Okay folks, after much deliberation on the 127 cinematic films that I watched during 2011, I can now present to you my Top 10 of the year.
Formulaic it may be, but The Fighter energizes you with a gripping dysfunctional family drama inside and outside the ring to make it a boxing movie with true class. Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams turn in riveting performances.
9. ‘The Guard’
There must be a winning formula in that Irish water or at least in that of the McDonagh family. Writer and director John Michael (brother of Martin McDonagh, ‘In Bruges’) equally crafts a gem of a black comedy mixed with heartfelt drama.
These bridesmaids prove they are not all frilly girlie and can get down just as dirty as the boys, which makes this comedy with a soft heart the best of the year from its genre – it’s just damn funny. Like, really funny.
A big healthy dose of “happily ever after”, where everything positively glimmers and glitters alongside a modern script which is slick and quick and is a true testament to Walt’s old school Disney magic, where even the most hard-hearted person would struggle not to be charmed by this tale.
6. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’
This prequel makes for an intelligent movie which is a constantly exhilarating ride, filled with emotion. The best summer blockbuster by a country mile.
5. ‘True Grit’
Thanks to some beautiful, sweeping and breathtaking vistas of the West by cinematographer Roger Deakins, and a revelation of a breakthrough performance in young Hallie Stanfield, the Coens have breathed life into an American Classic.
4. ‘Tinker Tailor Solider Spy’
Tomas Alfredson skillfully weaves this intelligent narrative to treat its audience with respect in this intense and riveting spy thriller.
A flawless, emotive and compelling documentary on a legend who had the drive, passion and natural ability unlike anyone else to succeed. Demands to be seen wherever you are a fan of the sport or not.
2. ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’
With a phenonemal and sure to be Oscar winning performance from Tilda Swinton, this is a truly daring, powerfully taut and disturbingly sickening piece of astounding filmmaking from Lynne Ramsay which will leave its indelible mark in your memory.
And my choice for the film of the year is…
With a pitch perfect Ryan Gosling as the man with no name. Nicholas Winding Refn makes you sit back and fasten your seat belts, as he takes you on an exhilarating ride with a cool intensity – your eyes and ears deserve this ultra stylized noir thriller and masterpiece.