ME-Movies Best & Worst Of 2011 Awards
The good, the bad, and the downright awful in movies of 2011.
Baseball dramas are usually a very niche genre that produce movies that only fans of the game will like, and that is why ‘Moneyball’ excels. I’ve never seen a complete baseball game in my life yet I was completely enthralled by the film and the story it told. Because even among the midst of all the statistics and footage from previous baseball matches, there’s a simpler story about one man trying to break the norm by doing something different that has the potential to change the game. It’s about how everyone scoffs at you when you try something radical but as long as you stand behind it, it pays off. Brad Pitt is a revelation in his role and definitely deserves some Oscar recognition, and so does Jonah Hill who has surprisingly come a long way from Superbad. It’s a well-written and inspirational film that manages to transcend cliches of its genre and gives a quality film to audiences.
4. We Need To Talk About Kevin
This gem of a film screened at Abu Dhabi Film Festival and I’m extremely glad to have caught it. It’s a dark and grim film with some very striking visual imagery and a story that will resonate with many audiences and effectively creep them out. It follows a mother who is trying to deal with her newborn son Kevin and begins to realize there’s something fundamentally wrong with him. We follow her through her motherhood as Kevin grows in age and she becomes witness to some bizarre activities, while the film ocassionally intercuts to the future where we are led to believe that something horrific has taken place. Tilda Swinton gives an amazing performance that deserves the Oscar this year and coupled with director Lynne Ramsay’s powerful direction, this isn’t your mass entertainer but might just be the most powerful film you’ll see in quite a while.
3. I Saw The Devil
Korean cinema is no stranger to producing some of the best movies of all time and ‘Oldboy’ is one of the biggest examples of that. But this year, we got probably one of the best serial killer/revenge films ever made in the form of ‘I Saw The Devil’. It’s a suspenseful, brutal and unflinching account of a man out to take revenge for a personal loss from a brutal serial killer. And if you think you’ve seen how far revenge can go, wait until you see this film. It’s a gripping cat and mouse tale right till the end and looks more polished than most Hollywood movies I’ve seen. I suspect a remake is in order, so watch it before it gets bastardized.
2. X-Men: First Class
Back in the summer, my jaw was right down on the floor when I was first saw ‘X-Men: First Class’ in the cinemas. I called it the best film of the year I’ve seen so far and even now the film ranks as the second highest on the list. It’s an amazing superhero film that not only breaths much-needed new life into the franchise but shows that prequels are sometimes extremely effective. Every single character had depth and a story to it, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender give some of the best performances of the year, there’s a current of social commentary that complements the action scenes amazingly and overall ties the film brilliantly into the X-Men universe. Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer not only give us a classic superhero film but also one of the best films of the year. A must-see even if you aren’t into superhero antics.
And here’s the number one film I’ve seen this year. No movie all year has been able to affect me emotionally as much as ‘Warrior’ did. It might look like yet another fighting drama on the front, but is actually probably one of the best films in the sports genre in total. It follows an estranged family with two brothers who are both trying to get into the biggest MMA championship ever while trying to reconcile with their father. All of this leads to some excellent and hard-hitting dramatic scenes that are only improved by amazing acting all the way through. Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte give powerful performances that are award-worthy on their own. And then there’s the visceral fight scenes which are directed with style and emotional heft especially the breathtaking finale that manages to overwhelm you in ways more than one. But the saddest part of this is that ‘Warrior’ will end up as the most overlooked film of the year which is a damn shame.
And now, we move on to our genre awards.