In 2010, the big screen was lit up with unforgettable moments, characters and franchises, some of which came to an end, and many others that were just getting started. It was the beginning of the end of Harry Potter’s epic journey, the midway point for Bella and the Twilight gang, and the theatrical finish for Shrek. Iron Man took the leap from stand-alone hit to franchise mega-star and made an important friend in the process. And, audiences around the globe were introduced to characters like Gru and Toothless the Night Fury. We learned about dreams within a dream, about the tragic beauty and grace of ballet, and that a million dollars isn’t cool. A billion dollars is cool.
The characters and connections from that moment in time continue to resonate with audiences worldwide today, and we’ll get a reminder of one such connection later this summer. A decade after Christopher Nolan planted the idea of a dream within a dream and challenged us to debate whether the top was still spinning, he returns this July to delight us once again with another original story: TENET.
Did the top wobble over? Did it keep spinning? What was reality? Everyone had a theory and years later, director Christopher Nolan is still getting questions about the movie’s ending. Nolan’s response is consistent: the storytelling is in the question, not the answer. With the debate still going a decade later, Nolan’s own attempt at inception, that an idea can take hold of the brain and become impossible to eradicate, was proven successful.
Christopher Nolan brings his masterful original storytelling back to the big screen in 2020 as writer and director of TENET, which debuts 7/17.
Iron Man 2
Ten years ago, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still taking shape. As the MCU was adapting to its new place among the franchise heavyweights, so too was Tony Stark struggling with his transition from genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist to worldwide superhero. Aiding Iron Man was a mysterious, highly capable assistant by the name of Natasha Romanoff. After her introduction in IRON MAN 2, Black Widow spent the next decade proving herself as an Avenger, while audiences only got hints about her past.
Later this year, moviegoers will learn more about Romanoff’s journey from KGB operative and assassin to superhero in her namesake movie BLACK WIDOW, debuting in November.
The Social Network
Audiences were captivated by Aaron Sorkin’s story about the creation and founding of one of the most influential communication platforms in human history. Everyone wanted to know what was true, what was embellished, and how spot on was Jessie Eisenberg’s portrayal of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg? Sorkin’s fast-paced, witty dialogue and David Fincher’s direction helped influence the audience’s feelings about the characters they saw on screen, and their real-life counterparts. You can re-watch this classic on AMC Theatres On Demand, and then feel free to post your thoughts about it on The Facebook. Wait, just Facebook. It’s cleaner.
Sorkin is back this fall, as a writer and a director, as he leads a star-studded cast in THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7.
Toy Story 3
The story of Woody & Buzz, which began in 1995 as Pixar’s first feature film, appeared to reach its conclusion in 2010. The two toys, and their fellow toy companions, were no longer needed by their longtime owner, Andy, who was headed to college. After the group of toys were kept together and passed on to another child, Bonnie, it appeared the franchise had reached its conclusion. But just like an old toy that’s found in storage and dusted off, Buzz, Woody and the gang found new life in 2019 with an exceptional story that reminds us we never get too old to find enjoyment with our favorite toys.
All of the Toy Story movies, including last year’s TOY STORY 4 can be found on AMC Theatres On Demand, and Pixar returns later this year with its newest feature film, SOUL.
Is the pursuit of perfection only a journey, without a true destination? Natalie Portman’s Nina strives to be perfect as she attempts to secure the starring role in Swan Lake. As the pressure builds on Nina to deliver a flawless performance, passion turns into obsession, and her own pursuit of perfection drives her beyond the edge of sanity.
Six years after Portman won her first Oscar for Best Actress for her role in BLACK SWAN, she earned another Best Actress nomination for her performance as Jackie Kennedy in 2016’s JACKIE. She has also played a prominent role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jane Foster in THOR and THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Portman returns to the MCU on the big screen in 2022’s THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER.
The Oscar Contenders
It wasn’t a surprise that the 2011 Oscars saw a single film take home three of the biggest prizes of the night: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. But the movie that won those awards was a surprise. THE KING’S SPEECH upset front-runner THE SOCIAL NETWORK for Best Picture, took home Best Actor (Colin Firth); Best Director (Tom Hooper), and added best Original Screenplay. THE SOCIAL NETWORK missed out on the biggest prize, but would take home statues for Best Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing and Original Score.
Natalie Portman won her first Oscar for Best Actress for her brilliant and haunting portrayal of a ballet dancer seeking her dark side and losing her grip on reality in BLACK SWAN. Portman won in a star-studded Best Actress category that included four-time nominee Michelle Williams (BLUE VALENTINE), four-time nominee Annette Bening (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT); Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (RABBIT HOLE) and future Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence in her breakout role (WINTER’S BONE).
Other movies nominated for Best Picture included TOY STORY 3, which took home the prizes for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, and THE FIGHTER, which won awards for Best Supporting Actress (Melissa Leo) and Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale). TRUE GRIT, 127 HOURS, WINTER’S BONE and THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT rounded out the nominees for Best Picture.
Did the voters get it right? Catch up on all of the 2010 movies that were nominated for Best Picture in 2011 through AMC Theatres On Demand.