What's the most under-appreciated movie of 2010? (Part 2)
Last week, we wondered which film was the most under-appreciated of 2010. Through tweets, e-mails and comments, many of you weighed in with your choices.
Some of the more popular picks didn't surprise -- they were big-release movies with a distinct sensibility that got dissed despite (or because) they felt unique -- "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" most notably among them, or even the Sept. 11 romantic tearjerker "Remember Me."
Others were indie favorites that simply never caught fire with enough people: David Michod's dark Australian gangster movie "Animal Kingdom," or Nicole Holofcener's intimate look at (mostly female) relationships, "Please Give." (For our critics' take on overlooked movies, you can check out Kennth Turan here and Betsy Sharkey here.)
And then there were the titles so different from pretty much anything else out there that they were bound to have their supporters (if not that many of them) -- Rob Reiner's throwback coming-of-ager "Flipped," or the documentary about Norwegian black metal (always Norwegian black metal), "Until the Light Takes Us."
But two films emerged at the top of the list: Matt Reeves' "Let Me In" and Mark Romanek's "Never Let Me Go." They were movies that wouldn't, on their face, seem to have much in common.
One is a vampire tale and the other is a dystopian mood piece. One derives from a Swedish cult hit and the other from a British bestseller. One came from a fanboy director known for a monster movie; the other from a filmmaker who hadn't made a movie in eight years (and was best known for a movie about a Robin Williams weirdo when he did).
But the two films have more in common than it would first seem. Both directors use well-established genres, as a Trojan horse of sorts, for a movie of ideas. Both films are unlikely love stories. And both share a particular (and particularly bleak) worldview, one in which social forces align against helpless young people who are forced to resort to desperate measures to survive (and even then it's hardly a certainty).
That sentiment was not, apparently, widely appreciated in 2010. But there were plenty who thought it was under-appreciated.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Scene from "Never Let Me Go." Credit: Fox Searchlight
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