It’s that time once again, when the collective movie-loving blogosphere wade through the good and the bad of the year and present it to us in a concise package. This is no different. I’m going to do my top 10 of 2011, although it must be noted that I still haven’t seen some of the big movies of 2011 such as The Artist, Hugo and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Heres a little recap of some of the great movies we’ve seen this year.
In reverse order, here goes…
10. Life in a Day (Various)
When YouTube announced that it was collaborating with Ridley Scott to create a completely user submitted documentary with 100s of different YouTube clips and no real narrative, I was a little skeptical. Users were asked to submit the everyday goings on in their daily lives, all on the same day. I expected a mishmash of low quality and inconsistent work. But I was amazed at some of the content in the film. There are some amazing visuals and very raw, very real human moments in here.
Also, another bonus is that the movie is completely free and in HD on YouTube, so you have no excuse to not go watch it here. Go!
9. Bridesmaids (Paul Feig)
Bridesmaids is one of those movies that just came out of nowhere last Summer to become the biggest comedy of the year, garnering far more critical acclaim than the inferior Hangover 2. A rarity in that it is a chick flick that appeals to men just as much as it does to women. The cast is fantastic, especially Kristen Wiig in the lead role – I can see her becoming a major comic actress after this.
8. 50/50 (Jonathan Levine)
The partially autobiographical tale of one mans cancer struggle is emotional without being overly sentimental, while still perfectly hitting the right comic notes. Seth Rogen gives his most restrained and solid performance I have seen him give.
7. Page One: Inside the New York Times (Andrew Rossi)
This intimate story of the inner workings and possible failure of the Worlds most famous newspaper. Dealing with the advent of online news and iPads, as well as the work that goes in to producing a single story, the film is a must see for anyone interested in journalism or even people who want to know what goes into producing their morning paper.
6. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
The latest movie from the reclusive Terrence Malick is nothing short of a masterpiece that cannot be easily summised. In short, it is a story of a life that simply taps in to the little snippets of memories we all have from childhood. It does this better than any film I’ve seen. The cinematography is beautiful, just what we have come to expect from Malick. The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is that I can’t see myself revisiting it again soon.
5. Moneyball (Bennett Millar)
After last years The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin proves once again the he is the top scribe in Hollywood right now. The dialogue is some of the best work Sorkin has produced – high praise indeed. Also features another flawless perfromance from my favourite character actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
4. Hanna (Joe Wright)
After the release of Atonement, it was clear that Jone Wright was one to watch. A naturally visual filmmaker, Wright takes a somewhat grittier turn with Hanna, a slick revenge movie starring Irish youngster Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana. Also, features arguably the best score of the year, all courtesy of The Chemical Brothers.
3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Rupert Wyatt)
Another film that I had not expected much from and was very pleasantly surprised with. After Tim Burton’s poor 2001 remake, the franchise seemed dead and buried but Rupert Wyatt has revitalised the series with the best action movie of the year including some of the best CGI I’ve ever seen.
2. Drive (Nicolas Windig Refn)
What else is there to say about Drive that hasn’t been said? Ryan Gosling. Perfect soundtrack. Amazing visuals.
1. Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
It is probably no surprise that the new movie from my favourite director tops my list this year. Woody Allen’s take on nostalgia and the so-called ‘Golden Age’ is an instant classic. Owen Wilson plays a bored husband to be, on vacation in Paris, who gets swooped into the bohemian 1920’s Parisian culture – meeting the likes of Picasso, Hemingway, Dali and others. It has Allen’s trademark quick wit and great dialogue (which was recognised at the Golden Globes last Sunday, as the movie took away the best Original Screenplay award).
Like most of Woody Allen’s movies, Midnight in Paris deals with themes of faux intellectualism, culture and romance, so those who generally don’t like his movies probably won’t take anything from the movie. That said, I think its his best film in years. Long may it continue.