This was the most welcome trend of 2010 – movies that centered on relationships between mature adults. Hollywood tends to avoid such movies because teen audiences prefer not to imagine that their parents’ peers have thoughts of love and lust (let alone act on them). And 2010 had films that understand that love doesn’t happen in a vacuum – people may have pre-existing commitments and actions have consequences.
There was an all-too-rare second chance at love in The Secrets in Their Eyes. There was the impulsive midlife lust of I Am Love and Leaving. there was the affair that is NOT rekindled in The Girl on the Train. We saw the depth and messiness of real marriages Fair Game, Rabbit Hole, Please Give and Another Year.
The year’s best romance was Mademoiselle Chambon. Finding one’s soul mate in middle age, when one may have serious commitments, can be heartbreaking. Here, the two people are not looking for romance or even for a fling. He is a happily married construction worker. She is his son’s teacher. They meet (not cute) and do not fall in love (or lust) at first sight. He is unexpectedly touched by something she does, and she is touched that he is touched. Despite their wariness, they fall in love.
The lovers are beautifully acted by Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlaine in two of the very finest performances of the year.