The Housemaid (South Korea)
A young woman takes a job as live-in maid for a wealthy family and soon begins an affair with the man of the house that leads towards tragedy. Sang-soo Im’s darkly humorous and erotic remake of the 1960 classic is both a visual feast and a biting critique of class distinctions.

I Am Love (Italy)
The Russian immigrant matriarch of an Italian high society family discovers pleasures long forgotten when she meets and becomes enraptured by her son’s friend. Luca Guadagnino has crafted a sumptuous family drama anchored by a brave and stellar performance from Tilda Swinton.

I Saw the Devil (South Korea)
A federal agent’s wife is murdered and his grief leads to an elaborate, extremely painful, and ultimately misguided revenge. Ji-woon Kim continues to do no wrong as he shifts into the darkest territory of his career with this brutal, stylish, and over the top thriller.

The Loved Ones (Australia)
A high schooler still reeling from the death of his father is taken captive by a deranged teen who he spurned and her own equally effed up father. Sean Byrne’s feature debut is a wild and unpredictable ride that moves swiftly from teen drama to torture horror to something else all together.

Rubber (Canada France)
A sentient tire terrorizes a small town with its newly discovered telekinetic abilities and thirst for mayhem. Quentin Dupieux’s film is that extremely rare and elusive creation that constantly and effortlessly surprises the viewer from each minute to the next and rewards open-mindedness with pure delight and bloodshed.

A Serbian Film (Serbia)
A retired porn star is lured back with the promise of big bucks but soon discovers he’s in over his head in more ways than one. Director Srdjan Spasojevik’s film may be a thinly veiled political commentary, but it’s definitely a brutal black comedy complete with graphic sex and violence.

Sound Of Noise (Sweden)
A tone deaf detective who hates music is tasked with stopping a terrorist group that forces hostages to listen to their compositions played on anything but actual instruments. Directors Simonsson and Nilsson have delivered an oddly engaging film overflowing with humor, emotion, and extremely catchy tunes played with office supplies and other objects.

Talentime (Malaysia)
A group of teens take part in a talent show and discover the value of life, love, and death along the way. Yasmin Ahmad’s final film will have you smiling, crying, and cheering, and it shows her to be the Malaysian John Hughes we never knew we needed.

For more year-end goodness, check out the rest of our 2010 Year in Review.


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