It’s that time of year folks! Jonah and Michael have spent the last couple weeks debating the best of 2010, and this week, we’ll unveil our picks! We start today with our personal Honorable Mentions, the ones that didn’t make our master lists, but our personal ones. Stay tuned the rest of the week for our official picks!
Jeunet’s latest film is inspired by everything from Buster Keaton to Pixar, blending it with an Ocean’s 11 style heist into a movie that is whimsical and fun and just a little sad. If you found Amelie too precious, Micmacs won’t change your mind, but if you’re already on board with Jeunet, you should hunt down Micmacs immediately.
Film Performances: Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Unfortunately, we had to make these lists without seeing all the 2010 releases that are still making their way around the country. So consider this a placeholder a nod towards a film that we’re both eagerly anticipating.
TV Show: Justified
Few new TV characters crackled to life in 2010 the way Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder did. The fish-out-of-water premise and early case of the week structure were a little frustrating, but by the time the show moved to its season ending masterplot, the elements blended together to make the most compelling cop show on TV right now.
Album: The Books, The Way Out
On their first album in five years, The Books pushed their aesthetic in bold new directions, layering electronic, funk, and even hip-hop to make the catchiest sound collage record of all time. Stand-out tracks like “A Cold Freezin’ Night” and “I Am Who Am I” make for an aggressive counterweight to gentler stuff like “Thirty Incoming.”
Song: Caribou, “Odessa”
“Odessa,” the most accessible song off of Swim, is also a perfect tone-setter for the record that follows. “Odessa” establishes a mournful atmosphere, layered in disco and pop, as it depicts a breakup in oblique terms.
Film: Rabbit Hole
The more I thought about John Cameron Mitchell’s latest film, the more I found that I liked it. It’s a brooding film, one in which its characters are always on the verge of meltdown, but for a film about a couple dealing with the loss of their child, it doesn’t drop into melodrama like so many other similar films. It’s a gorgeously filmed and phenomenally acted film that may not get the attention it deserves, but is well worth your time.
Film Performance: Mia Wasikowska, The Kids Are All Right
While her higher profile co-stars stole the show, Wasikowska delivered a great performance as a girl just trying to figure out who she is at a time of great change in her life. There’s a naturalism in her performance, a sense that for a young actress, she’s incredibly comfortable in front of the camera, announcing her as a next great talent.
TV Show: Friday Night Lights
Long critically adored, Friday Night Lights goes into its final season riding high. There are few shows on TV that are as good at moving characters in and out of its plot as effectively as FNL, and even less that draw out such terrific performances from such young actors. I’ll be said to see Coach and Tammy go, but at least they’re going out with another strong season.
Album: Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record
Call them a sentimental pick, but I thought BSS delivered a fantastic fourth record. It may not be as high up there as some of their previous albums, but Forgiveness Rock Record shows a significant amount of growth for a band that has been so fractured and constantly moving as BSS. If nothing else, it has some damn catchy songs.
Song: Titus Andronicus, “A More Perfect Union”
If there was one song this year that didn’t make our list that I kept listening to over and over again, it was this epic track that kicked off The Monitor. It’s songs like this that make it easy to argue that Titus Andronicus, like Ted Leo before them, are the indie punk descendents of Bruce Springsteen.