2010 Best Line of Dialogue Nominees

And we’re on to the always controversial “best line” category.  This is always difficult for me because, well, there are hundreds of lines in every movie and sorting through all of them in a year is never going to be easy.  It’s also hard to tell ahead of time when a line is going to catch on and become iconic.  The best I can do is highlight certain lines that stood out to me and which seem to stand up to some scrutiny.  I’m sure I missed some good ones.

  • “I sold 26 of the ugliest cars in the middle of December with the wind blowing so far up my ass I was farting snowflakes into July.” –Get Low: There’s a sort of refreshing sincerity to Get Low, and this line is a bit of an example of it.  The Bill Murray character speaking it is a salesman and exhibitionist prone to bragging and shameless sales tactics.  This line shows his wit and also gives you a sense of his history.
  • “I actually hate coke. I hate it politically and I hate how it makes me feel.- Greenberg: This line, spoken by the film’s title character right before he snorts down a line at a high school house-party, is both amusing and kind of strange.  What is coke politically? It conjures images of Wall Street brokers in the 80s and of upper-class decadence.  In short it’s a drug for assholes, the kind of people that this guy wants nothing to do with, but here he is diving in anyway.  That he would say that out loud amuses me.
  • “Like every serial killer already knew: eventually fantasizing just doesn’t do it for you anymore.” –  Kick-Ass: This line, spoken in voice over early into the movie, delved into the kind of satire that I the movie as a whole would focus on before it sort of became what it set out to ridicule.  Making a perfect analogy that expresses just how psychotic the idea of being a superhero would be in the real world, this is a funny line that shows just how bizarrely self-aware the main character is.
  • “…Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”- The Social Network: Note the ellipses at the front of this.  They’re needed because this is the capper of a brutal speech that perfectly shows Mark Zuckerberg’s cockiness and how seriously he takes this lawsuit.  It’s a great takedown and delivering it is also one of Jesse Eisenberg’s most fiery moments.
  • “Ground’s too hard. Them men wanted a decent burial, they should have got themselves killed in summer.”- True Grit: This line highlights the brutal efficiency of Rooster Cogburn, a trait that defines both him and the environment that he exists in.  Also notice the grammar here; “them men,” “got themselves,” this is frontier dialect and it stands out next to the hyper-formal speech that the other characters try to put on, further defining Rooster as a different kind of character.

The Golden Stake goes to…