabloid, Restrepo, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work and Smash His Camera.