Sunday, February 26, 2012

Best Movies of 2011


I don't have television so there are no Oscars for me tonight apart from on the web. Maybe it is my age, maybe it is a deterioration in the overall quality of most movies but I view Oscar night now as a long drawn out yawn with too many commercials, a sycophantic host and self-congratulatory side bits which border on extreme narcissism.

I have a lifelong passion for the movies, going way back to when my uncle owned a cinema in a small town in East Cork and I got to see !!free!! every movie he showed. The A movie, the B movie, the newsreels, the cartoons and the serials on Saturday afternoons. I also have quite an enormous collection of movies. Some I never tire of watching.

One of my biggest disappointments of this past movie season was The Artist. I just don't get what all the fuss and hype was about. I found it melodramatic and cliched. And if that was the point, so what. Not a good point pour moi. A close runner up to FAIL would be Midnight in Paris, with an appalling Owen Wilson (attempting to channel a jaded Woody Allen) in the lead and featuring cardboard caricatures of the greatest literary figures in Paris as a supporting cast. Please. I was seriously offended.

On the other hand, I loved Monsieur Lazhar an amazing story of a Grade 6 class in Quebec whose teacher commits suicide. The child actors in it were brilliant. I also loved Beginners which starred Christopher Plummer as a widower coming out of the closet after 45 years of marriage. Hugo was a delight, loved loved loved Martin Scorsese's homage to movies through the ages and even caught his own (a la Alfred Hitchcock) cameo in it. The 3 D effects were incredible.

Tree of Life and Bridesmaids were also in the enjoyable lineup of movie pleasure for me this past year.

But overall a disappointing season but some of that can be blamed on the unavailability of good foreign film showings here in Newfoundland. To my mind, there is nothing like the big screen of a movie theatre for showing such treasures.

16 comments:

  1. The Help. Saw the movie and sibnce then have read the book twice. Loved both.

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  2. I got out of the habit of going to the movies, must try to get back to it.

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  3. Debstar:
    Yes, "The Help", neglected to mention, found the book more powerful than the movie though it was excellent too.
    XO
    WWW

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  4. GM:
    Yes do try, there is something about the movie theatre experience which can't be captured on a TV.
    Is there a film club in Belfast?
    XO
    WWW

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  5. Do you still review movies at IMDB? I rely on the reviews there to not waste my time watching dogs.

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  6. I have just restarted going to movies. I shall write a post in 2013 about those that I saw in 2012!

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  7. Saw the Oscars shindig on TV last evening. It wasn't too bad this year. We'd seen 3 of the movies nominated, which is unusual - other years we hadn't even heard of most of 'em. Billy Crystal didn't brown-nose a lot, thank goodness.

    I thought "The Help" stars' honours were well-deserved. Was surprised "The Descendants" was considered Oscar material - very soap-opera-ish, I thought. And, unlike you, dear WWW I thoroughly enjoyed "Midnight in Paris". I loved the fantasy of it, and though am not a fan of Owen Wilson I thought he did a reasonable job in this one. I like Woody Allen movies - they get away from mainstream ideas as a rule, the music in them is always first-class, and I like his peculiar sense of humour- always have. So maybe I'm prejudiced.
    :-)

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  8. GFB:
    I've been pretty lax in posting due to time constraints. I have taken notes so must update one of these days.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Ramana:
    I will so look forward to that!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. T:
    Ah, so it was Billy doing the drung and drang, was it? I think he's my fave of all the hosts.
    I was delighted Christopher Plummer one for Beginners. I loved it.
    Disappointed Monsieur Lazhar (that I keep raving about) didn't win best foreign film, though I haven't seen the winner.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Definitely not a fan of award shows and not really much of a movie goer at all. Not many films lately have seemed worth a 15km drive into town though strangely we manage to drive 100km once a month to go live theatre! It's interesting reading reviews though and will look out for some of them in the future..

    PS Not back in NL until June.

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  12. Linda:
    Yes I prefer live theatre too and now that I'm a playwright (did I just say that?!)even more so.
    Let me know when you're in NL you may want to come to my play if the timing is right.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. I read somewhere that the Oscar judges are around 95% white and around 75% male. So the Oscars can't be taken seriously.

    Glad someone else didn't like Midnight in Paris, I was the odd one out round here. I thought that not only were the historical figures caricatures but the conversations with them were pathetic.

    There's an excellent cinema in Belfast, the Queen's Film Theatre, but it's a bit off the beaten track for Grannymar!

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  14. I am so glad I'm not alone in that assessment of MiP, Nick. A travesty.
    I discovered here in NL that there is a film society too but unfortunately on a night where I have another commitment.
    XO
    WWW

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  15. The 2012 Bechdel test applied to this years Oscar line up explains my long time disengagement from movies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH8JuizIXw8


    It's a 10 minute video so you'll have to save it for a high speed day lol

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  16. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - enjoyable, convincing and yet somehow underwhelming.

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