ME-Movies Best & Worst Of 2011 Awards
The good, the bad, and the downright awful in movies of 2011.
10. The Descendants
Director Alexander Payne returns after quite a while with yet another family drama this time set in Hawaii. But the content of the movie at its core is about a man coping with his sick wife who is close to death and how he has to reconnect with his children while learning secrets about her. It manages to be emotional as well as funny without being tasteless and it’s after a long time that you get to see George Clooney in an emotionally vulnerable role instead of just a man with swag. He’s not playing a cool lawyer or con-man or anything of that sort. He plays an everyday man like you and me stuck in a situation and how he decides to deal with it. It’s a beautiful film that needs to be seen.
9. A Separation
This might be Iran’s year to take home the Oscar as ‘A Separation’ is one of the best films of the year and is the closest to a lock for Best Foreign Film than anything else. It’s about how a family has to deal with a separation and how that one decision leads to a ripple effect that results in quite a few other events. It’s not just a family drama but becomes a very engaging courtroom drama at the same time that is reminiscent of Hitchockian thrillers. It’s refreshing to see a film devoid of overt political themes that instead decides to tell a standalone story that’s gripping and resolves with a very morally ambiguous ending that audiences will enjoy.
By far the coolest movie of the year, ‘Drive’ is what you get when you take a standard action movie plot that might make you believe it belongs to a Jason Statham movie and give it to a visionary artsy director. The result is a very stylish 80’s retro film that not only has some of the slickest looking visuals but also an excellent and restrained performance from Ryan Gosling in a character study about a loner. Add in an excellent soundtrack and some brutal scenes and it does make for a brilliant yet polarising film which not everyone will enjoy. But those who do will find a lot to love here.
7. The Tree of Life
This one’s probably the most divisive movie of the year and I’ll be the first one to say that the plot isn’t coherent and at times pretty disjointed. But I’d be damned if I didn’t say that this is one of the most beautiful and ambitious films ever made. Terence Malick reaches high and not only tells a family drama but also the place of humans in the grand scheme of the universe all in one movie. It has breathtaking visuals including a twenty minute sequence in the middle that is jaw-dropping in its scope and beauty. It’s a profound film that many audiences will not enjoy thanks to its highly unconventional narrative but I believe its ambition and execution more than compensates for it. It’s a must-see for any cinema-lover looking for an emotional and visual ride.
Making a comedy about cancer is an extremely risky affair and there’s a reason why no one had tried it yet. But no one better to know about cancer than someone once afflicted by it himself. Will Reiser writes an excellent screenplay here that’s emotionally affecting and hilarious at the same time. Seth Rogen is always there to keep the tone light-hearted while Joseph Gordon Levitt’s hard-hitting performance does make an impact. It’s a brilliant film that deserves to be seen and ranks as one of the best of the year.