7th January 2012
Here’s my round-up of this past year’s best films, by category, as invented by moi, which is fine, since all categories are constructs anyway!
BEST DANCE MOVIE
‘Pina’ (see my review HERE)
BEST DANCE MOVIE – Honourable Mention
PUSS IN BOOTS. PIB isn’t really a dance movie, but it does have a few dance sequences in it that are brilliantly funny, well observed, and closely tied to the narrative. Hats off to choreographer Laura Gorenstein Miller
BEST END OF WORLD MOVIE
‘Melancholia’ (although both ‘Margin Call’ and ‘Moneyball’ could qualify for this category…see my previous blog post about this HERE)
BEST SPORT MOVIE (a tie between)
Baseball, stats, Brad Pitt, tight script, awesome. See previous post (above).
Which really is as much a drama as it is a movie about highschool wrestling. I’ve mentioned this director’s work before (Thomas McCarthy) since I think all of his films are pretty much perfect. This one is no exception. Paul Giamatti stars.
BEST POLITICAL THRILLER
Or is it a wall street thriller? Either way, it was thrilling, well written, excellently scored, well performed, brilliantly directed.
BEST POLITICAL THRILLER – Honorable Mention
‘Ides of March’
This was a little over-wrought for my taste and I found myself laughing in places that weren’t meant to be funny…nevertheless, it is engaging and well performed.
BEST OF BRITISH & BEST ACTION SCI FI
‘Attack the Block’ check out my earlier review HERE
BEST SPY MOVIE
This was a TV movie starring Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz. Bill Nighy gives a great performance in this and I really liked the writing. Over-all, I thought this was an excellent example of the genre. Also produced by Nighy.
BEST SPY MOVIE – Honorable Mention
‘Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy’
Not a lot of competition in this category, so TTSS squeaks it. Some great performances (Tom Hardy most notably) and production design, although for my money, I still prefer the BBC series.
Check out my earlier review HERE.
BEST DRAMADY or BROMANCE
Just manages to avoid becoming overly sacharine, this has a tight, thoughtful script with a stand out performance from Anna Kendrick and a lovely little bromance between the two leads.
‘Friends with Benefits’
An excellent starring turn from Mila Kunis, and a supporting performance from the always excellent Richard Jenkins, elevates this above standard fare. It does its best to avoid the romcom cliches whilst having enough of them to attract the female punters. Enough jokes to keep it sailing along, and nice to see a female lead that isn’t a ball breaking career woman who as a result can’t find love…
BEST ANIMATED MOVIE
Beautiful adaptation of ‘the Borrowers’ by the always fantastic Studio Ghibli. Sumptuous drawn animation and attention to detail.
BEST SCIENCE FICTION / ACTION
‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’
Excellent performance from Andy Serkis taking MOCAP to a whole new level. Tight, emotionally engaging script.
Another stellar turn from Duncan Jones (‘Moon’). Does exactly what it says on the tin very well.
A thoughtful exploration of mental illness, American pre-apocalyptic fears, and the life of the common man. I can’t say much more without spoiling the plot. Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain are both mesmerising as married couple Curtis and Samantha.
BEST VISCERAL MOVIE
& BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
‘Tree of Life’
Not sure how to categorise this film as it’s such a visceral, impressionistic affair. It’s probably a love it or hate it type of film, but certainly worth catching if only for the performances and the cinematography.
BEST GHOST STORY
Not quite as good as ‘The Others’ or ‘The Orphanage’ but in the same vein and certainly competent and intriguing with enough plot to keep you interested.
Films I’ve heard are good but have yet to see:
The Driver, The Artist, Arthur Christmas, The Descendants, Senna, Project Nim, Coriolanus, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Weekend and Young Adult.
A few other notable mentions that I’ve seen and enjoyed but that haven’t made my list are: Shame, Jane Eyre, Life in A Day, Hugo, Tin Tin and Harry Potter.
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