Thursday, December 29, 2011


My Top Ten
I will use the excuse of making this list of Top Ten films of the year as a final post for 2011, just not to call myself another idiot nerd doing “lists”.
It was hard and I will explain why – as a European, most of the time I need to wait for the films' releases. I should make a list the day after the Oscars. That’s where one season finishes and a new starts. In this logic many films I’ve seen in 2011 are from 2010 like The King’s Speech, Blue Valentine, True Grit, Black Swan and half the films from this year, the majority of them actually, will be seen next year. So, no Moneyball, The Descendents, The Artist, Pariah, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Shame. 

Blue Valentine
When I watch this little great American indie, it makes me believe in films all over again.
Win Win
I just wanted to scream out loud how much I love Thomas McCarthy films and how perfect this one was. The screenplay is so good, just so good. The humanity and the way the story reflects these people’s sense of right and wrong. It’s impressive how he represents ordinary people. It’s extraordinary how he balances the drama and the comedy, when a scene where the character is crushed by a disgraceful hopelessness and he still manages to make us laugh. The simple moments, they are miraculous.  
The Tree of Life
It clearly didn’t win the first spot in My Top Ten, just because the poetic narrative doesn’t win over standard one. I can’t even begin to express how I felt when I watched this film; I didn’t want to leave the theater. I think this is a universal story; it’s hard to explain because with this film you can reach the author’s intention and you can adrift from it and still find a meaningful reflection. I’m not a religious person and I still managed to find something I identified with because The Tree of Life is about just that, your own interpretation (or, is it?). And it is undeniably a cinematic beauty. It’s in the cinematography; it’s in the actors’ direction, it is especially in the ability to create this inexplicable and overwhelming experience once you see it.
Black Swan
This film blown me away, I saw it one hundred times already. It’s thrilling, it’s shocking, and it tells a story with great control and power. It is one of those experiences, mind blowing.
Another Earth
One of the reasons films are in my list is for its unexpected surprise. Mike Cahill co-writes the film, directs, does the cinematography and edition and he’s always consistent. He’s able to create this tone so specific to the story. It isn’t a masterpiece; there are some weak moments when the drama is a bit forced but I still think Another Earth is a win win. Brit Marling comes out of this as a leading actress.
Midnight in Paris
Besides saying it’s every inch Woody Allen I was simply amazed by the wisdom expressed in the story. His willingness to talk about art and marriage and to portray the snob lives of wealthy people only Woody Allen can and the references between the past and present. It’s his world and I believe in him.
I get lost for words.
The film tells us the story about a man’s strength, willingness and joy for life even if he doesn’t have much time. It tells us about a young couple with a life ahead of them and unwilling to live it because they’re too afraid of getting heart. There’s intimacy, there’s loneliness, there’s quietness, a film overflowing emotion and affection in the most beautiful and plain way.
The Kid with a Bike
It all comes down to the story.
I say confidently that Drive is a good movie. And why do I say this? Because this is one of those films that goes from being an overrated piece of crap to a masterpiece.
It is a minimalist story about a driver who barely speaks. There are much more dense stories out there but Drive wins for the whole film. The director Nicolas Windind Refn rules and Ryan Gosling dominates. The film composition in the cinematography, editing and in the music department is so focused, makes the film quiet, intense and exhilarating. The film ended and I desperately wanted to see it again, not to mention you’ll get addicted to the soundtrack.
Little White Lies
The reality and fiction balanced in this story is really good, with believable performances. And it’s so entertaining.

Only a confirmation that can't even fit in any Top: A Separation.

You think about it and you think.

You surely think about these characters as 'real' humans.
Then you think how they portrait them with such authenticity. 

Another mention (documentary) - Pina.

A film by Win Wenders dedicated to Pina Bausch.
“Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost”.
Pina was this wonderful experience. We are introduced to Pina Bausch but in fact the entire film it’s a representation of her person and of her art and of her dancers. It is a hard Art form to follow, these abstract and theatrical dances, but has the film moves forward you emerge yourself into it. It becomes a hypnotizing experience. I don’t understand what they are doing, I don’t understand those skinny and naked bodies but I understand their effortless moves. Their unique passion for something they believe in. 

Due to my young cinema knowledge I tend to interpret films as an individual piece. I see a good film by its consistency in tone throughout every department; the performances are always crucial and must take me on an intellectual emotional state.  But most of the time, when I have these reactions the screenplays are really good…just making a note. Like Win Win. 

Ok, I’ll never do this again. It’s agonizing.

By the way.
Performer of the Year
What else can be said about this woman? 
She’s heartbreaking in The Help.
She’s too human, sensitive and intuitive in The Tree of Life.
She’s both strong and fragile representing a woman’s figure in The Debt.
I didn’t even see half of her films and that’s why she’s in here, because I fell in love with every role she played and I’m really looking forward to see all the others. She had seven films this year. Not two or three like Ryan Gosling, she even beats Michael Fassbender, who had five.

Soundtrack List
Black Swan
The Kings Speech


Is there a space for favorite trailers?

Looking forward to watch some pretty amazing films early next year (or a few days from now)......

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