Best of 2010

There’s a temptation to desperately clutch at ‘trends’ after the first year of a new decade, and there are certainly a few to be found in the release schedules of 2010. We’ve seen the popularity of pseudo-documentaries and micro-budget genre movies skyrocket, while the prominence of 3D has increased exponentially (even without Mr. Potter’s contribution). But as ever, the year’s true cinematic high points aren’t those that would fit neatly into a Five Live roundtable discussion on ‘relevant filmmaking’, they’re the diverse and truly unique films that make every year worth remembering (apart from 2005, which was a bit shit to be honest).

With contributions from a whole host of sexually- arousing young things, these are our top 25 films of 2010. And as ever, we’re only counting those movies released within the UK in 2010. None of your ‘Peter Bradshaw saw it at Cannes so it counts’ bullshit for us, thank you very much.

With its total lack of Hogwarts action and abundance of tent-based arguing, it’s easy to see why a lot of people didn’t dig on Deathly Hallows. But forget about the ‘conventions of the franchise’ for a second and you’ll soon realise that Lord David Yates’ third Potter entry is every bit as tense, atmospheric and downright hilarious as his previous efforts. Come next July when Part Two explodes all over our tiny little minds, we’ll be looking at this from an entirely different angle.

History will prove me right on this one.

So my friend (and adopted son) Charlie wants me to choose my favourite film of the year. I am going to be frank – I’ve watched a lot.

Hmmm. Favourite. That’s a big word. I started having a think (this involved sitting down and a biscuit assortment).  The contenders… The Social Network, Toy Story 3 and The Kids are All Right. But here’s the thing – there’s one film I can’t get out of my head. It’s not very ‘big’ and it doesn’t need 3D glasses; it deals with loneliness and how some people are lucky in life and others aren’t. For Lesley Manville and for Jim Broadbent and of course for Mike Leigh, my film of the 2010 is Another Year.

Claudia Winkleman

10 years after Johnny Knoxville and co. began inspiring teenagers, adults and drunks with access to a pair of roller blades to hurt themselves in the name of comedy, they triumphantly returned to the big screen. But this time, they came with an extra dimension. Avatar may have been touted as cinema’s big ‘game changer’ but did James Cameron’s arse-numbing epic feature people using a human duck for target practice? Grown men hitting each other in the face with fish? Beehive tetherball? Lamborghini tooth removal or a shitting, literally, train set?

Of course not. Some may scoff that this is the lowest form of entertainment and has no place among the Inceptions and A Prophets of this world but if you’re a normal person who thinks it’s funny to watch a man get kicked in the groin by a donkey, Jackass 3D fulfils its purpose.

Limara Salt

The English language does not offer a sufficient number of adjectives to describe Enter The Void. It is however, a relentless, face-melting adrenaline rush of psychedelic imagery, graphic sex, drug abuse, abortion, strobe lights, blood, car wrecks, sperm and ‘super floaty-cam’.

We are immersed in the spirit of recently-deceased 20-year-old drug dealer Oscar, whose thoughts and movements we track for the duration of the film. These thoughts and movements may or may not be akin to staring at a Magic Eye poster whilst repeatedly smashing a hammer into the back of your skull. But in an entertaining sort of way.

Clocking in at just over 160 minutes, it may feel more like an endurance test than a cinematic experience, but it is one that simultaneously annihilates and invigorates the senses. In other words, it’s proper mental. A truly penetrating experience.

Simon Renshaw

People love to rag on Sofia Coppola. Whether its her pretensions, her soundtrack choices or her nepotistic roots (although these days it’s probably Francis who’s riding her success), there’s just something about her that puts people off.

Hopefully Somewhere can change their minds. While it’s easily the most archetypal S-Cop movie (hazy scenery, quiet characters, intermittent dialogue, French music and a complex father-daughter relationship anyone?) it’s also her most accessible – shedding much of the self-assuredness of her past work in favour of honesty and restraint.

And how can anyone truly hate a film in which Chris ‘Party Boy’ Pontius is included in the principal cast?

With Greta ‘anagram of great’ Gerwig tragically out of the picture, the Duplass Brothers’ anarchic son-in-law comedy Cyrus brought mumblecore as close as it may ever get to the mainstream: A-list actors, a high-profile soundtrack and even the requisite shit trailer (Connection by Elastica is up there with Song 2 in the ‘songs that should never be allowed in trailers’ big leagues).

John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei righted some long-standing wrongs (Cirque du Freak, Get Him to the Greek and Wild Hogs respectively) with a trio of beautifully nuanced – and entirely improvised – performances, while Duplass & Duplass proved themselves more than worthy of post-mumblecore success ahead of next year’s Jason Segel-starring stoner comedy Jeff Who Lives At Home.

The result was a wholly unique Hollywood comedy as satisfying as it was subtle. Now let’s just hope we eventually manage to stop calling it ‘that film, you know, you do, no, not Greenberg, the other one’.

While films like Enter the Void and Trash Humpers ensure that this list remains fiercely ‘alternative’, it’s hard to tot up 25 films without making at least a few MOR choices. And despite its seemingly provocative premise, cinema in 2010 didn’t get much more orthodox than this slightly-annoying, pseudo-indie, multi-hyphenated drama-comedy from unpronounceable director Lisa Cholodenko.

It’s the cinematic equivalent of listening to Coldplay.

Luckily, I fucking love Coldplay (that last album notwithstanding) and The Kids Are All Right offers a similarly abundant selection of simple pleasures: efficient storytelling, a consistently LOL-worthy script and four of the year’s indisputably great performances (seriously, what kind of world are we living in when Julianne Moore still has yet to win an Oscar?)

And given all of that, it’s no surprise that the slightly crap ending felt like such an injustice. It’s Viva La Vida all over again.

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AMID a slew of blockbusters such as Prince Of Persia and Sex And The City 2: Islamophobic Boogaloo, it’s heartening to think that the year’s biggest live-action box office hit was a ROFL-free heist thriller based on a developed form of the Cartesian Simulation Hypothesis. Choke on that, Knight And Day.

Robbie Collin

Exceeding expectations of the spoof-exploitation genre (which this year alone gave us crap like Machete and Bitch Slap) is not normally a difficult task. But after Black Dynamite, it might just be.

Unique in the field for the genuine affection it displays towards its source genre, Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders’ remarkably authentic 70s blaxpoitation tribute manages to get the notoriously difficult balance between homage and mockery absolutely bang on.

Add to that some wonderfully unexpected casting (Arsenio Hall!) and a brilliantly bombastic score from Adrian Younge (who also edited the film – get him) and you’ve got a ready-made cult classic in a genre all too often devoid of them.

In other words, DY-NO-MITE! DY-NO-MITE!

Shot over the course of two weeks in his native Nashville, Trash Humpers saw aging enfant terrible Harmony Korine serve as writer, director, cinematographer and even trash humper during the making of his boldest (yet most difficult) film to date. If you can call it a film.

With a warped VHS tonal pallet that makes even the most banal shot look like some kind of demented Fauvist painting, Korine’s 78-minute epic documents the various to-ings and fro-ings of a gang of remorseless elderly vandals with all the intimate subjectivity of a Werner Herzog documentary – if he decided to start making movies about bin fucking. Saying that, it can only be a matter of time.

As funny as it is horrific, and as beautiful as it is repulsive, Trash Humpers effortlessly defies its detractors by refusing to be easily forgotten.

While it’s tempting to just copy and paste my Greenberg review here and be done with it, The House of the Devil is too good to be defined purely by an appearance from Greta Gerwig. And that’s saying something because Greta Gerwig is fucking awesome and you know it.

Made with an incredible degree of authenticity in the style of early-80s haunted house movies, Ti West’s 16mm masterpiece has all the Walkmans, grainy cinematography and campy period details you’d expect from a horror throwback, but mercifully lacks the knowing irony so common in recent retro fare. Instead, we get a subtle, suspenseful and always sincere film that effortlessly disproves the notion that ‘they don’t make them like they used to’.

And it’s got Greta Gerwig in it!

Reviews of Bobcat Goldthwait’s hilarious black comedy World’s Greatest Dad tend to go in one of three directions:

1. Extended lecture explaining that Robin Williams hasn’t made a good movie in ten years, willfully ignoring Insomnia and One Hour Photo.

2. Coy sidestep of the central twist in the interest of remaining ‘spoiler-free’, followed by three paragraphs of pointlessly cryptic criticism.

3. Thoughtless exposure of said twist, making the movie infinitely less interesting for those who would have otherwise remained ignorant.

Instead, I’ll simply say that World’s Greatest Dad is a hilarious, satisfying and fearlessly audacious piece of storytelling, and one that wisely sets itself apart from its all-too-risk-averse contemporaries.

And Daryl Sabara! What a fucking relief that he’s finally escaped the hellish confines of child acting and is already choosing such bold work. I can only imagine what kind of edgy, provocative movie he’ll do next. What’s that? Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World? Success!

For various reasons too mundane to get into here, I ended up seeing Up in the Air twice on the same day in October 2009. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I haven’t had the desire to watch it again since.

But I must have liked it because for a short while at the beginning of 2010, it was my ‘second favourite film of the year’. In the months since, it’s gone down in my estimations as I remember the awful wedding scene and ill-fitting ‘talking heads’ sequences whilst gradually forgetting all the things that made me love it in the first place: the pitch-perfect performances, the surprisingly affecting script from director Jason Reitman and The Longest Yard (!) writer Sheldon Turner, and of course: THE MOTHERFUCKING TITLE SEQUENCE.

I expect I‘ll eventually watch it again, but in the meantime I’ll leave it here at Number 12 to remind me that it’s not actually shit.

Imagine if Chris Morris or Sacha Baron Cohen decided to spawn a new character satirising the monster that is mass-media coverage of celebrities. One way to go about it would be to create a suitably po-faced Oscar-nominated actor persona, then record the response when this actor embarks on a misconceived vanity project – say, a dodgy hip-hop album – which spirals into a drugs-fuelled breakdown. Unfortunately, unlike naive reporters from Kazakhstan or respectably-suited Brass Eye correspondents, such a character could never come from relative obscurity – in order to work best, you need to be an A-lister in the first place.

Luckily for director Casey Affleck, his mate Joaquin Phoenix was prepared to turn his life into performance art to make I’m Still Here. And who knows how far back the joke stretches? Perhaps JP’s entire career has been a satirical creation. It would certainly explain The Village.

Stay tuned: in 2011, M Night Shyamalan reveals he’s been taking the piss all along.

Catherine Bray

It’s hard not to be shocked by a movie in which Jessica Alba manages to deliver a satisfactory performance, but nobody could have predicted the veritable swarm of controversy that would plague The Killer Inside Me after its Sundance premiere back in January of this year. Michael Winterbottom’s first feature since 2007’s non-event Genova, this was was an unflinching portrait of sociopathic Texas sheriff Lou Ford and the gradual emergence of his Vaderesque dark side.

Sure, it played by the old Hollywood rule that sadomasochistic relationships inevitably end in murder, to an almost ridiculous extent, but the film had a secret weapon in Casey Affleck’s mental-good central performance, which managed to justify and clarify almost every aspect of the movie around it. High-pitched, sharply-dressed and terrifyingly inscrutable, Affleck even managed to assuage the constant fear that Winterbottom was mere seconds away from royally fucking everything up, as is his way.

Luckily for us, he didn’t. It’s a peach.

Criminally under-represented at cinemas across the UK despite its blatant mainstream crossover potential, Bong Joon-ho’s long-awaited fourth film is his most expertly realised and tragically spellbinding work to date. With typically ejaculation-inpiring cinematography from Hong Kyung-Pyo and a genre-bending narrative that easily out-Hitchcocks Buried, Mother is yet another certified Bong hit (LOL) no matter what the box office said.

Framed by possibly the greatest opening and closing scenes of 2010, the film is a structural masterpiece filled with dead ends and wrong turns that nonetheless leave the audience exactly where Bong wants them, i.e. in a position to think he’s a total fucking genius even if The Host was a bit shit.

Best of all, Mother introduces us to veteran actress Kim Hye-Ja, who delivers a brilliantly uninhibited performance as the obssessive matriarch of the title. The film was written for Kim, who is known as something of a national treasure in her native South Korea for her TV work, but remains largely unknown elsewhere. A bit like a South Korean Zoë Wanamaker if you will. In fact, they don’t look entirely dissimilar either. But where Wanamaker’s foray into film saw her swiftly removed from the Harry Potter franchise after only one film, Kim’s breakout performance has been lauded both at home and around the world, winning her Best Actress at the (apparently) prestigious Asian Film Awards.

The film itself was largely overlooked following its premiere at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, not least at this year’s Oscars where it was denied a nomination in the Foreign Language category by The Milk of Sorrow – which, for those who haven’t seen it (you lucky bastards), is the biggest load of mind-numbingly simplistic bullshit I’ve seen all year. Does Bong care? Probably not, he’s already started work on a futuristic dystopian train movie.

Banksy’s ‘documentary’ Exit Through The Gift Shop, is one of 2010’s real cinematic surprises. The Frankenstein narrative follows amateur cameraman Thierry Guetta, who spent years chronicling the rise of several prolific street artists, until he was finally given the opportunity to spend time with Lord Banksy himself.

If the story of the film’s production is to be believed, then it’s a remarkable achievement in editing. For more cynical viewers, the film can be hailed as an expert exercise in audience manipulation. It willingly continues the tiresome ‘is it art?’ debate that arises around street art, often poking fun at the trend‘s supporters and the shallow industry that has grown up around it. This is a sharp piece of filmmaking; genuinely informative but also littered with deception.

There you go: a whole piece on the Banksy movie without a single use of the word ‘subversive’… Oh.

Sam Clements

In tribute to Dogtooth, I’m tempted to borrow the approach to language used by the parents in director Giorgos Lanthimos’ eerily tranquil portrait of family life, who tell the adult(ish) son and two daughters they’ve forever kept in comfortably arrested isolation from the world that (among other things) ‘pussy’ means ‘a big light’ and ‘zombie’ is ‘a yellow flower’ – it’s a black comic scrambling of everyday reality in a film filled to bursting with them. But that would mean calling it ‘vitamin’ or ‘shoebox’, when in fact I just want to say that it’s brilliant.

Danny Leigh

Oh great. Once again that douche Scott Pilgrim tricks people into thinking he’s deserving of sweet angelic Ramona. Alright fine, the movie has awesome special effects, the feel of the original graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley is totally realised, and yes, Kieran Culkin does surpass his older brother’s entire career with the line ‘kick her in the balls’.  But not even the iconic direction of Mr. Wright, or the brilliant performances by the entire cast, cancels out the fact that Scott Pilgrim is the scum of the earth. And I would like to punch his life in the face.

Love, Roxy Ritcher, evil ex-girlfriend no.4.

P.S. Ramona, I’m in lesbians with you.

Elizabeth Sankey

The film film ever shown at Ultra Culture Cinema would help to define the series going forward: it’s a exhilarating piece of work from a singular voice in filmmaking, enhanced by a keen sense of humour and an anarchic visual sensibility, but most importantly, it’s totally unlike almost every other motherfucker going.

Going up against Cop Out, Prince of Persia and Streetdance 3D on it’s mid-May release date, Bad Lieutenant had no touble comandeering the arthouse crowd, but its appeal was by no means niche. Bold, bizarre and genuinely hilarious, the film is at once Werner Herzog’s most insane and most accessible work in years. And so what if the boom mic drops into shot every ten minutes? He’s a fucking auteur, DEAL WITH IT.

As inspired as Herzog’s direction may be however, Bad Lieutenant owes most of its success to one man and one man only: the fallen deity that is Nic Cage. No-one’s pretending that he hasn’t been through something of a rough patch in the last few years <cough>Knowing</cough>, but it would be unwise to blame this creative drought on the man himself. Even in a succession of increasingly sorry excuses for entertainment, Cage has managed time and time again to pull something inspired from the Ghost Rider-shaped ashes. Whether faced with inexplicably burned dolls, a particularly cryptic pair of antique bifocals or the end of the world as we know it, he never loses his ability to surprise an audience, effortlessly creating iconic catchphrases with his singular vocal stylings and spawning countless YouTube memes with his trademark minutia-inspired breakdowns. After all, how did it get burned?

‘Bad’ Lt. Terence McDonagh is the natural conclusion to these roles: a one-man good cop bad cop routine with a bad back and a worse drug habit. Cage’s performance in the role is a revelation: half the time he looks like he’s about to pass out from sheer exertion as he catapults wildly between moans of despair and fits of frantic giggles. Occasionally he chucks in a nasally cold just for the hell of it.

While future projects – including a third entry in the National Treasure canon and next year’s Season of the Witch – promise a return to the depths of crapulosity for Sir Nicolas, at least we no longer have to go back 10 to 15 years to defend his honour in the face of all those Cage-haters. Bad Lieutenant is a whole new benchmark.

Despite what you may have read on the IMDb Top 250, Leonardo DiCaprio made only one truly great movie in which he was been recently bereaved this year and its name was Shutter Island.

Tightening the broad scope of Scorsese’s other, equally amazing, post-millenial films (Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed) and reminding us of his capacity for intimate character studies, Shutter Island delivered authentic genre thrills and breathtaking visions of madness, all underlined by one of DiCaprio’s fiercest performances to date (I’ve almost forgiven him for Body of Lies – almost).

Alongside him, Mark Ruffalo banged out yet another understatedly tragic performance, while Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow did nothing to subvert typecasting but also made a fairly solid case for the very existence of typecasting.

It’s detractors debated the ethics of the film’s treatment of World War II (again mistaking a movie that features the Holocaust for a movie about the Holocaust) and accused Scorsese of homage-obssessed self-indulgence, but Shutter Island is more than a simple B movie throwback (compare with The Happening for proof). It’s a piercing and intensely claustrophobic study of one man’s mental collapse in a world of shifting identities, withheld information and repressed memories. Shyamalan could only dream.

Jacques Audiard’s brutal French crime drama was endlessly compared to The White Ribbon when it first hit cinemas back in January, presumably because DEY IS BOTH FORUN AND LONG AND STUFF. Like that film, A Prophet is epic in length and intimate in focus, but unlike Haneke’s allegorical community drama it’s got a fucking Nas track on the OST.

Refusing to compromise on either its arthouse credentials or its narrative coherence, the film is part Scum and part Uncle Boonmee, with a dash of The Wire thrown in for good measure. And of course they’re all on steroids in a blender having love-children.

Relative unknown Tahar Rahim is a fucking revelation as 19-year-old Malik, newly imprisoned after assaulting a police officer. Navigating the tough heirachy of a racially divided French prison, he delivers a performance almost as convincing as the one he gave at this year’s Baftas when he pretended that Kristen Stewart deserved to beat him to the Rising Star award. Seriously, Panic Room came out in 2002. 2002!

Writer/director Jacques Audiard (of that film that came out that no-one saw fame) makes light work of condensing Malik’s six-year rise through the ranks down to 155 breathless minutes. And while the majority of the narrative is episodic, it’s a mark of the film’s assured structure that it never feels patchy or rushed.

Best of all, Christopher Tookey fucking hated it.

The Social Network is so obviously amazing that writing 500 words explaining why seems almost redundant. With Fincher, Sorkin, Eisenberg, Timberlake, Garfield, Reznor, Ross and – of course – Hammer all lining the Wikipedia entry, most people were well aware that it was going to be amazing a long time before it arrived in cinemas and removed all doubt. Still, at it’s core, the year’s second best film is a $50 million drama about depositions and computers. Few would have expected it to be quite as accessible and engaging as it turned out to be.

From the beautiful tracking shot down the centre of the Harvard fuck truck to Garfield’s impossibly heartbreaking laptop-smashing abilities, The Social Network is an embarrassment of perfect little moments united by Aaron Sorkin’s God-like mastery of structure and tone. It makes the existence of Charlie Wilson’s War (not to mention Studio 60) seem even more inexplicable.

Appropriately for a film so obsessed with defining a generation, The Social Network’s cast list is a who’s who of Next Big Things. Just a year ago, Jesse Eisenberg was ‘that guy who isn’t Michael Cera’. Now he’s a favourite for the Best Actor Oscar. Andrew Garfield, meanwhile, went in as Boy A and came out as Spider-man. And Justin Timberlake! JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!

Points were deducted for Sorkin’s relentless dogmatism (Zuckerberg is a cunt, the Internet is a web of hatred and deceit, Saverin is innocent in every way) but to accuse the film of misrepresenting the truth is to miss the point somewhat. The Social Network may be ‘inspired by true events’ or ‘based on actual happenings what did actually happen’ or whatever, but essentially it’s a work of fiction and probably one that’s actually done very well for Zuckerberg at that.

If the Alternating Fincher Pattern™ continues, then next year’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake should be a big-budget, A-list affair in the style of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) or Panic Room (2002), as opposed to the more restrained pleasures of this film or his indisputably finest work to date, Zodiac (2007). It’s a shame, of course, but D-Finch wouldn’t be D-Finch without variation. And in either case, his 13-year run of near-flawless movies continues. Just don’t think about The Game.

‘The internet’s not written in pencil, Mark. It’s written in ink.’
The Social Network

In choosing a film of the year, it’s impossible to please everyone. A straw poll would probably put Inception or Toy Story 3 here, and that certainly wouldn’t please me. Someone would probably choose Tron: Legacy. So instead, I’ve gone with my gut and chosen Catfish, the one movie of 2010 that I find myself unable to either fault or forget. And yes, it is massively convenient that it’s also the last film we showed at Ultra Culture Cinema, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about that so fuck you.

Even if you know nothing about the movie, you’re probably familiar with the hype Catfish has ammased since its premiere at Sundance in January. An overnight bidding war erupted as critics fell over themselves to provide an avalanche of trailer-friendly quotes including the endlessly repeated ‘the best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never directed’ (Financial Times) and the misleading ‘final forty minutes of the film will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride that you won’t be able to shake for days’ (Chris Bumbray – LOL, Bumbray). Universal immediately capitalised on the acclaim with a trailer that, while easily one of the year’s best, is also the tonal antithesis of the movie it promotes. I blame Brett Ratner, who got his filthy executive producing hands on the film back at Sundance.

Such an unexpected level of exposure inevitably led to a similar level of scrutiny, with some critics labelling Catfish a hoax in the vein of 2010’s other big faux-documentaries Exit Through the Gift Shop and I’m Still Here. The film’s creators reject such accusations outright, and attribute suspicions of fakery to generational differences between them and their accusers. It’s certainly telling that the majority of the doubters come from an older group of critics less accustomed to the ‘film everything’ mentality of today’s youth (eurgh).

Personally, I have no doubt that the film is 100% genuine. It contains none of the telltale hints of Gift Shop or Still Here and seems to be mistrusted solely on the basis of word of mouth. But to be honest, who gives a fuck? I’m Still Here is arguably more impressive now that it’s been confirmed as a hoax, and it certainly wouldn’t do damage to Catfish if its creators followed suit. Not that they will, because its real. I swear.

The one component of the film which has admittedly been recreated (albeit from exact records) are the many Facebook profiles and iChat conversations that illustrate the narrative. Running a vital thread through a potentially labyrinthine story, these stylistic touches aid in our understanding but also familiarise us with the world of Catfish: one in which personal (and in one particularly hilarous scene – overtly sexual) messages are exchanged online as a matter of course. We’re offered an incredibly candid look at the lives of Nev and his family of online friends, and discussing the movie, it’s quite hard not to be dragged into the whole internet privacy debate all over again.

As a result, a number of critics seem to be reading the film as a cautionary tale about the ‘perils of social networking’. While this might seem logical from the film’s basic ‘people online are not what they seem’ premise, there is almost no evidence in the movie itself to support such a claim. Indeed, the filmmakers are eager to distance themselves from such a stance. Catfish offers a hopeful, optimistic view of online communication as a sphere much like the real world, which has the potential for misuse but does not necessarily breed it. It’s a far cry from Aaron Sorkin’s labelling of all social networking users as sex-crazed, power-mad egotists.

That said, Catfish does raise important questions about the role of voyeurism in today’s increasingly public society, and this is where I get all A Level dissertation on your ass. A few years ago I wrote 1600 words on ‘The Audience as Voyeur in Contemporary Cinema’, and if anything I’ve got MORE INTELLIGENT since then, so this should be gold. Here goes…

By creating a film in which Facebook is the primary method of exposition, Joost and the Schulmans have found a shortcut to total audience complicity. We too know the site as a tool for communicating with those closest to us, and by presenting this on screen in a way rarely seen before, we are instinctively inclined to relate to the relationship that plays out before us. It’s Facebook stalking on a grand scale.

It’s an ingenious solution to inate problems of telling an invisible story on film, in a way that echoes the distance of Nev from his new ‘friends’ but also leaves plenty of room for compassion.

Jesus that was intellectual. I suspect the call from Pulitzer may be mere hours away. Anyway, let’s lower the tone for a second and look at Rel Schulman’s awful hat:

That is an awful hat.

In the long run, Catfish will not be remembered as 2010’s ‘Facebook movie’. That slot has officially been filled. But Catfish is far more than a an exercise in bandwagon-jumping. It’s a timeless story of relationships that happens to take place in a digital world. A bit like Tron: Legacy if it had any plausible human beings in it.

Rich with humour, mystery and – most remarkably given the premise – real heart, Catfish is truly (in the words of Robbie Collin from the News of the World) ‘a fin of beauty’. And now that I’ve haddock chance to carp on for a bit, I’ll stop being shellfish and let you sea it for yourselves.