Published December 31. 2010 4:00AM Updated December 31. 2010 4:12AM
Read Kristina Dorsey's movie blog on www.theday.com.
Why don't they just move Hollywood to southeastern Connecticut?
Homegrown heroes made it big in the movie biz this year. Geoffrey Fletcher, who grew up in Waterford, won an Oscar - yes, an Oscar! - for his adapted screenplay for "Precious." Groton's own Alan Schoolcraft, meanwhile, co-wrote the script for the animated movie "Megamind," which was a big hit this fall.
Here's some of "winners" of the year:
THE BEST OF THE YEAR: "The Social Network." Even for someone like me, who has been on Facebook maybe twice, this film was fascinating. Aaron Sorkin's smart, witty script mines the drama in the story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who may or may not have stolen the idea of Facebook and may or may not have double-crossed friends as he shot to power. All the actors, from Jesse Eisenberg to Justin Timberlake (as Napster founder Sean Parker) give spot-on performances under the superb but non-showy direction of David Fincher.
THE SECOND BEST OF THE YEAR: "The Fighter." This drama is more about fighting against the world - against family, against poverty, against expectations, against limits - than it is about boxing. But that's only part of the reason it's so damned good. The true story is compelling, and the actors recreate it with best-of-their-careers brio. Christian Bale is the personification of a raw nerve as a has-been boxer whose descent into crack addiction hasn't quelled his ability to be a motor-mouthed life-of-the-party. Mark Wahlberg has the tougher job, as the quiet younger brother trying to overcome his family's "help" enough to triumph in the boxing ring.
MOST IMPORTANT FILM OF 2010: "Waiting for 'Superman.'" Everyone should see this documentary about failures in the American education system. Don't worry; it's not dry, and it doesn't speak educationalese. Director Davis Guggenheim explains facts in an understandable way, and he engages the emotions by following a group of kids hoping to win a lottery - it's literally a lottery - to get into a better school.
THE "EVEN PRETTY PEOPLE CAN BE DULL" AWARD: Look, it's a three-way tie! How can a movie starring the geeeeeeourgous pairing of Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem possibly be boring? See "Eat Pray Love," and see that, why, yes, it's possible. "The Tourist," starring the stunning tag team of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, isn't as draggy as "Eat Pray Love," but it's utterly unexceptional. And I'd never have believed this was possible, but George Clooney as a hitman in "The American?" Zzzzzz.
MOST WICKED AWESOME MOVIE: "The Town." Hometown boy Ben Affleck captured the attitude and accents of Bahstahn in this drama about a bank robber trying to go straight. It's got everything, including an action scene at Fenway Park. How much more Bostonian can you get?
COOLEST EFFECTS: "Inception." I found the storyline for this much-praised flick both too complicated (multiple levels of dreams and rules within dreams) and too simple (in terms of the personal relationships). But I have to give it up for the dazzling special effects, from a cityscape folding over on itself to characters fighting in a zero-gravity hallway.
ACTOR MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Colin Firth deserves all that Oscar buzz - and, I predict, he'll win the Oscar for best actor. "The King's Speech" might be a fairly traditional Brit comic drama, but Firth (as a king-to-be battling a stutter), Geoffrey Rush (as his speech therapist) and Helena Bonham Carter (as George's wife) turn in superlative performances that lift the whole enterprise.
TUTU MUCH: "Black Swan." Just what we didn't need: an art-house horror flick.