I saw more than 400 movies for the first time this year, probably only a little more than half of which were actually released in 2010. So as I did last year and the year before, I'm putting together a second top 10 list, aside from the more attention-getting one of my favorite new movies of the year (which you can see in the next Las Vegas Weekly). Here then is my list of the top 10 movies I saw for the first time in 2010 that came out in previous years.
project that's still ongoing, so I could probably have made this list into my top 10 Bette Davis movies of 2010. The Letter certainly would have topped that list, but it places deservedly among all the movies I saw this year. It's a masterfully shot, expertly constructed noir with Davis at her devious best, playing a haughty plantation owner's wife defending herself from a murder charge. Wyler (working from a play by W. Somerset Maugham) weaves a complex story full of shady characters and shifting allegiances, and he uses the Malaysian setting effectively to portray the perils of colonization. Read more in my original post.
post about Claudette Colbert.
feature, a version of A Christmas Carol is pretty low on the list of what I would have expected to be my favorite. But this austere and surprisingly affecting version starring Alastair Sim is not only the best of the Dickens adaptations I watched, it's also the best of all the Christmas movies I wrote about. No matter how familiar you are with this story, you'll get something out of Sim's deeply felt performance as Scrooge, stripping away everything that has made the character into a cartoon over the years and showing him as a damaged, sad and pitiable man. Read more in my original post.
Honorable mentions: 13 Going On 30 (Gary Winick, 2004); The Catered Affair (Richard Brooks, 1956); Christmas Evil (Lewis Jackson, 1980); In This Our Life (John Huston, 1942)