Best Picture and Director 2010

What are your picks for Best Picture and Director of 2010?

Black Swan
9
14%
The Fighter
0
No votes
Inception
1
2%
The Kids Are All Right
2
3%
The King's Speech
4
6%
127 Hours
0
No votes
The Social Network
12
18%
Toy Story 3
2
3%
True Grit
0
No votes
Winter's Bone
3
5%
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
11
17%
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen - True Grit
0
No votes
David Fincher - The Social Network
19
29%
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
2
3%
David O. Russell - The Fighter
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 65

Greg
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Greg » Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:20 pm

Regarding Black Swan, here is a brief review of it I wrote that I dug up:

While watching Black Swan I was reminded of something Lawrence Olivier reportedly said to Dustin Hoffman during the filming of Marathon Man. Hoffman stayed up all night in order to play his character when he is sleep deprived. Olivier said, "Why don't you just try acting? It's much easier." Natalie Portman's Nina suffers for her art in the method-acting way, by transforming herself into what she is portraying; but, I kept thinking to myself during Black Swan that it simply was not worth it. While I appreciated the bravado of sight and sound that portrays the descent into terror, unfortunately, I think it is all in service of a story that simply has no good point to be told.

The gradual use of special effects to show the metamorphosis of Nina into the Black Swan was done with panache. The sound frequently gave great highlight to the dreamlike quality of the story, especially during the back-and-forth between onstage and offstage during the Swan Lake performance. Natalie Portman really let loose showing her character going in deeper and deeper. I thought Barbara Hershey gave the best performance. She constantly came across as perhaps a monster mother or, perhaps, someone just doing her best to help her daughter, always keeping you guessing which it is.

In short, to me Black Swan is a thumbs-up swanky body wrapping a thumbs-down pointless heart averaging to a thumbs-sideways movie.

5/10
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Heksagon » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:02 pm

Again, another attempt at this...

The Social Network is an excellent film, and gets my votes here. The King's Speech and The Fighter are solid films, even if they feel like stuff that the Academy predictably likes to nominate. Inception is one of the better action films in the last ten years (when the quality of action films has declined considerably), and I’m kind of glad that it got in thanks to the expanded slate, even if it isn’t enough to turn me into a supporter of the expansion. Toy Story 3 is an excellent film, and another happy beneficiary of the expansion.

Black Swan is fairly good film also, even if I don’t consider it to be the masterpiece that many others do.

Winter’s Bone is, for me, this year’s An Education - a respectable film but not so good that I’d be happy to see it nominated.

127 Hours and Kids Are All Right try to be good films, but only get half-way there. But have their upsides, but shouldn’t be anywhere near the Best Picture slate.

Usually, I really like the Coen Brothers, so it’s a bit odd that I find their film, True Grit, to be the weakest film in this lineup. It just didn’t work for me.

The nominees ranked, shouldabeens some other time:

1. The Social Network
2. Toy Story 3
3. The King’s Speech
4. The Fighter
5. Inception
6. Black Swan
7. Winter’s Bone
8. The Kids Are All Right
9. 127 Hours
10. True Grit

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Okri » Tue May 06, 2014 7:00 pm

Skipping over 2009's uninspiring line-up to tackle this one. On the one hand, there's not one film in 2010 that I liked more than my fifth favourite of 2009 (unless I include A Prophet in 2010, though I saw it twice in 2009). On the other hand, it was quite exciting to watch a year where the critical favourites actually did quite well at the box office. Of this line-up, only one film didn't exceed expectations financially. The acting categories were pleasantly diverse during the critics season (of the big three and NBR, 14 performances took the 16 citations - only Jessie Eisenberg and Jackie Weaver repeated)

Additionally, it has the benefit that there's not a lot that was egregiously overlooked. Or more accurately, my favourite films were no-hopers (Dogtooth, Everyone Else, White Material, Anton Chekov's The Duel), ineligible (Carlos) or nominated.

The Kids Are All Right is by far my least favourite of the nominees. I couldn't get over how banal it was. I never bought Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a long term couple. I rather hate Mia Wasikowska in everything she does. Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo emerge unscathed (the former gives a wonderfully nervy characterization; the latter is at his most charismatically relaxed), and Josh Hutcherson is appealing enough you don't begrudge The Hunger Games money he can live off of for the rest of his life, but it's a total misfire for me - cliched, boring and just.... meh.

I don’t share Tee’s aversion to remakes – unless the original can’t be bettered, why not try to tell the story again? But I don’t find the Coens’ take on True Grit significantly better than the original. It’s less than the sum of its parts, anyway – some great performances (Damon, Pepper); Carter Burwell and Roger Deakins do typically great work; intriguing feel. But it’s nothing special. I had actually predicted that the film would be slated but the Coens’ ignored – a nonsense prediction, but how I felt. I don’t think this is that much better than A Serious Man to merit a director’s vote

I expect we’ll discuss this more thoroughly when we tackle the 2013 race, but I don’t recall an Oscar race that really turned me against a film like it did The Social Network. Maybe Sideways, but at the time I just presumed I was too young for the film. But there was no such feeling with the Sorkin-Fincher film – I got it. I just didn’t love it. I liked it well enough – it’s cunningly crafted. David Fincher does a terrific job of keeping the film humming; the screenplay contains Sorkin’s ping-pong exchanges that makes you wish he was a writer in 30s Hollywood (or that we had comedies these days that merited a writer of his skill). The performances are amazing. But it’s marked with the Aaron Sorkin smugness that thinks pontification equals profundity. I don’t recall another time that the screenwriter so thoroughly misunderstood the story he was telling (the final line of dialogue alone). That Fincher and everyone else did provides an intriguing disconnect, but it’s not that productive. That the film earned those reviews (comparing it to The Great Gatsby and Citizen Kane) shocked me and I was so happy that it’s march to Oscar coronation was stopped by the DGA. That said, Fincher merits consideration. That he kept the film moving along actually runs counter to his previous work (I actually paused Zodiac to scream at my computer that it was too long) and several sequences work powerfully due to his work.

Of course, I would’ve been happier if the film that stopped it was more deserving. The King’s Speech is my mom’s movie. It’s the type of films that I buy her (and my dad) every year at Christmas, fully aware that its minor key gentility appeals to her. I suspect if I had seen it during the Oscar race I would have been against it winning best picture for the very reasons my mom loves it (and presumably, those AMPAS voters as well). But seeing it several months after the race gave me enough distance to not hate it outright. It’s minor. It didn’t deserve its win. And I probably shouldn’t have been as happy as I was it did win. But Uri described it as “user-friendly” and that’s what it is. Minor Masterpiece Theatre at best, but with enough charms not to be a complete waste of time. Of course, Hooper did not deserve his victory at all.

As Russell moves closer to the mainstream, I miss his distinct comic voice – I Heart Huckabees is perhaps the most wonderfully anarchic of modern comedies. At least The Fighter avoids being bland. I actually really enjoy much of this movie – the performances are first rate, the vibe is quite strong, and I have to admit that I love that it’s a sports movie essentially more interested in the family dynamics and the characters it contains. But it’s still largely formulaic. Of Russell’s directing nominations, this is the only one I’m even mildly positive on, but he runs behind in this race.

When we switch over to the remaining films nominated for picture-but-not-director, though, that’s where I start fully embracing the nominees.

Before the nominations, I thought Boyle stood a great shot at getting a nomination but his film would be overlooked. It was clearly fighting for the 9th and 10th spots with Winter’s Bone and The Town. It was the only film that people said underperformed. And I imagined that that directors might go for it given its lunatic, go-for-broke direction but that overall it might turn enough people off. Should’ve remembered Moulin Rouge. I’m glad it got that best picture nomination, though. It might be really slender but it’s still got a massive amount of frisson. I actually think Boyle’s gung-ho direction works quite well in taking us inside Ralston’s mind. I love the final caption.

I remember Damian mentioning during this Oscar season that he felt that Toy Story 3 would have been a best picture nominee in a line-up of five movies. I have to admit I would find that a more fitting tribute to a movie that caps off what is arguably Pixar’s signal achievement than the nomination it did get in the ten-wide line-up. Isn’t that weird? Anyway, the anarchic glee of this story is present and thoroughly engaging. The story, despite a degree of recycling, works. And the ending sequences – Woody saying goodbye to the toys, making his decision anyway, Andy’s mom seeing the empty room... “Thanks guys/so long partner” reducing me to tears every single time. A really strong possible winner, in my opinion. Given the step down from this to Pixar’s later product, it makes even more sense (though, frankly, I prefer Brave to Rataotuille, Monsters Inc or Finding Nemo

So is Winter’s Bone. Granick’s astonishing hold on the material, the exceptional performances (not just from Lawrence, but from Hawkes and Dickey as well) and the actual narrative (I love how other-worldly it feels) make this one of the year’s finest. Granick is probably the director I miss the most.

But in the end, I’ve gotta go with a straight Black Swan ticket. This is just mad filmmaking. The fact that Aronofsky and Portman just take this material all the way is thrilling. Yeah, it’s hoary and silly and schlocky. It’s also remarkably effective. The Tchaikovsky-on –steroids rendition of Swan Lake. The remarkable cinematography by Libatique (I love how Aronofsky continues his Dardenne-esque technique of emphasizing her subjectivity). And that finale/climax. You know a film succeeds when all you want to do is rewatch the final twenty minutes experience the whole thing again. Such bravado!

So, Black Swan/Aronofsky it is. But if Granick was here, I’d probably toss the vote her way for her command of her narrative.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:44 pm

I thought this year's list of 10 was a lot more representative of the year in mainstream movies than last year's crop. Of the movies that didn't make the cut, I would push most strongly for Never Let Me Go, but even there I acknowledge that was more of a personal pet than anything widely beloved. It was hard to take much umbrage with the actual nominees.

Of course, at the win stage, things were quite different. While watching The King's Speech, I thought, this is a perfectly solid, well-written, well-acted royalty drama, that I have absolutely no problem with...as long as it doesn't beat The Social Network for Best Picture. And then, outrageously, it also won DIRECTOR, over four (technically five) of the most exciting contemporary filmmakers, for what amounted to little more than directing two good actors in a play. I think Italiano said it at the time -- it's difficult to imagine so many people who actually make movies finding Tom Hooper's work anywhere near the most impressive of the year. Not a bad movie or anything, but a completely square one, and not worthy of this recognition.

Given how much I've liked David O. Russell's more recent Best Picture nominees, I've been meaning to give The Fighter another whirl. At the time, I loved the performances, from the Oscar-winners down to the bit players (like the hilarious sisters), and I thought Russell's energetic direction was a significant asset in giving the movie a fresh, singular feel. It doesn't feel standard studio-movie slick, but a bit rough-around-the edges, and I liked that. But I also thought it was a case of an exciting director elevating more standard material -- a lot about both the fight stuff and the addiction elements struck me as a bit familiar, and though I didn't dislike the movie, I was less impressed than many.

I sort of grudgingly trudged to Winter's Bone that summer, expecting a mostly-dreary indie along the lines of Frozen River. And I would still have to admit that the downbeat aesthetic and rural environment don't totally make it my kind of movie. But I admired a lot of the powerful performances, and I found the twisty narrative engaging, like a noir mystery transplanted to backwoods Missouri. And I bet as the years go by, a lot of people will grow to have a fond memory of the movie as the first time many of us saw Jennifer Lawrence. Way too minor an effort for my vote, though.

I found the Coen brothers’ remake of True Grit to be far superior to the Wayne version, simply because it had more, well, grit than the silly original. It wasn’t as grim and fatalistic as No Country for Old Men, but its dark, realistic western flavors made it a close cousin. And I enjoyed the way the Coens found a way to maintain their singular oddball humor even while sticking fairly closely to the familiar narrative. (And, gratefully, the novel’s original ending is retained, which I thought really landed emotionally, with its simple “Time just gets away from us.”) Perhaps this familiarity, though, is what keeps me from voting for the movie –- it was still a narrative I’d seen before, and in the end it does feel like one of Joel and Ethan’s less personal efforts.

Given the limitations inherent to the premise of 127 Hours (one character, trapped in basically one location), I felt like Danny Boyle pulled off a bit of a feat. Here is a movie full of the visual energy typically present in the director’s exciting images and frantic cuts, set to a narrative that expands beyond its one setting just enough to let the film breathe, while still allowing the audience to feel claustrophobically trapped in the same environment the protagonist is. And in James Franco, Boyle found a terrific presence with just the right amount of tenacity, heart, and humor to keep the film from becoming tedious. Ultimately, the movie still has a fairly limited scope, but it was rewarding to see talented artists work within those confines.

The Christopher Nolan Online Fanboy Cult did overrate Inception -– at heart, it’s still a summer blockbuster, not a profound drama. But I also felt some detractors underrated it as well –- criticisms that the movie’s portrait of dreams paled in comparison to Buñuel’s struck me as missing the point completely, like criticizing E.T. for not being Solaris. What I saw in Inception was a summer blockbuster, yes, but one with a hugely ambitious narrative structure, which provided consistent surprising twists, and which was visualized with tremendously imaginative effects and design. The last chunk of the film, which cuts back and forth between the various dream levels, provided pretty thrilling pop pleasures –- every time the film cut back to that car heading toward the water I got a kick realizing how much Nolan was successfully juggling. I was actually disappointed to see him miss out on a Best Director nomination this time, for making one of the most complex popular hits in recent memory.

The Kids Are All Right is a small movie, but I found it to be quite a gem – well-acted by an ensemble that feels like a real family, full of laughs, and possessing a human poignancy that was very touching. (That last scene captures the “dropping kids at college” experience about as beautifully as any movie ever has.) I’ll grant that Cholodenko isn’t really a visual stylist, but her script was fresh and relevant, and it’s always nice to see not one, but two great roles in the same film for actresses of Bening and Moore’s age and abilities. Like An Education a year prior, this was the little effort I was most glad to see helped by the expansion.

Not only did the Toy Story series accomplish a rare feat in producing a sequel that was nearly a Godfather II-level achievement in matching the quality of its original, but it pulled off what the Godfather series could not: a third installment at the same impressive level. At its heart, the Toy Story series is about growing up, celebrating the excitement of new friends and experiences while poignantly reflecting the ones we have to leave behind. In addition to Pixar’s always-dazzling animation, the meticulously constructed plot, and buoyant sense of humor, the film contains moments of great emotional power, like the sequence in which our characters hold hands as they head toward the incinerator and seemingly certain death, or the tear-jerking finale, which played out exactly as I expected it to at the top of the scene, but which killed emotionally nonetheless. At this point, I believed Pixar was just about infallible -– even their sequels were amazing! -- an opinion which I would very quickly alter the following year, when Cars 2 crashed into the world. I almost regret that Toy Story 4 is on the docket, because how could anyone come up with a better ending to the series than the one we got in 3?

The two movies I most thoroughly enjoyed this year are the ones dominating our voting here, and I must admit I’m surprised to see The Social Network has such strong competition. At the time, critical consensus was that the film was head and shoulders above its competition (even the Cahierists went for it!), and perhaps it was this overwhelming enthusiasm for the movie that led some voters who didn’t understand the hype to turn on it in the end. I think that’s a shame, because I found The Social Network to be a pretty terrific picture. Aaron Sorkin’s script is of course the film’s standout element, a thrilling piece of writing, full of sharp dialogue and sturdy structuring. But David Fincher’s contribution shouldn’t be diminished at all, for further elevating the movie into a more visually gorgeous realm, giving the film an almost chilly moodiness that served as the perfect counterpoint to Sorkin’s witticisms. (Imagine how much lesser the film would be in so many other directors’ hands, even GOOD directors; Jason Reitman’s The Social Network seems like it would be a far more ordinary affair.) Toss in a wonderful ensemble of young actors, and that hip and totally inventive score, and you have one of the finest big studio dramas in recent memory. I was crushed when it (and especially Fincher) lost on Oscar night.

But I must say that the critical landslide for The Social Network did leave me a bit puzzled. (In retrospect, I wish I’d rooted for Network to sail through the season even more.) I didn’t necessarily think that the film was groundbreaking in a way that would lead people to opine that it left its competition in the dust. And this year, there was another film by a director whose work has often excited me that I found to be a slightly more thrilling moviegoing experience. At a script level, Black Swan is obviously inferior to Social Network, but I found its blend of lowbrow horror and melodrama with highbrow art film and classical ballet aesthetics to be a strange and completely transfixing mix of elements. And as a piece of filmmaking, I think Darren Aronofsky’s work is a major accomplishment, a grand operatic vision that’s visually striking, emotionally resonant, and horrific, sometimes all in the same moment. In Natalie Portman, Aronofsky has an almost perfect muse for this material, her face completely tuned to the wildly vacillating qualities of her director’s funhouse side show. It’s a close call between my two favorites this year, but since I’ve already gone for Fincher in this game, I’ll choose Aronofsky for Best Director and his one-of-a-kind movie in tandem.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby nightwingnova » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:13 am

I only have a couple of things to say about this year.

Inception: Really loved the concept and how it was developed to structure the movie - really fresh. Can't say that it ever was too much more than a really fun roller coaster ride of a thriller though.

The Social Network: Loved it so much - at first. But, once I started to do research, I discovered how one-sided and two-dimensional the portrait of Mark Zuckerberg was. An example of why I don't see biographical movies if I can avoid them. I want truth...not "based on the life of..." Also, why does Fincher's films always have to be photographed through a green sheen? I guess for a movie about a digital tycoon, maybe it might fit...but, it's become repetitive and dull.
Last edited by nightwingnova on Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Bog » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:18 pm

I'll agree with Magilla...the Artist feels forever ago to me, let alone this grouping. One thing I apparently erased from my limited memory was the amount of support behind The King's Speech on this board. 7 posts thus far tallying 2 top prizes and a top 10 finish...shocks me. I know the Social Network obsession only came somewhat from here but mostly the same outlets 12 Years received its loudest, screaming, fans...just surprised King's Speech tops it thus far.

Of this eligible voting set it is a very simplistic Black Swan/Aronofsky ticket for me.

Something of Despicable Me, Everyone Else, Vincere, Another Year, Dogtooth, Secret Sunshine, Please Give, or A Christmas Tale would top a personal best list.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Sabin » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:26 pm

A pretty terrific year for a lot of movies that had zero chance of getting nominated. I found myself a bit let down by The Social Network on my first viewing, which I attribute mainly to Aaron Sorkin's lack of desire to craft any form of third act, but I like it more and more every time I see it. It's not a great film, but it's a very, very good one. I thought that Winter's Bone was the best of the nominees at the time, but I haven't had much time or desire to revisit it much, whereas I'll drop whatever I'm doing to watch The Social Network. Winter's Bone and David Fincher with some waffling though.


1. Everyone Else (Maren Ade)
2. Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos)
3. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Edgar Wright)
4. I Love You Philip Morris (Glenn Ficarra & John Requa)
5. Exit Through the Gift Shop ([Banksy])
6. Winter's Bone (Debra Granik)
7. The Social Network (David Fincher)
8. Another Year (Mike Leigh)
9. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski)
10. Megamind (Dreamworks Animation)
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby mlrg » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:19 am

Voted for The King's Speech and Hooper

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Reza » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:48 am

Voted for The King's Speech and Fincher.

My picks for 2010:

Best Picture
1. The King’s Speech
2. Black Swan
3. The Ghost Writer
4. The Social Network
5. Winter’s Bone

The 6th Spot: Inception

Best Director
1. Christopher Nolan, Inception
2. David Fincher, The Social Network
3. Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
4. Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone
5. Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

The 6th Spot: Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:24 am

I voted for Toy Story 3 and passed on director altogether.

My top ten:

1. Please Give (Nicole Holofcener)
2. Carlos (Olivier Assayas)
3. Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek)
4. Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz)
5. Mammuth (Gustave de Kervern & Benoit Delepine)
6. Poetry (Chang-dong Lee)
7. White Material (Claire Denis)
8. I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino)
9. Another Year (Mike Leigh)
10. Honey (Semih Kaplanoglu)
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Greg » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:16 pm

FilmFan720 wrote:I don't know how much I can write here, especially because this is not a very exciting slate and there are few films here I like much at all (and one film I absolutely detest: Black Swan).


While I did not detest Black Swan, I thought it was overrated. My reaction to what the Natalie Portman character was putting herself through was this old joke:

Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Stop doing it.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:46 am

I don't know how much I can write here, especially because this is not a very exciting slate and there are few films here I like much at all (and one film I absolutely detest: Black Swan). The Social Network and Fincher are the easy picks here, although I tossed my Picture vote to the equally superb (and much more emotionally devistating) Toy Story 3.

BEST FILM
1. Carlos (Olivier Assayas)
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy)
3. Four Lions (Christopher Morris)
4. Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell)
5. The Social Network (David Fincher)
6. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich)
7. Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos)
8. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski)
9. Please Give (Nicole Holofcener)
10. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg)

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Olivier Assayas, Carlos
2. David Fincher, The Social Network
3. Giorgos Lanthimos, Dogtooth
4. Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer
5. John Cameron Mitchell, Rabbit Hole
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Eric » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:01 am

Top 10
01. Dogtooth
02. Enter the Void
03. Shutter Island
04. Black Swan
05. L.A. Zombie
06. Let Me In
07. Mother
08. Prodigal Sons
09. Jackass 3D
10. How to Train Your Dragon

Anti Top 10
01. Sex and the City 2
02. Alice in Wonderland
03. Somewhere
04. City Island
05. A Nightmare on Elm Street
06. The King's Speech
07. The American
08. Hereafter
09. The Oath
10. Burlesque

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby ksrymy » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:19 pm

Best Picture
01. Never Let Me Go
02. The Social Network
03. Certified Copy
04. Black Swan
05. The Ghost Writer
06. The Kids Are All Right
07. The Fighter
08. Winter's Bone
09. Toy Story 3
10. The King's Speech

Best Director
01. David Fincher, The Social Network
02. Mark Romanek, Never Let Me Go
03. Abbas Kiarostami, Certified Copy
04. Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
05. Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer

06. David O. Russell, The Fighter
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Best Picture and Director 2010

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:54 pm

For me, the only possible winner here is The Social Network. It was only three years ago, but I'd already forgotten some of these films were even nominated.

What Fincher does as a director is so far above the other nominees there really isn't anything to say.


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