LA Weekly and Village Voice critics poll: The Social Network tops while Carlos & The Ghost Writer surprise
David Fincher’s drama about the creation of Facebook, The Social Network, topped the 2010 LA Weekly / Village Voice poll of 85 American critics. Next in line was Olivier Assayas’ made-for-TV miniseries Carlos (screened at U.S. theaters); Debra Granik’s family drama Winter’s Bone, which topped the Gotham Awards; and Roman Polanski’s mystery thriller The Ghost Writer, which swept the 2010 European Film Awards.
Last year, Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker was the no. 1 movie in the LA Weekly / Village Voice poll, followed by Olivier Assayas’ Summer Hours, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man.
In 2008, Danny Boyle’s Bollywood-ish Slumdog Millionaire topped nearly every critics awards in North America, but the no. 1 movie according to the LA Weekly / Village Voice poll was Andrew Stanton’s animated WALL-E, followed by Hou Hsiao-hsien’s French-made The Flight of the Red Balloon, which, curiously, was all but ignored by U.S.-based critics’ groups.
According to the LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll rules, “for a film to be eligible in this year’s poll, it must have opened commercially for the first time in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, or be scheduled to open between now and December 31, 2010. The rule of this poll is simple: A film is eligible only in the year that it was first distributed in the U.S.”
‘LA Weekly’ / ‘Village Voice’ critics poll list
Below is the LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll list featuring the Top Twelve movies of 2010.
The first number is the LA Weekly / VV‘s “weighted vote.” The second number is how often the movie in question was mentioned in the LA Weekly / Village Voice poll.
- David Fincher’s The Social Network: 314 – 52.
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg. Justin Timberlake. Armie Hammer. Andrew Garfield.
- Olivier Assayas’ Carlos: 247 – 36.
Cast: Edgar Ramírez.
- Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone: 194 – 34.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence. John Hawkes.
- Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer: 163 – 27.
Cast: Ewan McGregor. Pierce Brosnan. Olivia Williams. Kim Cattrall.
- Maren Ade’s Everyone Else: 143 – 26.
Cast: Lars Eidinger. Birgit Minichmayr.
- Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth: 128 – 20.
Cast: Christos Stergioglou. Michele Valley. Angeliki Papoulia.
- Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan: 118 – 19.
Cast: Natalie Portman. Barbara Hershey. Mila Kunis. Winona Ryder. Vincent Cassel.
- Alain Resnais’ Wild Grass: 115 – 18.
Cast: Sabine Azéma. André Dussollier. Anne Consigny. Emmanuelle Devos. Mathieu Amalric.
- Bong Joon-ho’s Mother: 115 – 21.
Cast: Kim Hye-ja. Won Bin.
- Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3: 109 – 17.
Voice Cast: Tom Hanks. Tim Allen.
- Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love: 108 – 19.
Cast: Tilda Swinton. Flavio Parenti.
- Claire Denis’ White Material: 106 – 16.
Cast: Isabelle Huppert. Christopher Lambert.
Best Director: Olivier Assayas
David Fincher’s The Social Network may have been the LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll’s top 2010 movie, but Olivier Assayas was the Best Director for Carlos, which stars Edgar Ramírez as Carlos the Jackal. Runners-up included Darren Aronofsky for the psychological drama Black Swan and Roman Polanski for The Ghost Writer.
Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network screenplay adaptation was the expected Best Screenplay favorite, but Maren Ade’s work on Everyone Else / Alle Anderen was a surprise at no. 2. Everyone Else hasn’t popped up on any of the North American critics groups’ 2010 award lists. Just as curious, frequent U.S. critics’ award winner David Seidler (The King’s Speech) is to be found at a relatively modest no. 12.
Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop and Lee Unkrich’s blockbuster Toy Story 3 topped the Best Documentary and Best Animated Feature lists. They’ve also been critics’ groups’ favorites as well.
Best Director & Best Screenplay
Below is the LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll’s Top Twelve choices for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Documentary, and Best Animated Feature.
The number next to each film’s title represents their LA Weekly / VV “weighted vote.” Only 11 animated features made the cut – among them, ahem, Joseph Kosinski’s TRON: Legacy, starring non-animated actors Jeff Bridges and Garrett Hedlund.
Olivier Assayas, Carlos. 13.
David Fincher, The Social Network. 11.
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan. 6.
Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer. 5.
Gaspar Noé, Enter the Void. 5.
Alain Resnais, Wild Grass. 3.
Miguel Gomes, Our Beloved Month of August. 3.
Bong Joon-ho, Mother. 2.
Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right. 2.
Giorgos Lanthimos, Dogtooth. 2.
Jessica Hausner, Lourdes. 2.
Christopher Nolan, Inception. 2.
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network. 25.
Maren Ade, Everyone Else. 5.
Robert Harris and Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer. 5.
Todd Solondz, Life During Wartime. 4.
Olivier Assayas and Dan Franck, Carlos. 4.
Noah Baumbach, Greenberg. 4.
Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, Winter’s Bone. 4.
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right. 4.
Nicole Holofcener, Please Give. 3.
Giorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, Dogtooth. 3.
Tony Grisoni, Red Riding Trilogy. 2.
David Seidler, The King’s Speech. 2.
Exit Through the Gift Shop. 13.
The Oath. 9.
Inside Job. 7.
Boxing Gym. 7.
The Tillman Story. 4.
Have You Heard from Johannesburg. 3.
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno. 3.
Last Train Home. 3.
October Country. 2.
Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3. 33.
The Illusionist. 11.
Despicable Me. 5.
My Dog Tulip. 5.
Idiots and Angels. 3.
Summer Wars. 1.
How to Train Your Dragon. 1.
TRON: Legacy. 1.
Tales from Earthsea. 1.
More LA Weekly/Village Voice critics poll mentions
Honorary Oscar winner (and no-show) Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialisme, featuring Mathias Domahidy, topped the LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll of Best Undistributed Film to date in the United States. Andrei Ujica’s The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu was the runner-up.
In addition to topping the Best Documentary category, Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop was the critics poll’s Best First Feature as well. David Michôd’s Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom was the runner-up.
‘The Last Airbender’ & ‘Inception’ top Worst Film list
The Worst Film of 2010 category was topped by both M. Night Shyamalan’s expensive box office disappointment The Last Airbender and Christopher Nolan’s expensive box office hit Inception – which can also be found on the LA Weekly / Village Voice poll’s Best Film list.
The Last Airbender features Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, and Noah Ringer. Inception features Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, and Michael Caine.
Best Undistributed Film & Worst Film
Below is the LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll’s Top Twelve choices for Best Undistributed Film, Best First Feature, and Worst Film.
The number next to each film’s title represents their LA Weekly / VV “weighted vote.” In the case of the Best Undistributed Film, the second number represents the number of times the film in question was mentioned by the polled critics.
Best Undistributed Film
Film Socialisme. 34 – 17.
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu. 21 – 8.
Mysteries of Lisbon. 19 – 9.
Black Venus. 16 – 8.
The White Meadows. 15 – 6.
Oki’s Movie. 12 – 8.
Tabloid. 11 – 5.
Shit Year. 6 – 2.
Ruhr. 6 – 3.
Street Days. 5 – 2.
Persecution. 5 – 3.
Tournee. 5 – 3
Best First Feature
Exit Through the Gift Shop. 14.
Animal Kingdom. 8.
Night Catches Us. 7.
Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. 4.
I Love You Phillip Morris. 2.
Four Lions. 2.
October Country. 1.
Easier with Practice. 1.
Make-Out with Violence. 1
The Last Airbender. 4.
Life During Wartime. 2.
Black Swan. 2.
For Colored Girls. 2.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. 2.
The Wolfman. 2.
Love and Other Drugs. 2.
Ghetto Physics. 1
‘The King’s Speech’ finally crowned Best Film but ‘Inception’ actual Phoenix ruler
Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech has finally gotten crowned (couldn’t resist the bad pun) as the Best Film of 2010 by one U.S.-based critics group: the Phoenix Film Critics Society. Curiously, The King’s Speech won only one other trophy, for critics’ favorite Colin Firth as Best Actor. (See below list of Phoenix Film Critics’ winners.)
Apart from their unusual Best Film choice – just about every other U.S.-based critics group has gone for David Fincher’s The Social Network – the Phoenix Film Critics’ other winners followed the path carved by their awards season predecessors.
In addition to Firth, Natalie Portman was Best Actress for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, while Christian Bale was Best Supporting Actor for David O. Russell’s The Fighter, which also earned Melissa Leo the Best Supporting Actress citation. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful was the Best Foreign Language Film and Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3 was the Best Animated Feature.
Christopher Nolan was both the Best Director and the author of the Best Original Screenplay (instead of The King’s Speech scribe David Seidler) for Inception. In fact, Inception was the Phoenix film critics’ big winner: Nolan’s sci-fier/adventure collected a total of seven mentions. But not Best Film. Go figure.
‘The Social Network’ not fully ignored
U.S. critics’ fave The Social Network won two awards: Best Ensemble and Best Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin. Additionally, David Fincher’s drama about the creation of Facebook was listed as one of the year’s Top Ten films.
Phoenix Film Critics’ Go Figure Part II: Chloë Grace Moretz gave 2010’s Breakthrough Performance on Camera for Kick-Ass, but lost the Best Performance by a Youth – Female to True Grit actress Hailee Steinfeld. Besides, Let Me In actor Kodi Smit-McPhee was the male youth winner. (The Austin Film Critics Association also came up with a Hailee Steinfeld/Chloë Grace Moretz split.)
Phoenix Film Critics winners
Best Picture: The King’s Speech.
Best Foreign Language Film: Biutiful.
Top Ten Films (alphabetical order)
Never Let Me Go.
The Kids Are All Right.
The King’s Speech.
The Social Network.
Toy Story 3.
Best Director: Christopher Nolan, Inception.
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter.
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter.
Best Ensemble Acting: The Social Network.
Best Screenplay – Original: Christopher Nolan, Inception.
Best Screenplay – Adaptation: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network.
Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3.
Best Documentary: Restrepo.
Overlooked Film of the Year: Never Let Me Go.
Best Cinematography: True Grit.
Best Film Editing: Inception.
Best Original Score: Inception.
Best Original Song: Burlesque, “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me”.
Best Production Design: Inception.
Best Costume Design: Alice in Wonderland.
Best Visual Effects: Inception.
Best Stunts: Inception.
Breakthrough Performance on Camera: Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass.
Breakthrough Performance Behind the Camera: Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone.
Best Live Action Family Film: Alice in Wonderland.
Best Performance by a Youth – Male: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Let Me In.
Best Performance by a Youth – Female: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit.
Image of Armie Hammer in LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll winner The Social Network: Merrick Morton / Sony Pictures.
Image of Noah Ringer in LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll Worst Film co-winner The Last Airbender: Paramount Pictures.
Image from LA Weekly / Village Voice critics poll Best Undistributed Film in the U.S. Film Socialisme: Vega Film / Wild Bunch.
Image of Colin Firth in the Phoenix Film Critics’ Best Film winner The King’s Speech: The Weinstein Company.
“LA Weekly Critics Poll Surprises & M. Night Shyamalan + Christopher Nolan Worst Film Tie” last updated in July 2018.