Year in Review : 2011
# of Movies I Saw in 2011: 42
Scroll down for my Top 10
Top 10 Critically Acclaimed Films
(Source : criticstop10.com – a site that takes a weighted average of about 800 lists, 350 of which are considered “Top Critics”)
- Tree of Life
- The Artist
- The Descendants
- Midnight in Paris
- A Separation
- Martha Macy May Marlene
Winners of The Major Oscar Categories
Best Picture The Artist
Best Actor Jean Dujardins, The Artist
Best Actress Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Director Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Original Screenplay Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris
Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne (et al), The Descendants
Best Animated Feature Rango
(Editorial Note: The Artist, by my standards, was a very weak Best Picture, not even a 10 best of the year).
Top Grossing Movie: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Domestic and Worldwide)
Really Good Films from 2011 You May Have Missed:
We Need to Talk About Kevin (warning, exceptionally bleak)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Movie from 2011 to avoid at all costs:
Here are My Top 10 films of 2011
Honourable Mention: Harry Potter 7 Part 2, J. Edgar, The Iron Lady, The Ides of March, Extremely Loud and Incredible Close, Martha Macy May Marlene, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Artist.
10. The Muppets
A bad guy named “Tex Richman” played by Chris Cooper. A brilliant Jim Parsons cameo that caused the theatre to erupt in applause. This wonderfully self-aware tribute to past Muppet glory was more for parents than kids. It was funny and supremely entertaining. This despite the fact that I really don’t like Jason Segal (Love Amy!!!)
9. Margin Call
Perhaps because I work in the world of finance, I find this movie fascinating. A fictionalized yet very real look into the beginning of the mortgage meltdown. Stellar cast and Oscar nominated script, never found an audience. “There are three ways to succeed. Be first. Be Smarter. Or Cheat”.
8. Midnight In Paris
Creepy weirdo but brilliant film maker. Allen’s best movie in a couple decades. Oscar winner for original screenplay. Love the use of Van Gogh’s Starry Night in the poster. This is Woody Allen at his clever best, probably his best film since Bullets Over Broadway.
The 2002 Oakland A’s had a 20-game winning streak. I new this. I new about Scott Hatteburg’s walk-off pinch hit homer. I knew how this ended and was still at the edge of my seat. That’s a good movie. Perhaps Brad Pitt’s second-best work to Inglorious Basterds. One of two Pitt films in this year’s top 10.
As I wait in great anticipation to see “The Irishman”, another Scorsese mob epic, I get to write about his most unique film, unlike any he has made. No violence, no profanity, a fairy tale of sorts and a movie about love of movies.
5. A Separation
Roger Ebert’s #1 movie of 2011 and you can see why, its right up his alley. Here is a great place to start if you don’t like subtitled films. From Iran, this movie was the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
4. The Descendants
An exceptional human drama, dysfunctional family film (one of my favourite genres) with a wonderful Alexander Payne script. Some of Clooney’s best work. Set against the backdrop of Hawaii, a man must decide the fate of a family’s 9-digit fortune while unwinding and discovering the pain of his own life.
Unique material, compelling, edgy and violent. The opening 15 minutes of this movie would, in and of itself, make an amazing short film. This would be on the list of “Best Films You’ve probably never seen”.
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Probably my favourite movie of 2011, but I can’t say it’s a better movie than my #1. Rooney Mara should have won an Oscar, her role is nothing short of brilliant. Director David Fincher has made, in my world, a dark brooding masterpiece.
1. Tree of Life
A movie of vast, grand ambition. Tree of Life sets out to define all of existence through the lives of some ordinary people in an ordinary town in the 50s. This is not a film for everyone, its long and deeply symbolic. I loved it. I loved the depiction of the traditional 50s household (Brad Pitt’s character name is merely Mr. O’Brien, through the eyes of his children his first name is not relevant). It is one of the best pictures of the decade.