2011 in Movies!

2011 has thus far been a pretty terrible year for film. It set the record for the most sequels at 27, the highest since 2003 (23). It was also the year that Werner Herzog, Justin Bieber and Martin Scorsese embraced the third dimension, Adam Sandler dressed in drag and Shakespeare was reenacted by animated gnomes. It wasn’t all bad though! There were a few gems. Obviously there are more films to come this year, but as it is December I have already commenced my list making. Please see below my list of the Top 10 Best of 2011.

  • Win Win – I don’t want to insult Paul Giamatti but he is the best at wearing sweatpants everywhere and looking really sad and hunching his shoulders and saying things like “I think this milk has gone bad.” He’s just so good! It’s an art.
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene – “That girl looks like an Olsen.” “That girl is an Olsen.” Mind? Blown. This movie was terrifying and eye opening because I’m pretty sure what I thought was day camp when I was ten was actually a violent cult.
  • Margin Call – This is basically a movie about dudes in cool suits who don’t smile and say things like “those numbers can’t be right.” But it’s a really good movie about dudes in cool suits who don’t smile and say things like “those numbers can’t be right.”
  • The Muppets – Adorable. It can only go downhill from here though.
  • Drive – Here was my thought process while watching this film “oooh. cool soundtrack. this movie is pretty. oh it’s carey mulligan, i loved her in that thing. hey look it’s joan from mad men. ooh joanie be careful, there’s a guy outside the window with a – oh my god. alright that was terrifying, but the worst is probably over. no-no it’s not. ryan gosling just kicked a guy’s skull in. whoa. i don’t feel very well. hey it’s albert brooks. he’s the funniest. why is albert brooks killing EVERYBODY? AND WHY AM I MILDLY AROUSED?”
  • 50/50 – I cried a lot in this movie and I didn’t have tissues so I had to use the sleeve of my shirt, which was really gross. Tears and snot everywhere.
  • Beginners – I really don’t know how this movie managed to be charming and not insanely twee and annoying, but it did. It had a scene where two people meet at a party and communicate via notepads! Ewan McGregor spends half the movie talking to a dog who communicates back with subtitles! And it’s SO CHARMING. Congratulations Beginners! You are that rare Belle & Sebastian song that doesn’t make us want to choke to death on knitted mittens!
  • Midnight in Paris – I wonder how many people went up to Woody Allen after this came out and said “I’m so excited this movie wasn’t garbage! Because everything you do lately is total garbage, but this wasn’t like that at all!”
  • Moneyball – We asked for tickets to see “Monkeyballs” when we went to see this. We had a really good laugh. We went up to the ticket lady and we were like “two for Monkeyballs” and she was like “whaaaaaaaat?” and we totally cracked up. She thought we were a bunch of knuckleheads. It was the best. This movie was also very good.
  • Rango – Seriously the most exciting animated movie in ages. This should win all the awards guys. The Oscars should be two minutes long and Billy Crystal should just say “Country Strong? More like Country Wrong! Am I right? Rango wins everything! Goodnight!”
  • Guilty Pleasures – Attack the Block, Cedar Rapids, Super 8, Fast Five (fuck you), Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Bridesmaids.
And then there’s Tree of Life. Did you like Tree of Life? I don’t know what to think about Tree of Life. I do know that I’d like to get Sean Penn to stand behind me at all times and whisper profound and vague things into my ears like “Brother. Mother. It was they that lead me to your door.” I think it’d be really funny while I was pooping.
There are obviously more good movies coming out this year, and a bunch that I’m sure I’ve missed. What were your thoughts? Favorites?

10 responses to “2011 in Movies!”

  1. lane says:

    hey cut woody some slack, i though his comback picture was Matchpoint.

    wasn’t that the one where he left New York and kind of reinvented his game?… and put that string of really bad ones behind him?

    Midnight in Paris was really charming. Adrian Brody as Dali… wow, what a scene.

  2. F. P. Smearcase says:

    The Descendants!

    Not quite what you think it’s going to be (George Clooney being bummed about being middle-aged) but instead just very engrossing and emotionally honest and unformulaic and often quite funny.

    The only Woody A I’ve truly loved since maybe Bullets Over Broadway was Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona. I did skip a few during the dire early aughts. And OMG Judy Davis is in the new one.

  3. LP says:

    Win win = Yes! Paul Giamatti = best sad sack ever. A distinction that should make him proud.

    “The Muppets – Adorable. It can only go downhill from here though.” Probably true. I loved the movie, but I’m a sucker for the muppets. However, the other night while the Great Wind Storm raged and we couldn’t sleep, RB and I watched an episode from the original series (Florence Henderson hosted). It was… terrible! Super earnest songs and not-good corny jokes. We kept looking at each other like, “Is that all there is?” (which is, btw, the best / hardest charades song title ever.)

    Rango? The best? I kept thinking, “Did they just pull plot points out of a hat and lay them in a line?” That was the most random story ever. Charming, but confusing to watch.

    PS: Planet of the Apes! Planet of the Apes!

  4. LP says:

    I just wanna say that all the posts this week were pretty awesome. I try not to get bummed when there aren’t tons of comments, and I hope all of you do too – because these were really great posts and fun to read! Thanks, TGW writers.

  5. Swells says:

    I don’t usually dabble in such acronyms, but your FU made me LOL.

  6. josh k-sky says:

    If there even are such things as guilty pleasures, I see no reason that either Planet of the Apes or Bridesmaids should be among them. Both were very good. So far my favorites have been The Future, Beginners, and Hugo, which I just saw last night. Many of your list are on my list of movies that I liked well enough (“charming” seems about right), and several more are on my must-see list.

    Your experience of Beginners was pretty much exactly the same as mine.

  7. josh k-sky says:

    Oh yeah, The Beaver was really good too. Probably top tier.

  8. Andrew says:

    I haven’t been able to get into Woody Allen since Bullets Over Broadway either, but yeah Vicky Christina Barcelona was a decent diversion. I am in the minority in hating Match Point. I honestly can’t tell you why.

    I am looking forward to seeing the Descendants. I assume that like all Alexander Payne movies, it’s far more depressing than it looks, but I’ll still give it a go.

    The Muppets are indeed super cheesy. I too have watched some of the old specials and they aren’t quite the way I remembered them. My parents did remember them that way however, and were delighted that the new movie was so much fun.

    Very excited to see Hugo and I guess I’ll see The Future on video. The Beaver? Really? I’ll give that a shot too.

    I agree, great posts of late!

  9. Tim says:

    “I am in the minority in hating Match Point. I honestly can’t tell you why.” Oh to the Em Gee, did I hate Match Point. VCB, too, but not nearly as much. I accidentally saw it a second time and surprisingly hated it less still.

  10. farrell fawcett says:

    Thanks for this list, Andrew. And for the commenter’s suggestions too. Several movies that I kind of wrote off, I’m now very excited to see! Also thanks for including your guilty pleasures. I’ve seen seven of the movies you mentioned. And I agreed with almost all your enthusiasms. Your description of Drive was very funny. You really did make me LOL. Sadly, i don’t think I LOL’d a single time at the muppets. Or Rango. Then again, I fell asleep at both. Which isn’t that unusual for me actually. But my point in confessing that detail is that there were definitely better kid movies this year where I didn’t fall asleep at all! Also, Midnight in Paris. I didn’t fall asleep. But. Groan. I think I just hate that era of fiction writing. But worse, all the dialogue felt so canned and ridiculous. And fwiw, I AM a fan of match point and VCB. And (thanks FPS) a big fan of The Descendants. Bring your hanky. More importantly, I’m a fan of Andrew. I wish your posts were more often. You always make me laugh.