December 19, 2010, - 7:59 pm

Film Critics: How I Voted & What We Chose for ’10 Best Films, Etc.

By Debbie Schlussel

As frequent readers know, I’m a member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  Every major city has a film critics group, comprised of all the mainstream print and broadcast media movie critics, and they all vote and announce their choices for best film, best actor, etc., at the end of each year.  The studios hold a special day of screenings for us, and we are sent a ton of DVD screeners to view as well.  The Detroit Film Critics announced our choices, Friday, and I agreed with like two of them, which is a record for me in the three years I’ve been in it.


Below are my nominations, the final nominees, and then, the winners.  I’ve put in bold a link to each of my reviews of the movies in question, the first time each movie is mentioned.  There are a couple of movies, “The King’s Speech” and “True Grit,” for which I’m not allowed to post my review until they debut, this coming week (stay tuned), but since I nominated and voted for them, you do the math.  Many of you correctly guessed that I liked “The King’s Speech.”  I guess I’m either becoming predictable  . . . or I’m (hopefully) consistent and stable (or all of these).

I will be posting a separate list of my top ten best movies of the year in the next week or so, but our rules and constraints for this list are different.  In this case, we could nominate and/or vote for 1-5 choices, with the number 1 choice being worth the most (5 points) and the number 5 choice being worth the least (1 point).  So, here’s what I picked as a DFCS critic . . .


BEST FILM [Note that I’ve changed my mind on the order of these since the time that I submitted these nominations, but I still choose “The King’s Speech” as my #1 pick.  Like I said, you’ll see my full list of the year’s best flicks, later this week.]

1. “The King’s Speech” [review will be posted on December 24th]
2. “Mao’s Last Dancer” [didn’t post my review when it came out b/c I had a migraine, but will this week]
3. “127 Hours
4. “Hereafter
5. “True Grit” [review will be posted on December 22nd]

1. Danny Boyle (“127 Hours”)
2. Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”)
3. Ethan & Joel Cohen (“True Grit”)
4. Brian Koppelman & David Levien (“Solitary Man“)
5. Christopher Nolan (“Inception“)

1. Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”)
2. James Franco (“127 Hours”)
3. Jeff Bridges (“True Grit”)
4. Michael Caine (“Harry Brown“)
5. Russell Crowe (“The Next Three Days“)

1. Hillary Swank (“Conviction“)
2. Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”)
3. Cecile De France (“Hereafter”)
4. Melissa Leo (“The Fighter“)

1. Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech”)
2. Sam Rockwell (“Conviction”)

1. Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”)

1. “Hereafter”
2. “The King’s Speech”
3. “Inception”
4. “The Town
5. “The Joneses

1. Frankie & George McLaren (“Hereafter”)
2. Chi Cao (“Mao’s Last Dancer”)
3. Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”)
4. Aaron Johnson (“Kick Ass“)
5. Angela Wesselman-Pierce (“Catfish“)



* “127 Hours”
* “Inception”
* “The King’s Speech”
* “The Social Network
* “
Winter’s Bone” [ I did not post my review of “Let Me In” because it was screened during the Jewish holidays. Will try to post it this upcoming week.]

* Danny Boyle (“127 Hours”)
* David Fincher (“The Social Network”)
* Deborah Granik (“Winter’s Bone”)
* Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”)
* Edgar Wright (“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World“)

* Jeff Bridges (“True Grit”)
* Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”)
* Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”)
* James Franco (“127 Hours”)
* Ryan Gosling (“Blue Valentine”) [My review of this movie will be posted when this movie debuts, date unknown]

* Nicole Kidman (“Rabbit Hole”) [My review of this movie will be posted when this movie debuts, date unknown]
* Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”)
* Natalie Portman (“Black Swan“)
* Michelle Williams (“Blue Valentine”)

* Christian Bale (“The Fighter”)
* Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”)
* John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”)
* Sam Rockwell (“Conviction”)
* Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are All Right“)
* Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech”)

* Amy Adams (“The Fighter”)
* Helen Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”)
* Greta Gerwig (“Greenberg“)
* Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”)
* Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”) [I never posted my review of this b/c I had a migraine the weekend it debuted. May try to post it this upcoming week.]

* “The Fighter”
* “The Kids Are All Right”
* “The King’s Speech”
* “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”
* “Winter’s Bone”

* Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”/”Never Let Me Go“)
* Greta Gerwig (“Greenberg”)
* Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”)
* Chloe Moretz (“Kick Ass”/”Let Me In“) [ I did not post my review of “Let Me In” because it was screened during the Jewish holidays. Will try to post it this upcoming week.]


MY FINAL VOTES (remember, I had to choose from the nominees, above):

1) “The King’s Speech”
2) “127 Hours”

1) Danny Boyle (“127 Hours”)
2) Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”)

1) Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”)
2) Jeff Bridges (“True Grit”)
3) James Franco (“127 Hours”)

1) Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”)

1) Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech”)

1) Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”)

1) “The King’s Speech”

1) Chloe Moretz (“Kick-Ass”/”Let Me In”)


And here are the winners, as voted on by the Detroit Film Critics Society:

BEST FILM: “The Social Network”
BEST DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle (“127 Hours”) –****  MY CHOICE, TOO  ****
BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”)–****  MY CHOICE, TOO  ****
BEST ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale (“The Fighter”)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Adams (“The Fighter”)
BEST ENSEMBLE: “Winter’s Bone”
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”)

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7 Responses

If I had to pick the best scene of a movie in 2010 it would be Knight and Day when Tom Cruise killed everyone on the plane while his lady friend was in the washroom. Kine Obamacare.

Lars on December 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Wow. What must “The Kings Speech” be like? I’m so curious!

Now I wish I had seen the original “True Grit”. I do love the films of the Coen Bros! I will definately see that!

Best film I saw this year was a little Aussie gem called “Animal Kingdom”. I also liked “The Square”.

I love a good film, but there are rarely any. (my favourite directors are Werner Herzog, David Lynch and the Coen Bros!)

Skunky on December 19, 2010 at 11:48 pm


What about the fun stuff? What were the year’s WORST films?

RR: I used to do a list, but there are so many such bad ones, it’s hard to narrow it down to just 10 or even 20. We’ll see. But I’m not sure I’ll do one this year. DS

Red Ryder on December 20, 2010 at 9:12 am

After some god awful movies over the holidays because of “being with family”, I wonder why people even pay for this.

blank stare on December 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

You hated “The Social Network” when you reviewed it. The Detroit Film Critics Society liberals must have seen something in that movie you missed. I’m guessing it will be one of the other two in contention for “Best Picture” with the odds going for “The King’s Speech.”

NormanF on December 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Really want to see The King’s Speech. I’m something of an Anglophile, and King George VI a great man in history. I’m glad to see that the movie is getting a great deal of acclaim, and actually a bit (pleasantly) surprised. I was expecting everybody to fawn over that Swan thing with Hillary’s friend Natalie Portman.

As for their pick of The Social Network as Best Film…eh…really? Is Mark Zuckerberg that big of a deal now, with Man of the Year and all? I know a lot of people, myself included are on Facebook, but still it’s been around some five, six years and Myspace before it. Not exactly something brand new and world changing…

Brian R. on December 22, 2010 at 12:45 am

Despicable Me?

me on December 26, 2010 at 4:05 am

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