The L’s Best Films of 2010

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12/08/2010 4:00 AM |

Benjamin Strong’s Top 10

#1 Film Socialisme

Jean-Luc Godard

JLG offers us an arresting video parable—saturated in primary colors as rich and blocky as a Mondrian painting, not to mention his own 1960s classics—in which we are all in the same boat, and that boat is a cruise ship. In a banner year for the old men of the French New Wave (Alain Resnais’s Wild Grass, Jacques Rivette’s Around a Small Mountain), this is the standout.

#2 The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu

Andrei Ujica

Completely unnarrated and put together entirely from state-commissioned footage of the former Romanian dictator, the year’s best documentary is also a found-object horror film, a Trash Humpers of another sort.

#3 Carlos

Olivier Assayas

The story of an idealist becoming a mercenary, and of the Left eating its own tail, Assayas’s biopic of the Jackal is a Cinemascope monument.

#4 Greenberg

Noah Baumbach

Generation X is getting older, and we are not happy about it.

#5 Inspector Bellamy

Claude Chabrol

The late New Waver—Chabrol died at 80 in September—leaves us with a beatific portrait of a long marriage.

#6 Everyone Else


See Greenberg, German division.

#7 Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky

I’m a sucker for a good tortured ballerina movie.

#8 The Social Network

David Fincher

Fight Club for today’s twentysomethings.

#9 Please Give

Nicole Holofcener

Skewering the class prerogatives of Manhattanites with an insight and compassion not seen since Metropolitan, Holofcener gives us a White Material for Americans.

#10 Splice

Vincenzo Natali

This summer sleeper didn’t get the audience it deserved. As nuts in its own way as Black Swan, Natali’s debut is a fresh and witty update on Cronenbergian themes and the most giddy fun I had all year at the movies.