Every year my comedian and film critic friend Gariana Abeyta (that's her on the left, squinting through a rifle scope taking aim at a coyote. Or an agent. Same thing) does her Top 10 Movies list. Let us know what you think of the list and direct all hostile comments to Gariana. And all compliments directly to me. Her best picture Oscar goes to The Artist.
This may shock you, but 2011 was an excellent year for films. Let me rephrase that, an excellent year for “smaller” films. Foreign and art house fare flourished while Hollywood struggled like Justin Bieber’s siblings trying to get their parents’ attention. You had to dig deep and get dirty this year, frequenting shady and neglected venues where story and substance still reign. But don’t worry, the juggernaut that is the 2012 Hollywood line-up includes, The Avengers, Brave, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, Prometheus, Django Unchained, The Hunger Games, and World War Z. By the time they’re done with you, you’re going to feel like you were an extra in Shame.
Let me address one thing really quickly, you won’t be seeing The Descendants on this list. I’m calling shenanigans on that shit! I’ll suspend disbelief as far as you need me to when watching a film. I believed a man could fly; I believed a monkey from Skull Island could trample New York and climb the Empire State building. I watched Braveheart and believed that Mel Gibson was a good person. I will, however, only go so far: nobody would cheat on George Clooney. Nobody. You lost me at frame one, Alexander Payne.
These aren’t in any particular order and as always Suzy, thank you for having me back.
1. Bullhead – Every single one of us is given obstacles in life and not every one of us is given the tools to overcome those obstacles. For me that’s what Bullhead was about at its core. An absolutely jaw dropping performance from Matthias Schoenaerts also didn’t hurt. I’ve never seen anybody pull off being so terrifying and vulnerable at the same time. He also gained 50 pounds for the role. Which means you will also be able to find show times for Bullhead by Googling, “things Hollywood has never asked an actress to do.” Belgium’s 2011 nomination for best foreign film and you shouldn’t miss it.
2. Hugo - Let me start by telling you what Hugo isn’t, a children’s film, as a woefully bad advertising campaign would lead you to believe. Martin Scorsese sat down and wrote a love letter to his first true love… cinema. About halfway through the movie you realize that it’s a gorgeous missive not only to cinema, but also to one of it’s greatest pioneers, George Melies. Bonus points for the casting of Sacha Baron Cohen.
3. Terri – If I told you that Terri was about a High School kid that easily weighs 250 pounds, has zero friends and wears pajamas everywhere, would you still go? You’re a freaking weirdo. I love you.
4. A Separation – When I saw A Separation the old people behind me wouldn’t stop talking about bathroom tiles. What does this have to do with the film? Nothing. They sure were passionate about tile though. I imagined the guy with the bushiest mustache trying to talk everybody into going to Home Depot after the film for some senior citizen hip dysplasia rattling funzies. A Separation will win the Oscar™ for Best Foreign Film.
5. Drive – Besides the fact that Albert Brooks was flat out robbed of an Oscar™ nomination I just realized that I have not one, but two films on my list that has a guy beating another guy to death with a hammer! You wanna hang out? No seriously, we should hang out.
6. Midnight In Paris – The only thing Woody Allen does better than making films is making family gatherings awkward. Because let’s be honest, if he decides to make your family gathering awkward it’s going to be like watching the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel being painted.
7. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – I’m a huge fan of the original Planet of the Apes. So much so that I was vehemently against this prequel. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. It not only honored the original, it made it better. I loved this movie.
8. Attack the Block - If Attack The Block was a horse then
9. I Saw The Devil - What if you discovered that you were capable of far worse than the serial killer rapist who murdered someone you love? What if you had the potential to make his best efforts look like adolescent fumbling in the dark?
10. The Artist -
Tout aussi honoré films comprennent:
Equally honored films include:
War Horse, Another Earth, Marwencol, Rango, Rubber, Moneyball, Shame, Hanna, 13 Assassins, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, The Tree of Life.
P.S. You can follow Suzy on twitter at @hotcomestodie and you can find me @garianaabeyta, unless you don’t like laughing, then you should follow @osamabinladen