Tag Archive: the social network


The Best Films of 2010

I’ll go out on a limb and declare 2010 the best year for movies since I’ve been watching them, going back almost fifteen years. That has something to do with Netflix, through which I’ve accessed more foreign, independent, and documentary titles than ever before, but it’s more a credit to the work of great filmmakers.

2009 was the nadir. That year had no shortage of good films, and a few great ones, and I unreservedly stand by each I listed among the best, but there were few I felt unequivocally passionate about, few that held up against previous years’ offerings. I started to question myself, wondering if I’d lost some of the thrill of moviegoing. 2010 put that fear to rest.

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There came a moment early during the evening when I, and I’m sure many other close Oscar watchers, thought the foregone conclusion of The King’s Speech winning Best Picture might not have been so foregone after all. At the beginning of the show, Tom Hanks presented the first two categories, Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography, mentioning an odd, mostly irrelevant statistic: no film had won those two categories as well as Best Picture since Titanic. The first envelope opened and Art Direction went to Alice in Wonderland. Then Cinematography went to Inception. So much for that.

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The Academy Awards telecast is tomorrow. Here is who I think will take top honors:

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Oscar punditry isn’t an exact science, but it’s close. As the years go by, nearly two months of precursors are more and more accurately distilled into predictions, removing most of the suspense on the morning of Oscar nominations. Some of this year’s choices were more surprising than others (Javier Bardem in Biutiful, John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone), but every single one was mentioned at at least one stop on the Oscar campaign highway. These days, the Oscars feel more like the victory lap than the race.

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Dir. David Fincher
(2010, PG-13, 121 min)
★ ★ ★ ½

I joined Facebook in 2004 or 2005, but strangely I don’t remember who introduced me to it. Back then, it was still trickling down through college campuses, starting in Harvard, where undergrad Mark Zuckerberg founded it, and expanding throughout the country and across the globe. It was before status updates, news feeds, and photo tagging. I’ve witnessed a dozen “Go Back to the Old Facebook” protest pages pop up every time they tweak the system, and when they tweak it again they ask to go back to the one they’d just been complaining about.

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