Maryann's Top 11 Films From 2011


Obviously I didn't see EVERY movie released in 2011, so this list is (and always will be) premature.  This weekend I hope to see Pina and that might need to be added.  And someday I need to watch Shame, Hanna, and A Dangerous Method.  We'll see.

Most Beautiful: The Tree of Life

Thanks to my friend Spiro, I own this movie.  It made me think so much about family and my parents' upbringing, as well as my faith.

Most Creepy?  Best Slow-Burn?  These Two Are Hard to Categorize: Take Shelter & Melancholia

I would even recommend watching them as a double feature.  But if you could only watch one, I would say Melancholia.  I loved it.

Most Empowering: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I wanted to see this movie for David Fincher, and to find out what the big deal is about Lisbeth Salander.  I left the theater with all my senses heightened, and totally obsessed.

Most Delightful: The Muppets

I saw this with Kj, which doubled if not tripled the delight.  So nostalgic and fun and moving.  I know everyone loved how charming The Artist was, but for me this was in a whole other league of classic cute.

Most Stylish: Drive

Watching this movie was like being transported into a dangerous 80s music video.  I never knew what was going to happen next, and I fell in love with the lead characters.  Yes, it's exceptionally violent.  I just covered my eyes.

Most Tearful: Beginners

This movie made me cry like crazy.  The relationship with the dog alone, not to mention Christopher Plummer's EVERYTHING.

Most Anger-Inducing: 50/50

If you combine bits of this movie with Wit (2001) you can get a pretty close picture to my life in 2009 and 2010.  Yes, both those movies are about people who had cancer and no, I did not have cancer.  When they start making movies about oversized meningoceles, I'll get back to you.  From the horrendous girlfriend to the horrendous therapist (yes, she was awful) to the horrendous medical professionals, to the scene at night with the dog and ALL the hospital stuff, this movie rips me to shreds.  In a good way...?

Most Surprising: Thor

I am so over comic book super hero movies that I am UNDER them (except for X-Men).   But then Thor came along with a wonderful twist: the hero has always had super powers, and he's an arrogant ass about it, and has to learn humility!  Give me this story over the I-was-weak-and-scrawny-but-now-I'm-a-beefcake (I'm looking at you, Spider-Man and Captain America).  It was funny, the CGI didn't make me want to scream, and it had Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston.  Enough said.

Most Predictably Good: Midnight in Paris

It's a Woody Allen movie about time-traveling in Paris.  Was there anything unexpected here?  No.  Was it pleasant and pretty, funny and sweet?  Yes.

Most Ambitious if Flawed: Higher Ground

I can't imagine it's easy to make a movie about evangelical Christianity (bordering on Fundamentalist) without 'preaching' to the audience, but I think Vera Farmiga came closer than most I've seen.  There were narrative holes and strange character motivations (or lack thereof) but so many moments and scenes rang true and honest without being judgmental or necessarily critical.  I can't wait to see it again.

Honorable Mentions:  Bridesmaids and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

What were some of your favorites? And it's ok if you say The Artist.  I won't delete your comment. 


Allie said...

Have you read "GWTDT" yet? I'm glad I read it before I saw it, just because I'm lame and usually DON'T read the book that the movie is based on :) I loooove the opening credits. Amazeballs. I haven't seen most of these movies yet. Very excited to see "Melancholia" (Kirsten is one of my favorite actresses), "Beginners" (I have a total girl crush on Melanie Laurent), and "Thor," just because it looks like a fun one. :)

Maryann said...

I'm about a 3rd of the way in on TGWTDT so far. It's been a slow read because I'm in a book club and have to read that book too. But so far I'm really liking it!

Spiro said...

Love this list, and i still need to watch a few! Love that you've got Tree of Life on there :)