2011! – Part 1: Movies

A month late and probably more than a few dollars short, but here it is – my two cents on the best of the best for 2011. Let’s start with film, shall we?

MY TOP TEN FAVOURITE MOVIES:

10) The Tree Of Life

Trippy? Yes. Hard to follow? Absolutely. Beautiful? Without question. Terrence Malick’s work is divisive – and with good reason – but there’s no denying the majesty he created here.

9) Super 8

E.T. meets Stand By Me” is how I often hear this film described. For me, it was less about the “alien invasion” and more about the friendship between the kids and the coming-of-age story therein. Yeah, the actual reveal of the monster was a bit wah-wah, but at that point I didn’t even care.

8) Attack The Block

If Super 8 was E.T. meets Stand By Me, then Attack The Block was Cloverfield meets The Goonies. Or, essentially, the grittier, slightly goofier British Super 8. Definitely one of the most underrated films of the year and perhaps the best British indie science fiction film I’ve seen. That’s right, I said it! Also, the reveal of the monster in this one is vastly superior, thanks in no small part to its relative simplicity. Because really, what’s scarier than pure darkness and glowing razor-sharp teeth?

7) Pariah

I think technically it was released in 2012, but I saw it in 2011 and I am counting it. Mostly because I ADORED it. One of the most realistic portrayals of the life of a gay teen I’ve ever seen and a rare glimpse into the world of teenage lesbians coming of age that is sadly not presented as often as it should be on film. Please, see this movie. I beg you. It’s incredible.

6) The Help

It’s not very often that a film lives up to a book for me. No matter how much I love a movie, if I read the book first I’ll almost always find fault in it somewhere, somehow. Thank God for The Help. Perfect casting, incredible adaptation, remarkable film.

5) Like Crazy

Again, probably technically a 2012 film, but whatever. One of the most brutally honest and realistic portrayals of young love I have ever seen. It’s been awhile since a film has left me so emotionally exhausted and so happy to feel that way. Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin are my new Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. Kids, please start dating for realsies. Please.

4) Fright Night

Have I mentioned how much I love Anton Yelchin? Or Colin Farrell? Or The Doctor himself? Or vampires? I feel like it might have come up…

3) The Muppets

To say I love the Muppets – all of them, from Animal to Zoot and everything in between – would be a world class understatement. To say I swoon for Jason Segel and his love of the Muppets (which might even rival mine,) would be putting it mildly. To say The Muppets filled me with a sentimental nostalgia and a glorious glee hangover that lasted almost two weeks, would be as close to words as I could get to actually describing my feelings on the film. Now let’s sing!

2) Drive

How Ryan Gosling manages to convey so much while saying so little is a wonder to me. Anyone else remember when he was Young Hercules and got his schoolin’ at Breaker High? Our little Canadian cutie is growing up! A thinking man’s action film, the quiet intensity that permeates this film literally had me on the edge of my seat. Also, this soundtrack is boss. Trust.

1) The Artist

Hands down, my favourite flick of the past year. Every single piece of hype you’ve heard about this one is true. It’s beautiful. It’s touching. It’s magical. The leads, the dancing, the dog… J’adore.

Honourable Mentions: 50/50, King’s Speech, How To Train Your Dragon, Fighter, 127 Hours

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