Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Eyewear's Best Film of 2011

Eyewear should probably vote with its higher purposes, and recommend The Tree of Life, which is one of the great American films of all time - however, as readers of this blog will know, no film moved or thrilled me so much this year as Drive, whose ultra-stylish 80s take on Shane made it an instant classic, in its own right, and turned slim-hipped, toothpick-toting, six-packed Ryan Gosling, Canadian, into a Paul Newmanlike icon for the new decade. So, Drive it is.  Please note, The Artist has not opened in the UK yet, as of time of writing.  Honourable mention must go to gross-out chucklefest Bridesmaids, a clever genre-busting buddy movie meets chick-flick that also had heart.

Other comedies I enjoyed this year include Mr. Popper's Penguins (slight but zany), Cedar Rapids, Bad Teacher, and Horrible Bosses.  Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, an early favourite, has, in memory, paled somewhat, as beautifully filmed, but slow and ponderous, with little character development or mystery, despite a fine performance from Eyewear favourite Gary Oldman.

There were some fine art-house films - such as Canadian Incendies and Algerian thriller Outside The Law (on DVD this year).  In terms of actioners, sly stylish retro comicer, Captain America, managed to leap above its origins and become a truly stirring, witty, and at times, touching, film; Unknown was a very good thriller; The Way Back didn't quite become the grand epic it meant to be, but as far as prison break-wandering across Siberia flicks go, it was splendid.  Other good films this year included Barney's Version, Limitless, The Lincoln Lawyer, Source Code, and Attack The Block.  Disappointments included  over-egged Take Shelter, and all-wet Water for Elephants.  The Hangover II left a bad taste in the mouth for cynicism and cruelty.  Films of note I have yet to see yet include Wuthering Heights, Kill ListContagionMidnight In Paris and Melancholia, which are sure to be on many top lists of 2011.
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