Monday, 2 January 2012

I've written up my top ten films of the year for this Film Pilgrim feature (it's worth reading for interesting insights from my fellow writers*). Here's my list, with bonus content of the year's worst film.

10. Le Quattro Volte

A beautifully engaging Italian film; goats, trees, charcoal and stunning photography are a molto bene combination!

9. Super 8

A solid Spielbergian homage, blending thrilling sci-fi action with a good sense of humour; one of the most accomplished and all-round entertaining films of the summer.

8. Life in a Day

An uplifting study of humanity. Moving and profound. It’s hard to describe this successful experiment in words; it simply has to be seen.

7. 127 Hours

I love how the exciting cinematography and a great performance from James Franco come together to make a compelling film out of what could be a tediously uninteresting story. Surprisingly realistic bloody amputations are always nice, too.

6. Senna

Documentary at its finest, Asif Kapadia gathered an impressive amount of footage of Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna and structured it into a detailed, immersive, tragic narrative that can capture the attention and emotion of those (myself included) who know nothing about the sport.

5. The Fighter

This dark character study is up there with the best sports movies. Excellent and believable performances from Wahlberg, Leo and Bale are the highlights.

4. Drive

Extremely violent, extremely gripping, yet strangely artistic modern noir. Ryan Gosling is wonderful (and broodingly sexy), ditto Carey Mulligan (replace ‘broodingly’ with, err, ‘innocently’).

3. True Grit

There aren’t a great amount of Westerns these days, but this one is amazing. The Coens’ beautiful cinematography makes the Old West stunning yet bleak and dangerous. Splendid cast, especially the young Hailee Steinfeld. Plus, you can't go wrong with lots of silly moustaches and a man dressed as a bear.

2. The King’s Speech

A strong drama with a great cast, worthy of all the awards it received (except Best Director, which should have gone to Fincher).

1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tense, suspenseful thriller with so many perfectly cast top quality actors given interesting, deep characters to explore. Excellent, brilliant, wonderful. Bring on the Oscars. So good that "ginger gay Benedict Cumberbatch" is not even my favourite part.

Worst Film of 2011: Sucker Punch

Despite featuring giant samurai, German steampunk zombies, dragons and robots, a remarkably boring film, with absolutely no character depth. Or characters. Just sex objects with guns. And worst of all, it wastes Jon Hamm (then again, so did Bridesmaids).

*I'm not even contractually obliged to say this, you know.


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