The L's Best Films of 2010 


Mark Asch's Top 10

#1 Carlos
Olivier Assayas
Assayas maps recent history with synaptic complexity, his perspective gradually shifting from the titular free radical to the modern world that works him out of its system.

#2 Wild Grass
Alain Resnais
The heart wants what it wants, unto death, a state of affairs which moviemaking cinephile Resnais is delighted to indulge. (A brighter flipside to #10.)

#3 Everyone Else
Maren Ade
Praising its shade-perfect emotional veracity feels transparent: with this movie on my list, you probably know some things about me I wish you didn't.

#4 Dogtooth
Yorgos Lanthimos
A self-contained allegory for religion, politics, patriarchy, or artmaking—the year's most pickapartable film, and, with its repurposing of domestic-sphere familiars, the most dreamlike.

#5 White Material
Claire Denis
Denis's gift for rendering skin seemingly environmental—like Isabelle Huppert's sundressed translucence—is made scarring as whites and blacks stake disputed claims on what they consider their home.

#6 Marwencol
Jeff Malmberg
An investigation into the uses and limitations of art therapy to top Shutter Island; and, as trustworthy, unobtrusive Malmberg brokers a meeting between his subject and audience, a testament to basic documentary technique.

#7 The Father of My Children
Mia Hansen-Love
For the second half even more than the breezily inexorable first, as Alice de Lencquesaing (thrower of the Summer Hours house party) explores a teen's conditional autonomy in matters of adult relationships, culture and death, with a determined openness recalling... well, Hansen-Love herself, in her future partner Olivier Assayas's Late August, Early September.

#8 Greenberg
Noah Baumbach
James Murphy's Nilsson-esque AM pop and Harris Savides's smoggy telephoto lensing of a movie star walking (in Los Angeles!) conjure the appropriately anachronistic feel of movie-colony-based 70s auteur cinema at its most idiosyncratic.

#9 Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky
Stylish, silly symbolism, but grounded in Natalie Portman's tendony, revulsed portrait of self-disciplined young womanhood.

#10 You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Woody Allen
In contemplating the gap between artistic ambition and ability, the Wood Man stands shoulder-to-shoulder with a generation of filmmakers who've got all the time in the world—which is why he's on this list and Lena Dunham's not.

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