Only the Toy Story franchise could get better as the films roll out over the last decade. Toy Story 3 is not only the best Toy Story movie, but one of the best movies of 2010. It is one of those films that causes anyone who witnesses its glory to become a rapturous whimpering fool bathing in the delight of movie mastery. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are again back for the ride, and Michael Keaton steals the movie with his outstanding portrayal of Ken, as in Barbie and Ken! But it is the heart of humanity that is on display and the story is so resonant it transcends culture, age, gender and class.
Turning Point, Black Swan isn't. But, that is why this film is such a powerhouse. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are dueling divas of the ballerina variety trying to best the other for the lead in a New York City ballet company's production of Swan Lake. Director Darren Aronofsky takes audiences down a deep tunnel that is simultaneously as frightening as it is dramatically mesmerizing.
Colin Firth will finally get his Oscar for The King's Speech that is very much deserved. His portrayal of King Edward during the UK's darkest hour is the stuff of legend. The movie itself is also utterly fantastic in so many ways. The acting from its star, as well as Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush [who is remarkably funny] is of the best of the year. Then, there's the unbelievable true story of a king who is out of his element, yet rising to the occasion so much so, history paints him with platinum strokes of adulation.
It may seem as if every other outlet in the world has The Social Network at number one. It is almost the best film of the year. The reason it's not: The Social Network is a perfect movie, minus any heart. David Fincher's direction and Aaron Sorkin's screenwriting have never been better. Both deserve Oscars for their work on The Social Network. The story itself moves. Considering it is largely told through a legal deposition speaks volumes of the talent of The West Wing creator Sorkin's wordplay.
The Fighter packs a punch on so many levels, it is the perfect movie. Yes, it has heart in droves. This is a movie about family and the lengths we go to embrace and rid ourselves of their influence over our own lives. Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale are impeccably cast brothers with each bringing their own faults to the relationship in a true story of boxer Micky Ward [Wahlberg] and his unlikely rise to champ. Melissa Leo is their mother and she is a force of nature with a Boston accent in The Fighter. The pacing is perfect. The fight sequences are physically moving [and this coming from a non-boxing fan] and with an acting, directing and true story tandem, the film rises to take the title of the best movie of the year.
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