1) Le Gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike) (2011)
Toasted at the Oscars, this film is one of the rarest gems that celebrates cinema, of the silent black-and-white era, and, essentially, celebrates life. The storyline of the silent-era star having a sweet romance with a young aspirant is laced with brilliant humor and pathos. It has its brilliant set-pieces orchestrating the rich dramatic crests and troughs and the two lead players, and the dog, are sure to win our hearts
3) Hugo (2011)
This is an incredibly lavish yet irresistibly endearing historical-adventure-drama-film - and it is in 3D. Martin Scorsese has definitely a made a masterpiece yet again, aided as much by Brian Selznick's novel as by the latest 3D technology. The film is gorgeously delightful, and is helmed by the performances of Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer, Ray Winstone, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
I was absolutely unprepared for the odd sweetness offered by this Wes Anderson film, which I saw near the fag end of the year. The story and the characters have a quaint, idyllic charm, and the eccentricities are so easy to relate to. More than the adult members of the cast, the usual prototypes used sparingly, it is the children - principally Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward - who steal the show. The production design, cinematography, and music are all top notch.
A seemingly unfilmable novel, with a universally acclaimed philosophical premise, has been made into a visual masterpiece by And Lee and I do not have words to lavish praises on the end-result. It is simple yet profound; a breathtaking spectacle that offers a spiritual journey for every willing viewer.
6) Boy A (2007)
This 2007 British film was also chanced upon by me quite by chance. Andrew Garfield is a revelation in the title role. Peter Mullan is splendid as the rehabilitation worker showing empathy as well as dilemma. The premise is controversial, but the response generates introspection.
Javier Bardem could have been reason enough to find this film appealing. He is one of the best actors we have ever had, which he proves quite handsomely in this inspirational film directed by celebrated Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu. The film is beautiful, but heartwrenchingly so, much like life itself.
8) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)
I stayed awake all night to see this film. I could not sleep a wink after the film ended, as I was too emotionally charged by its sentiments. It addresses something too intense and gripping, and is dramatic to the core, but that does not take away anything from the film's underlying strength, and the celebration of innocence, even when it is maligned.
9) Beginners (2010)
Heady and heartfelt, serious and funny, emotionally loaded but never over-the-top, wisely bereft of maudlin hues, this is one of the most life-affirming films made in recent times. Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer are a treat to watch.
10) Cosmopolis (2012)
Coming from David Cronenberg, this film does not really shock us, but it makes us chuckle at the queer probity displayed by the maker with opulent confidence in his craft. The terrific theme deals with vacuous soullessness that threatens to plague us in an unthinkable manner, and few could have portrayed the wasted stance better than Robert Pattinson, surely my favorite.