My Top 10 Best Movies of 2011
From blockbusters to art house films, 2011 was full of surprises. We were entertained by movies featuring a curious boy named Hugo or a group of youngsters investigating a possible alien invasion in their hometown. But as this list can attest, sometimes, silence is golden.
1. “The Artist” -- For a silent film, this black-and-white movie has a lot to say. Writer-director Michel Hazanavicius played with our perceived notion of romance. At the heart of "The Artist" is an effective love story starring Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. But this movie is really a love letter to the golden age of Hollywood, a delectable treat for any movie lover! I am predicting "The Artist" to triumph at the upcoming Academy Awards.
2. “Hugo” -- This visually splendid masterpiece from maestro Martin Scorsese is captivating and seductively entrancing! No one can make a piece of cinema history as piercingly fascinating as Scorsese can. This grand adventure, based on Brian Selznick's award-winning book, is a delight for everyone and will make you believe in the magic of pure imagination. "Hugo" must be seen in 3D!
3. “The Descendants” -- What could have been a melodramatic movie became a brilliant character study on forgiving and acceptance. Director Alexander Payne ("Sideways," "Election") created a dramedy that's equal parts conflict and ease. "The Descendants" has a great ensemble headed by George Clooney's nuance performance. Watch for Shailene Woodley's scene-stealing turn as Clooney's intrepid daughter.
4. "Drive" -- I still can't forget the daring images of this noir thriller from director Nicolas Winding Refn. The cast is excellent (pay attention to Albert Brooks' turn as the mysterious crime boss, Bernie Rose) and the music by ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, Cliff Martinez, is palpable. But best of all, the story of the Driver, played audaciously by Ryan Gosling, is memorable.
5. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" -- This is a perfect ending to a perfect franchise. And best of all, we feel vindicated for standing with our favorite boy wizard through the years.
6. "The Tree of Life" -- From visionary writer-director, Terrence Malick, comes this fantastic meditation on life and living. Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, Malick's usage of interspersed imagery and fragmented non-linear narrative polarized critics but I stand behind this truly artistic masterpiece. Emmanuel Lubezki's haunting cinematography deserves an Oscar. This was the first film in 2011 where we witnessed the charm of Jessica Chastain.
7. "Moneyball" -- On the surface, this is a baseball movie about Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt on a roll this year) based on the book by Michael Lewis titled "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game." But director Bennett Miller and writers Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin shaped a redemption story of a man who will do anything for the love of the game. You don't have to be a baseball fan to fall in love with this movie.
8. "Midnight in Paris" -- Woody Allen transports us back to a magical time in Paris, after midnight of course, with the funny and endearing Owen Wilson as our tour guide. The wit is bitingly sharp, while the charm is winningly effusive.
9. "War Horse" -- I was skeptical going in, but I became a firm believer walking out. Steven Spielberg, as we all know by now, is a gifted storyteller but I thought he would dial up the Hallmark schmaltziness of the love story between a boy and his horse. I was wrong. By the end of the movie, I was shamelessly crying with tears of joy. "War Horse" effortlessly swept me away.
10. "Super 8" -- I was very impressed with this sci-fi drama. Director J.J. Abrams channels Spielberg with this homage to alien movies. All the child actors are terrific especially Elle Fanning. This film about how residents of a small town are brought together by an alien is simply, well, super. Hollywood does not make smart blockbusters like this often.
Year of Production: 2011
Country: United States
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