It didn’t seem possible a decade ago, but it is and we are still here, the 2010’s are now over! The world was supposed to end in 2012 but it didn’t and the world has changed a lot in the past 10 years, but here we are now in the roaring 20’s. I decided to look back at the past decade and discuss my favourite films from those 10 years.
Now when I say favourites, I don’t mean the best, just personal favourite films that really stuck with me. For this list, which will be in two parts, I will look at my fvourite film from each year and explain why it stands out to me and I consider it a favourite.
Without further waiting, let’s get right into it!
2010: 127 Hours directed by Danny Boyle, starring James Franco
This year had a lot of fantastic films, with the likes of Inception, Toy Story 3, The Social Network, Shutter Island, The Fighter, True Grit and Black Swan. Any one of those could have made my pick for favourite of that year, but I have gone with 127 Hours. When I did my 2010 film awards, I picked this as the stand out. There is something about this film that really hit me hard, it is a story of survival in some of the most dire circumstances. It is based on a true story, mountaineer Aron Ralston (James Franco) goes hiking, he slips and falls, he of course survives but his hand and wrist get stuck. Documenting his ordeal on video, we see how he manages to survive being stuck and eventually how he manages to escape. The film is beautifully shot, the real terror is very apparent and it gets incredibly intense and almost hard to watch at times.
Danny Boyle is such a diverse and interesting director, tackling all sorts of films and while his own take and style are there in his films, each feels different from the other. If you haven’t seen this one, I highly recommend it, 127 Hours is a big stand out for not only 2010 but the decade.
2011: Shame directed by Steve McQueen starring Michael Fassbender
This was not an easy year to pick a favourite, we had Drive, The Tree Of Life, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Help, Moneyball, Killer Joe and Take Shelter. My pick though has to go to Shame, and while this isn’t the easiest film to watch it is a grand piece of cinema. Daring to tackle the often taboo subject of sex addiction, this film takes a raw look at one man’s journey Brandon (Michael Fassbender) through his addiction and the shame he feels from it. It is mirrored by his friend and boss David (James Badge Dale) own addiction, who doesn’t quite feel the same shame and often is open about what he does. In the middle of this is Brandon’s relationship with his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) as she tackles her own demons.
Shame isn’t a light watch, it shows this addiction in every which way, it is graphic, and it shows the lengths one will go to to fulfill that addiction and ease the cravings. It contains incredible performances, and manages to challenge the audience on many levels.
2012: Skyfall directed by Sam Mendes starring Daniel Craig
This was a very good year for films with The Avengers, Django Unchained, Chronicle, The Master, Looper, Brave and Wreck-It Ralph, but my heart belongs to James Bond with one of the best from the franchise Skyfall. I actually saw this film twice in cinemas, and in the lead up to release day I did my crazy Bond marathon, all the films in four days. I actually finished Quantum Of Solace just minutes before my Skyfall screening. The pairing of Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins was phenomenal, the film looked incredible and it had an interesting and meaningful story. The villain of the piece Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) was such a memorable one and great casting. The chemistry between Silva and Bond was off the charts, something not seen since Goldeneye with Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean).
The film brought back some classic Bond staples such as Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) in a meatier role and Q (Ben Whishaw), plus it delved a little deeper into the pasts of M (Judi Dench) and Bond himself. In fact in my eyes, Skyfall made M a ‘Bond girl’ in a very non traditional way. It remains one of the best Bond films, with a powerhouse theme from Adele and proved that Daniel Craig was just right for the role.
2013: Frozen directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee starring Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love and adore Frozen, so this being the 2013 pick should come as no real surprise. That isn’t to say 2013 didn’t have great films, it did (Gravity, 12 Years A Slave, Before Midnight, The Conjuring, The Wolf Of Wall Street and Prisoners), but Frozen means so much to me there was no way this wasn’t going to be my favourite for 2013. Much like Tangled did a few years earlier, Frozen really changed things up from the traditional ‘Disney Princess’ film. The two main characters are sisters, Elsa (Idina Menzel) becomes Queen and Anna (Kristen Bell) is the Princess, after their parents pass away when their ship sank. But Elsa isn’t ordinary, she has magic ice powers, and unsure of how to control them, she fears herself and runs away, but not before sending their town of Arendelle into an eternal winter.
Frozen brought us wonderful characters with the mentioned Elsa and Anna, but also Olaf (Josh Gad) the snowman who loves summer, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) the ice sales man and his trusty reindeer Sven (who’s sounds were provided by Frank Welker). The songs are fun and catchy, Let It Go is still an absolute classic and a power house song. No matter how many times I watch Frozen, I never tire of it and it is still as magical as the first time I saw it.
2014: The Guest directed by Adam Wingard starring Dan Stevens
While I am sure many may have though my pick for this year would be Guardians Of The Galaxy or even Gone Girl, I have gone with The Guest. 2014 was a great year for films, with those mentioned already there was Interstellar, Nightcrawler, Whiplash, Birdman and Big Hero Six, but for some reason The Guest is the one that sticks out the most for me. It is the film from that year I have probably watched the most, bragged about how fantastic it is to people and still continued to be impressed by it. The film is a simple one, a soldier returns but instead of going home he visits the family of his deceased friend, and begins to help them in strange ways. David (Dan Stevens) is as cool as he is mysterious, as the family get to know him better the daughter Anna (Maika Monroe) begins to have doubts and sets off a crazy chain of events.
The best part about The Guest is it is a really intriguing and fun ride, and Dan Stevens turns in a really strong performance and oozes charisma throughout. Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett have made some great films together but The Guest easily sticks out at least to me as their best. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it, if you have watch it again! This is one of the rare films I have made sure I own on blu-ray.
Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon …