Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
December 20, 2010 8:24 AM
9 Comments
  • |

"The Social Network" Tops indieWIRE's 2010 Critics Poll

Scenes from "Carlos," "The Social Network" and "Exit Through the Gift Shop."

David Fincher's "The Social Network" continued to make itself the clear critic's choice for 2010 by easily topping indieWIRE's annual poll of 125 film critics and bloggers. Fincher's take on the dramatic origins of Facebook was named the best film of 2010 by a very wide margin, with 71 of 125 ballots mentioning the film, totalling 466 points overall. Its closest competitors were Olivier Assayas' 5 1/2 hour biopic of terrorist Carlos The Jackal, "Carlos" (Assayas actually topped last year's list with his "Summer Hours"), Debra Granik's "Winter's Bone"and Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan."

Together those four films dominated many other categories in the poll. "Carlos" star Edgar Ramirez was named the best lead performance of the year, with "Social Network"'s Jesse Eisenberg, "Black Swan"'s Natalie Portman, and "Winter's Bone"'s Jennifer Lawrence following (interestingly, while Ramirez and Eisenberg were 1-2 in the genderless category, the following 7 slots all went to women). "Bone""s John Hawkes was named the best supporting performance of the year, beating out "The Fighter"'s Christian Bale, "Fish Tank"'s Michael Fassbender, and "Animal Kingdom"'s Jacki Weaver. Also notable was that "Another Year"'s Lesley Manville placed in the top 10 of both lead and supporting lists, getting 17 mentions in the former and 12 in the latter.

"The Social Network" also topped the best director and best screenplay categories. David Fincher was named best director of 2010, narrowly defeating "Carlos"'s Olivier Assayas and "Black Swan"'s Darren Aronofsky, while "Network" scribe Aaron Sorkin took best screenplay honors by a remarkable margin. Of the 125 ballots, 40 named Sorkin best screenwriter, while "Everyone Else" screenwriter Maren Ade was a very distant second with 9 votes ("Everyone Else" - a German relationship drama - was also voted the fifth best film of the year).

Meanwhile, an as-yet-unmentioned film dominated two other categories in the poll: best documentary and best first feature. "Exit Through The Gift Shop," the mysterious is-it-a-documentary from the equally mysterious British street artist Banksy, was named the top choice in both categories, doubling the votes of second place finisher "Sweetgrass" in the former, and narrowly defeating the likes of "Animal Kingdom" and "Tiny Furniture" in the latter. "Gift Shop" also placed 11th in the overall best film list.

In the poll's best undistributed film category - which asks voters to pick the best film that has yet to find distribution in the United States - Jean-Luc Godard's "Film Socialisme" and Andrei Ujica's "The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu" tied for the most votes with 26 each, followed by Raoul Ruiz's "Mysteries of Lisbon" and Hong Sang-soo's "Oki's Movie." The top American pick was Errol Morris' doc "Tabloid."

The complete results in all categories are below. A special thanks to all the critics and bloggers who participated, and to indieWIRE staffers Daniel Loria, Nigel M. Smith, and Bryce J. Renninger for their work in helping compile the results of the poll. Many of the critics also included their written thoughts on the year in film, and indieWIRE has them compiled for easy reading here.

The Full Results:
Best Film of 2010 | Best Lead Performance | Best Supporting Performance | Best Director | Best Documentary | Best Screenplay | Best First Feature | Best Undistributed Film | List of All Participating Critics & Bloggers

You might also like:

9 Comments

  • soytim | December 21, 2010 8:04 AMReply

    "Inception" tops my list, and is the only blockbuster that comes close to making the list.
    Very closely followed by "Kinatay" (seen last year) and the incredible multimedia performance extravaganza by Sam Green: "Utopia in Four Movements". Also "I Killed My Mother" is the last of my "perfect ten rating" movies of the year.

  • San FranCinema | December 21, 2010 6:48 AMReply

    I wasn't able to vote for my favorite of the year -- 127 Hours -- which isn't listed in your voter's poll.

  • Adam | December 21, 2010 5:26 AMReply

    So Far:
    1. Black Swan
    2. Inception
    3. Winter's Bone
    4. Greenberg
    5. Let Me In
    6. The Ghost Writer
    7. The Social Network
    8. Dogtooth
    9. Toy Story 3
    10. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

  • xanti82 | December 21, 2010 5:10 AMReply

    Top Ten (No order)
    1- The Social Network
    2- The Ghost Writer
    3- Winter's Bone
    4- I Am Love
    5- Never Let Me Go
    6- Rabbit Hole
    7- The Ilusionist
    8- Black Swan
    9- Blue Valentine
    10- Somewhere

  • RobT | December 21, 2010 4:15 AMReply

    Upon looking at the "Best Film of 2010" results after seeing at least one new movie per week in theaters this past year, I'm startled to find that Fish Tank is (I'm pretty sure) the highest-ranking film that I missed when it played in my hometown (Tulsa, Oklahoma). There were only thirteen movies higher than have screened locally so far; of these, six--Winter's Bone, I Am Love, Wild Grass, Exit Through the Gift Shop, A Prophet and Greenberg--only screened at the Circle Cinema (the local "art" theater). I've seen six of the seven others--The Social Network , The Ghost Writer , Toy Story 3 , The Kids Are All Right , Inception and Shutter Island --and intend to get to the seventh (Black Swan) real soon now. Several other movies will eventually be screened here (Carlos and True Grit for sure, Another Year and Blue Valentine probably); Fish Tank itself plus four higher unseen-in-local-theaters releases (Everyone Else, Mother, Vincere and Sweetgrass) are available on DVD at the local library.

    Two conclusions: 1) There's something to the theory that this poll plays to a limited audience, with a disconnect between what critics get to see and enjoy and what actually plays in theaters, and 2) I lean way too much on indieWIRE to determine my viewing choices. Even so, thank you to Misters Knegt, Loria, Smith and Renninger, and to all the voting critics; I'm looking forward to hunting some of these films down if/when they're finally released in Tulsa!

  • Alex | December 21, 2010 1:57 AMReply

    "Mysteries of Lisbon" should be part of the poll.

  • hopeless pedant | December 20, 2010 10:04 AMReply

    Thanks for all the work.

    But could someone please adjust the numbers? When there's a tie, the usual practice is to skip down to the next appropriate number. Otherwise the numbers become increasngly unrepresentative.

  • Sketchbook | December 20, 2010 9:48 AMReply

    Ghost Writer & Social Network tie for year's BEST.

  • seavey | December 20, 2010 9:48 AMReply

    With all of the great documentaries that are made each year, the idea that a film that appears not to be a documentary at all, but is, rather, a self-promotional vehicle for an artist seeking to heighten his already self-glorified fame is voted the "top documentary of the year" as a consensus of the Indiewire critics makes me marvel at just how divorced this publication and its bloggers can be from understanding and truly appreciating the art they are supposed to covering. An insult to documentary filmmakers around the world. How unfortunate.