1) The Artist- My favorite film in years. First to really pull me in and blow me away since “There Will Be Blood,” but couldn’t be more different from that one. So much fun to watch and already feels timeless.
2) Winnie the Pooh -probably more entertaining for adults than kids, so charming! Great music. Little life lessons we can all be reminded of
3) Albert Nobbs- I don’t know why no one saw it but me. Glenn Close and Janet McTeer were AMAZING!
4) Our Idiot Brother- Worst marking of the year. So not the summer fart-comedy it was made to look like. Intelligent, witty, and one of the most loveable characters on film in years (well, besides Winnie the Pooh)
5) The Help- I feel like I’m a little biased because I loved the book so much. And Viola Davis. And Jessica Chastain (though I just fell in love with her this year). All the acting was solid. Directing, screenplay, and score could have all popped a bit more. (Watch “Fried Green Tomatoes” for what it could have been). But still a sweet movie and so enjoyable to watch.
6) Weekend- The British “Before Sunrise.” Dealt with a lot of gay issues in a really raw, honest way that I really connected with.
7) My Week With Marilyn- This film is 90% Michelle Williams’ possession of layers of emotional depth of Marilyn Monroe, 8% interest in Monroe being a wack-a-doo, and 2% everything else. (And WORST film score in years- you have to work at paying attention to it cause it’s so blah, but if you do, you’ll want to blah)
8) Drive- I’m a sucker for the quiet, angst guy. I think it’s really hard to do a film around a lead character who rarely talks, especially to do it well. “East of Eden,” “Brokeback Mountain,” Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” This film isn’t in that league, but solid, just like Ryan Gossling’s pecs. Love the pacing and some unique departures from a typical action film into character study. Then when you least expect it, it takes a few more detours into some beautifully artistic movements. And Albert Brooks was the biggest Oscar snub of the year.
9) War Horse- I forgot what an experience a Speilburg film is. I watched and was like, oh yeah, this is what a movie is supposed to be. It just feels epic and polished. Then I was like, wow, it’s really polished. Then I was like, oh, it’s a bit too polished. Films have turned into more of a raw style that feels a bit more emotionally compelling, which makes this film already feels a bit dated like a lost film from 1985 that just happens to be in high def. But still, some really beautiful moments.
10) The Way – Martin Sheen and Emilio Estavez’s pet project about a spiritual pilgrimage in Spain. Not a terribly well-made film, but I loved the supporting cast and I cried like 10 times, so it did something right.
12) Take Shelter
13) A Better Life
15) The Muppets
16) The Descendants
18) Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
19) Midnight in Paris
And the ones that just fell in the middle (yet still in order):
20) The Beginners
21) Jane Eyre
22) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2
25) We Need to Talk About Kevin
28) The Ides of March
29) The Conspirator
30) The Iron Lady
32) Win Win
33) Puss In Boots
36) Meek’s Cutoff
37) African Cats
39) Crazy Stupid Love
41) The Adventures Of Tin Tin
42) Paranormal Activity 3
43) Friends With Benefits
44) Water for Elephant
46) Bill Cunningham New York
LEAST FAVORITE MOVIES OF THE YEAR:
47) The Beaver
49) The Tree of Life
50) Bad Teacher
51) Gnomeo & Juliet
52) Horrible Bosses
53) Arthur Christmas
54) Mars Needs Moms
55) Cars 2
56) The Smurfs