The Best Films of 2010 [My Awards Nominees and Top 10 List]

Posted by Peter Hall - December 23rd 2010 @ 1:03 pm

You wouldn’t be able to tell it just looking at how often HND is updated these days, but I swear I do still love horror movies.  The reason the site is so infrequently updated is simple, really:  No one pays me to do it.  I started this site over four years ago as a hobby.  It was a means for me to hone my writing craft while also serving as my own personal film school.  And things were going good until about a year-and-a-half ago.  That’s when I quit my old job, moved to Austin, TX and tried to see if I could sucker people into paying me to write about movies full time.  Much to my own astonishment, it worked and I now write about movies for a living.

And while I’m unbelievably fortunate to be able to make a decent income off of doing this, the unfortunate side effect of getting paid to write about movies is that, if no one is paying me to do it, I’m not all that motivated to, well, do it.  It sucks, I know, but the truth is that writing is exhausting– and now that writing is my day job, I’m too tired to do it for my night job too, which is what HND has always been for me.

Earlier this year I was accepted into the Austin Film Critics Association, an organization that I am incredibly proud to be a part of.  Yesterday the AFCA released our Best of 2010 Awards, and while I stand behind what we collectively ended up awarding best-of-the-year, I definitely didn’t side with the rest of the group on nearly all of the winners.  So, I wanted to share my nominations for each category as well as my Top 10 list for the year.  Just keep in mind that this is A) not horror-exclusive and B)  films that had a US theatrical release in 2010 (except for The Loved Ones, which I love too much not to vote for).

And yes, I will be doing my own horror-exclusive version of these awards in the next week or two.

Best Film

  1. Four Lions
  2. Never Let Me Go
  3. Exit Through the Gift Shop
  4. Black Swan
  5. The King’s Speech

Best Director

  1. Chris Morris, Four Lions
  2. Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop
  3. Mark Romanek, Never Let Me Go
  4. Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
  5. David Fincher, The Social Network

Best Actor

  1. Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
  2. Ryan Reynolds, Buried
  3. Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
  4. Riz Ahmed, Four Lions
  5. Patrick Fabian, The Last Exorcism

Best Actress

  1. Natalie Portman, Black Swan
  2. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
  3. Naomi Watts, Fair Game
  4. Tilda Swinton, I Am Love
  5. Leslie Manvile, Another Year

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Richard Jenkins, Let Me In
  2. Nigel Lindsay, Four Lions
  3. Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
  4. Vincent Cassel, Black Swan
  5. John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass
  2. Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
  3. Blake Lively, The Town
  4. Keira Knightley, Never Let Me Go
  5. Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Four Lions
  2. Rare Exports
  3. The King’s Speech
  4. Get Low
  5. Inception

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. The Social Network
  2. Toy Story 3
  3. Winter’s Bone
  4. Scott Pilgrim
  5. Fair Game

Best Cinematography

  1. Buried
  2. Shutter Island
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  4. Black Swan
  5. Inception

Best Original Score

  1. Tron: Legacy
  2. Inception
  3. Black Swan
  4. The Social Network
  5. Another Year

Best Foreign Film

  1. I Am Love
  2. Mother
  3. A Prophet
  4. A Woman, A Gun, A Noodle Shop
  5. Biutiful

Best Documentary

  1. Exit Through the Gift Shop
  2. Waking Sleeping Beauty
  3. Best Worst Movie
  4. Inside Job
  5. Winnebago Man

Best Animated Film

  1. Toy Story 3
  2. How to Train Your Dragon
  3. Legend of the Guardians
  4. Despicable Me
  5. Tangled

Best First Film

  1. Christopher Morris, Four Lions
  2. Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop
  3. Jalmari Helander, Rare Exports
  4. Aaron Schneider, Get Low
  5. Sean Byrne, The Loved Ones

Breakthrough Artist Award

  1. Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism
  2. Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass/Let Me In
  3. Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop
  4. Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
  5. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Austin Film Award

  1. Winnebago Man
  2. Red, White & Blue

The 10 Best Films of 2010:

  1. Four Lions
  2. Never Let Me Go
  3. Exit Through the Gift Shop
  4. Black Swan
  5. The King’s Speech
  6. Toy Story 3
  7. The Social Network
  8. The Loved Ones
  9. I Am Love
  10. Easy A


comments are closed
  1. Brad
    December 23rd, 2010 | 2:45 pm | #1

    Nice list.

  2. Laurie
    December 28th, 2010 | 10:40 am | #2

    I’m working my way through the list… where do we go in St. Louis to see the Documentaries and the Foreign Films?

  3. December 28th, 2010 | 11:21 am | #3

    I imagine the Tivoli would typically play most of this stuff (I would hope so, at least), but some of it has been out for a while. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is on DVD and Netflix Watch Instantly (if you have that). WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY (which I highly recommend), WINNEBAGO MAN and BEST WORST MOVIE are on DVD as well.

    On the Foreign Language front, I AM LOVE, MOTHER, and A PROPHET are all on DVD currently, too.

  4. hansulu
    December 30th, 2010 | 7:41 am | #4

    Thanks for still posting when time and energy permits. And congratulations on turning a hobby into a career. It’s rare that it happens, but I’m not surprised it has happened to you.

  5. December 31st, 2010 | 5:31 pm | #5

    Thanks, man, I really appreciate that.

  6. jin
    January 25th, 2011 | 1:06 pm | #6

    I can’t pay you to keep writing, but I hope my loyal readership encourages you to continue! Great list!

  7. Katie
    January 28th, 2011 | 12:44 am | #7

    Okay, help me out here please. What horror movie starts out with a family looking into buying a new home, a very old new home, but they felt they could not afford it. Turns out, they could afford it…so they made the purchase.

    Long story short – a babysitter ends up getting killed in a closet.

    Ring a bell?

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