The L's Best Films of 2010 

Page 5 of 6

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Henry Stewart's Top 10

#1 Daddy Longlegs
Josh and Benny Safdie
This queasily hilarious portrait of a dad who really needs to assume some adult responsibilities also depicts a New York in desperate need of citizens who'd do the same.

#2 Life During Wartime
Todd Solondz
The sequel to 90s-defining Happiness nails the aughts, positing external enemies like "terrorism" as mere diversions from America's real problem—ourselves!

#3 Valhalla Rising
Nicolas Winding Refn
Refn's grungy, hypnotic, elemental period piece goes back a millennium to find violence among the Americas' first Jesus freaks. Parallels to the present are obvious and awesome.

#4 Wild Grass
Alain Resnais
The French New Wavers all got old, dull, or dead. But pushing-90 Resnais recaptures the wacky exuberance that once made them such exhilarating cineastes.

#5 Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky
Aronofsky's hallucinatory nightmare about abused actresses and sexual repression also restores New York's edginess, which Republican mayors had almost eradicated.

#6 Shutter Island
Martin Scorsese
Now that Scorsese has an Oscar, he can get back to making good movies. Or, at least, fun ones, like this gleefully kitschy bonanza of B-movie elan.

#7 NY Export: Opus Jazz
Henry Joost and Jody Lee Lipes
This adaptation of an old Jerome Robbins ballet imbues some of the city's last gritty spots with impossible terpsichorean beauty.

#8 Marwencol
Jeff Malmberg
About a mentally damaged outsider artist who works with dolls, this doc reveals the weird, harmful ways we all simplify our lives into narrative.

#9 Lourdes
Jessica Hausner
In her deceptively decorous, theologically scathing film about divine miracles, Hausner attacks "hope," exploited by The Church here to devastating effect.

#10 The Kids Are All Right
Lisa Cholodenko
This family-values dramedy is dumb on paper. But on screen it's such a warmly acted depiction of family harmony, you'll want to rush out and start your own.

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