By R.M. King
Editor’s Note: Screenwriter and author Rosalyne King shares her favorite films of 2011.
Disclaimer: Living the in the demographic and market I currently reside in limits my movie going in a way that would make most of my fellow Los Angeles Natives shudder and convulse. So please bear that in mind when you read this particular article. I am still confused on why I was asked to write this. Perhaps comic value because as the owner of Passmethepopcorn.com knows MY best movies usually are vastly different from anyone else out there. However without further adieu….
Honorable Mention: Just Go With It, Pearl Jam Twenty And Hugo
The Ones That Got Away: (Movies I did not get a opportunity to see that would have probably changed my list): Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, The Artist, The Muppets and My Week With Marilyn
#10) No Strings Attached – In my universe there was no way Ashton Kutcher would ever be in a top ten movie list I created. However, my universe was seriously shook this year. I’ll go ahead and say it’s because he had a hilarious cast of actors supporting him like Kevin Kline and Mindy Kaling. And the writing in this film was the perfect blend of witty and sarcastic, complete with one liners friends and I repeated for days after . Thinking back they still crack me up. I’ll even say that one of the reasons why I loved this film was because it also featured the object of my longest standing fan girl crush, a nearly unrecognizable Cary Elwes in the film. However, one wants to justify it. The movie was one of my favorites of 2011. I’m just not ready to credit Ashton Kutcher’s performance for my enjoyment of the film..at least not yet.
#9) Super 8- Why? Because it was the first true sleeper I have seen in decades. While the movie itself was visually exciting. It gave me a sense of nostalgia that I have not felt since I was a child when movies like The Goonies and E.T. captivated me. Also it made me realize something about myself personally after years and years of denial..I AM a JJ Abrams fan.
#8) Hanna– Remember that cute and adorable little girl that you ache for justice in The Lovely Bones? Watch out cause now she’s going to seriously kick your ass. From the moment the movie started it had your attention. Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett are outstanding in the supporting cast. There were moments where the audience wanted to hold the poor girl and rock her to sleep, telling her that everything was going to be o.k. However, in a blink of the eye, the audience also wanted to run away as fast as they could… out of fear that she may take one’s ass out.
#7) Crazy, Stupid, Love– Huh you say? Well let me explain my logic. I am not a true fan of ANYONE in this movie. While I find Steve Carell enjoyable to watch I don’t run out to see any of his movies. I have never understood the appeal of Ryan Gosling and let’s be honest how many times can Julianne Moore play the” I’m unhappy so therefore I’m going to be the unfaithful wife” before it gets old? Yet the movie moved me. I saw Carell in a completely different light. Gosling made me believe a Cad could have a heart and Moore’s character was everything but old..To this day the song “Blood” by The Middle East that was featured in this film is on my top playlist . I loved this movie so much I actually requested it as an anniversary present.
#6) The Tree Of Life– Terrence Malick is an acquired taste to most. And watching one of his movies is much like watching any David Lynch movie. It requires a certain level of concentration and open mindedness. But in the age of the blockbuster film I find myself aching for movies like this that makes me concentrate on what’s being conveyed on the screen. This movie hit a certain chord with me. It stayed with me for quite awhile after I watched it, more so I would say than most movies I have watched this year. Pitt’s portrayal in this movie puts Pitt in serious Oscar contention , which again I think is well deserved.
#5) Shame – Any movie that challenged me in the way that this movie did deserves to be on my top ten list. It’s sad to think a NC-17 rated film was not going to get the recognition it deserves. I do feel the rating was appropriate for the content. But the stigma attached to the rating really puts a damper on yet another brilliant performance by Carey Mulligan. Michael Fassbender won the Best Actor award at Venice Film Festival for this film. The movie itself made me uncomfortable but in a completely inspiring way. The film was raw and gutsy. I look forward to what more director Steve McQueen will present in the coming years.
#4) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo– Let me say until this week this was number #3 on my list. If you have read my review here on this site your would see how highly I thought of this movie. I won’t rehash just provide you with a link to a review written by yours truly. However, the bigger story is I guess is the movie that knocked it out of it’s #3 spot.
#3) Beginners – Back in the day before Ewan McGregor donned his Obi-Wan robes, he was my Indie darling. The more commercial success he gathered the less appeal he had to me. Which saddened me because for a long time he was up there with Johnny Depp for me. I’m happy to say Beginners has reconnected me with all the things I adored about McGregor. But it was not just McGregor that hooked me in this film. Christopher Plummer’s portrayal of his father, a man who decides to come out and embrace all that he is at the age of 75 was probably one of the most endearing performances I have experienced in years. The obscure locations in Los Angeles that Mike Mills used made me ache for home and the fact that Mélanie Laurent was mute for the first fifteen minutes on screen , yet was still able to create a memorable chemistry with McGregor made this little miracle of a film my #3 pick of the year.
#2) MI-4: Ghost Protocol– I had to give this film my #2 spot because let’s be honest, any film starring Tom Cruise has a uphill battle to overcome these days. I personally am a fan of his work so sue me. However I stopped watching MI-3 mid-movie. I was shocked to discover they actually made a MI-4. This film gets my #2 spot because it wasn’t suppose to be nowhere as good as it was. Tom Cruise’s Hunt character looked better than ever. It was great to see the cameo by Ving Rhames and to see Jeremy Renner pull off a role I truly believe he couldn’t do until watching it.
#1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : Part 2 – O.K. Seriously, did ANYONE doubt this would be my number one film of the year? Yes it’s 80% emotional. But as I stated in a previous article this film signified the end of a era. We watched these kids grow up before our eyes. At the end of the most series of films we are left with a certain feeling of finality. This film left us wanting more. Yes, after eight films we actually wanted another one! So much so that Rowling herslf said she thought she was finished with the universe she created, until she watched the last installment. Now she’s not so sure anymore. That alone nails the #1 spot for me.