Richard Roeper's Top 10 Boosts 'The Town' and 'Somewhere'
True, Richard Roeper's No. 1 movie is Inception, but he does more potential Oscar good for Sofia Coppola and Ben Affleck.
Since the most influential encomium on Roeper's Top 10 list is the tenth, let's list them in ascending order:
10. Somewhere. "Sofia Coppola returns to Lost in Translation territory...Stephen Dorff gives the performance of his career...Starts as a tale of debauchery and becomes one of the best movies about family that I've seen in recent years."
9. The King's Speech.
8. True Grit. "A far superior film to the 1969 edition that won John Wayne the Oscar." Too true. As The Hollywood Reporter noted in 1969, the intermittently inspired hack Henry Hathaway's True Grit was just "a massive bid to cap John Wayne's 40th year of stardom with an Academy Award." Critic David Thomson calls it an "unashamed" campaign for an Oscar that was "disheartening" and "unavoidable." The Coens' Oscar is not unavoidable, but it would not be disheartening, because they're infinitely more steeped in literature than Hathaway, and their movie more sensitively responsive to the Charles Portis novel. "Joel [Coen] is an incredibly erudite guy," Jeff "The Dude" Dowd recently told me. "He read True Grit and said, 'Holy shit, there's more of a story here than in the John Wayne movie."
7. 127 Hours. "Lots of you have been shying away from this movie beause you think it's about a guy who cuts his arm off to save his own life. That's like saying It's a Wonderful Life is about a guy who gets drunk and wrecks his car."
6. Toy Story 3. "If you're not moved by the final scene in this movie, check your pulse."
5. The Town. "Affleck gives one of the best performances of his career...like a blue-collar version of Michael Mann's Heat." Now that it's out on DVD and on demand, Roeper's opinion might generate Oscar heat.
4. The Kids Are All Right. "Julianne Moore is just as excellent." (Which is why it's a crime she'll be shut out in Annette's favor.)
3. The Social Network. "Electric, mesmerizing...the Citizen Kane of modern social media movies." (Um, which movies are those?)
2. The Fighter. "I haven't been this inspired by a boxing film since the original Rocky."
1. Inception. "A century from now movie lovers will be debating this great, great film." Hm, sounds like Pauline Kael's claim that Last Tango in Paris is a movie people will be arguing about "for as long as there are movies." But people are sure debating Inception now, and making a movie people want to see many times, to make sure they finally get the convoluted plot, may be the marketing masterstroke of the year.