Best Pictures 2010

by Dean Mattson

The nominated films for this year’s Oscars were announced this week. This year there’s 10 nominees instead of 5, which I think is good since there’s a wider range of films nominated. Two of my favorites – District 9 and Up – probably wouldn’t have made it otherwise. Here’s my ratings and some thoughts on the films nominated

District 9 – The boldest, most original film of those nominated as well as being entertaining and action-orientated. I know it won’t win, but it would be my pick. A

Up in the Air – This is the mature movie Judd Apatow would like to graduate to. A simple premise that deepens as the movie develops. Clooney at his breezy, movie-star best. A

The Hurt Locker - Competently made Iraqi war movie with some nail-biting scenes where you really feel the all-present threat troops face. A-

Up – The first half is moving and magical but the second half is marred somewhat by a standard fight-to-the-death action scenes (with a lot of old guy jokes and references thrown in.) A-

An Education – Another movie that deepens nicely as the movie develops, it performs a neat trick by making a terrible decision its main character makes seem totally understandable. However it’s still hard to understand how the key relationship would have been so accepted by everyone else, even back in the early ‘60s. B+

Avatar – See my Up comments (minus the old-guy jokes). B

Precious – I was looking forward to seeing this film more than any other one, but was deeply disappointed. Great acting, underdeveloped script, pretentiously directed. C

A Serious Man – A one note movie. Boring. D

Haven’t seen The Blind Side or Inglourious Basterds yet.