Michelle's Top 10 of '10: Part 2

5. Kites 

Technically, Kites is a Bollywood film, though with its mix of Hindi, Spanish and English, it's not so obvious. And almost by absolute necessity as a Bollywood export, this film is also a love story. But before you start to draw assumptions, let me straighten this out: this is not your typical Bollywood love story. OK, yes, it's overly dramatic and highly unlikely and at times, predictable, but it's really a film about true love to the nth degree in all it's purity and commitment. It's the odd film that comes along every so often to quench the thirst of hopelessly romantic cinefilles. The love between Jay (Hrithik Roshan) and Natasha (Barbara Mori) is so real and palpable that the film goes to surreal extremes to express it. Let me put it this way. This film is depicts true love in the most humanly way: it shows us what really happens when your heart explodes.

4. Splice

Science is frightening. Not just because I'm not very good at it, but because of the outcomes it can yield. In the case of Splice, that's a cross-human hybrid: a creature that loves and learns and feels, just like we do, though is not quite like us. This film is about boundaries and where exactly those boundaries exist. In this, it brings into question what exactly it means to be human - or not. It's an extremely unnerving film. It's disturbing and terrifying, though beautiful in it's ability to prod us with questions: Should this creature exist? Is this an experiment? Or has this become a relationship? Is this a being that needs to be loved? Or should this creature be killed? And where exactly did we cross the point of no return? 
3. Chloe

If you're on the fence about Amanda Seyfried, Chloe can almost surely set you straight (though may do the opposite sexuality-wise). I'm not sure I can describe her role better than I have before:

"Chloe is a spider. She weaves together a strangely sticky, embroidered web between relationships, imagination and suspicions, inviting unsuspecting prey to step foot in her domain, but along the way, gets caught herself. Seyfried is chilling as the closely-shadowing weaver. She's convincing and expressive as Chloe, who we see as old beyond her years but not hardened. She's fragile but brazen."

Working with Seyfried are the also brilliant Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, tightening dramatic tension throughout the entire film until it's ready to snap.

2. Nowhere Boy

This John Lennon biopic is about the Beatles, despite what you may have heard. Can you honestly say that a film about one-half of possibly the greatest song-writing duo ever, who wrote the majority of The Beatles' songs, making them an international phenomenon, is not a film about the Beatles? But Beatles fans aside, what makes this film engaging is the whirlwind of confusing and dramatic family dynamics in Lennon's (Aaron Johnson) life in the midst of his adolescent, although mature, life. It's not really a film about the music (though there are a few scenes that hint at the brilliance to come), it's a film about the fragments that made the man who made the music. You do not need to be a Beatles fan to love this film (though I admit, it does help), you just need a taste for family secrets, hidden lives and watching loved ones break each others' hearts.

1. Inception

I like to think. And Inception is a film for those who hobby thinking: For those who stay up late at night in bed running through what ifs, hows and whys, this film is just for you. There is so much at work in this film that helps to create such a beautiful masterpiece that maybe I should just spew it all out: talented ensemble cast, gorgeous cinematography, brilliantly layered narrative, stunning visual effects... If you're asking for more, you're insane. While the world we see in this film is like a puzzle, the film itself a set of fragmented shards that fit together perfectly, though welcomes the viewer to pick them apart.

All photos: allmoviephoto.com

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