at last…my top movies 2011
sure, i may change my mind later, but i have been adamantly following the year in cinema, and it’s already april and i’m quite burned out. i’m at a time where i’m confident that all of my choices are top-ten quality and that their spots will be hard to take, regardless of how good we need to talk about kevin, a separation, or the skin i live in will end up being. so yes, i still have a great amount of films from this year i still intend to watch, but honestly none strike me that they will outrank the ones i have already seen. but who knows. i just want to get this out.
just like the previous two years, my top ten omits the oscar’s best picture winner (the artist) and the monster that wrongfully swept up all the technical awards (hugo). what is it?? am i just a hipster and i don’t want to conform? or is it just because this year had a dozen other movies that were SO MUCH BETTER? bitterness.
10. win win
great multi-layered modern drama: realistic, sympathetic, finely written and acted. kind of needed this film in my top ten to be the only other somewhat “normal” one, next to the descendants.
9. midnight in paris
i’m glad i didn’t really know what this film was about before seeing it, because the magical twist was a very pleasant surprise for me. all i knew was that it was in paris, possibly my favorite city in the world, and that was enough for me. colorful, witty, funny.
this film’s style heavily overpowers its substance, which is a good thing. my only gripe about it was that i got a little lost in the crime drama, but that hardly mattered with this film’s incredible cinematography, atmosphere, and music. fantastic soundtrack! this year’s movies seemed to be especially amazing in capturing mood. a truly great year on that note. (seen 2x)
7. the descendants
#8 and #7 are somewhat equally ranked for me; i can’t tell which i liked better because they were so incredibly different. however, my gut says the descendants. the film still had stylistic flair (simple and colorful cinematography that made me want to go to beautiful hawaii SO BAD, and a charming and fitting hawaiian soundtrack) but mostly had great a great story and wonderful acting. i mostly just loved that it was focused on life in hawaii, the detached little chip off of the usa that i feel no one really knows about besides its superficial hawaiian-ness. a great american family drama.
waaaahh so depressing and so beautiful at the same time, i don’t even. lars von trier why are you so dark and tragic??? like srsly guise, how do u make a movie about the end of the world?! i don’t think i can emphasize how BEAUTIFUL this film is. it really kills me inside. kirsten dunst is amazing here, oh and the use of wagner’s tristan and isolde overture is genius. waaaahhhh
5. another earth
oh hey, another film about a planet looming over earth. i didn’t expect to be so taken by this one, i thought the premise was cool but i had no idea how powerful the story would actually be. had me crying pretty much the whole movie. and the ending is great, along with #3’s, the best on the list. mmm.
4. the girl with the dragon tattoo
one of my most highly anticipated films of the year, i saw this baby at midnight! and it still amazes me how swiftly it packs the novel’s incredibly complex plot and all its details into a movie that truly engages from start to finish. i haven’t even read the book or seen the swedish version, and david fincher was no doubt the main reason why i was so pumped for this. and he did it so well i really have no desire to read the book or see the swedish version, i just want to watch this one again. (seen 2x)
3. take shelter
this one could easily be #1, and i’ll say the same for #2. these top three were so incredible, i can say that they are some of the absolute best films i’ve ever seen. unforgettable. but first: take shelter. this movie made me want to throw up the entire time. it was the most terrifying movie i’ve ever watched. i loved every minute of it, best lead performance of the year. UGH. also, jessica chastain.
2. the tree of life
i think this should have won best picture. whereas many movies come from books and scripts, this was a film made to be a film. there’s just no other way of putting it. sure, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at times, but after i watched it a second time i was moved even deeper and assured even further of its inexplicable greatness. this film does so much, it’s so hard to talk about, you just have to see it. people would ask, “what is it about?” and i just have to answer “everything.” aside from its pure cinematic beauty, the story really hits the spot at several moments. also, jessica chastain (srsly u go gurl) (seen 2x)
so if my #2 and #3 are so amazing, what makes this #1? honestly, i’m not entirely sure. perhaps it’s because it’s the most beautiful film i’ve ever seen, so delicate and subtle yet soOoOo powerful and moving. i know beautiful is my most overused word, but i really don’t know how else to put it! another amazing lead performance. i have no words, only tears. quiet masterpiece. i can’t wait to watch again.
the rest of the best:
the artist, hugo, crazy stupid love, kung fu panda 2, martha marcy may marlene, water for elephants, my week with marilyn, mission impossible ghost protocol (for its thrills), the mill and the cross (for its originality and visuals)
note: pretty bummed there were no great animated features this year. haven’t seen cars 2 (ew), i didn’t like rango (ew), puss in boots was ok. i thought kung fu panda 2 was the best but still not amazing. still have to see chico and rita and a cat in paris. hopefully my work will be done a year from now.