Looking Closer’s Favorite Films of 2010

Part One of my list of favorite movies of 2010 has been posted at Image’s Good Letters blog.

Part Two will be up on Tuesday morning.

My top 10 includes a few titles you’re probably sick of hearing about, and some titles I haven’t seen on other lists, but what can I say? I stick to recommending what moved and inspired me. Box office stats don’t affect my experience of a film, nor does Oscar buzz.

I was moved to tears by some big box office hits this year – movies that come with big corporate logos at the beginning and the end – and when I mention them, some critics will roll their eyes, horrified that I’d bother recommending such “products.” But I was also enthralled by some titles that most people haven’t even heard about, and that always makes a few folks grumble that I’m just trying be impressive. I’m not. I just found these films by the recommendation of friends who have shown tremendous discernment, or by noticing the involvement of artists whose work has inspired me in the past.

Judgmental folks will cast their judgments, but I have no reason to play games about this. I had a very difficult year… the most taxing and exhausting of my entire life. I needed great movies, beautiful music, and revelatory literature the way that a man crawling through the desert needs water, or the way a sailboat lost at sea by night needs clear starry skies and wind. God feeds me through great art, and I was ravenous.

On Monday and Tuesday morning, at ImageJournal.org, you’ll find a two-part article in which I list a few movies that I was supposed to like, but didn’t. You’ll also find my words of gratitude about the films that inspired me and sustained me through a year that felt like a steep uphill climb.

And I don’t want to waste your time with movies you don’t need.

Also: This is meant to be a conversation. Share your own list on my Facebook page.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.