What's the most under-appreciated movie of 2010? (Part 1)
The Golden Globes' denial of any nominations for "True Grit" this week had a number of readers writing in about the unfairness of that awards show, which in turn got us thinking about snubs, and buzz, and quality and other issues that bubble up at this time of year.
In this age of hype, a lot of films are overpraised, but almost as many get lost in the shuffle. We took an informal poll around the office about 2010 gems that somehow never managed to get their due and came up with an interesting mix of films. Our staff critics, Kenneth Turan and Betsy Sharkey, will weigh in next week with their own lists, but in the meantime here are some titles to get the conversation started (we've linked to some of our reviews too, to refresh your memories):
Some argued for "Let Me In," Matt Reeves' take on the Swedish vampire hit "Let the Right One In" that supporters said was written off as a simple remake and not appreciated for its character complexity and visual flair.
One colleague suggested "City Island," the Andy Garcia family romp she said should have been a populist crowd-pleaser along the lines of "Little Miss Sunshine," but was only a niche hit instead.
Another made the case for "Devil," the M. Night Shyamalan-guided horror story about a group of people trapped in an elevator that she said became unfairly maligned (perhaps because Shyamalan had released "The Last Airbender" a few months earlier).
One reporter weighed in with "The Switch," the Jennifer Aniston-Jason Bateman fertility comedy that she said was smarter than the average romcom but caught in release limbo after Miramax was dissolved.
And finally there was "Never Let Me Go," Mark Romanek's exploration of love and morality that several in the newsroom extolled as smart and haunting but was apparently too bleak for audiences.
So what film merits the moniker of most under-appreciated of the year, a movie that didn't get anywhere close to the attention it deserved? Titles, thoughts and arguments welcome (and of course it can be any film, not just ones mentioned here). We'll round up the responses and let you know which movie takes the crown.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Kodi Smit-McPhee in "Let Me In." Credit: Relativity Media