Top Ten Movies of 2011

Here are my entries for the 10 best movies of 2011!

10. Patisserie Coin de Rue
A delightful comedy/drama about a young woman who goes searching for her boyfriend and ends up finding something more, her life’s true calling. Both funny and melancholy, the film has a slow pace that draws you in and you can’t help but hope that Aoi Yu’s character, Natsume, will finally make her mark. This movie was never released in the US, so an overseas DVD or a digital download @myac.asia is in order for you to sample the delights.

9. Attack The Block
This movie is great, believe. A little, exciting movie that takes very well worn sci-fi themes and manages to spin them into something new and fresh. The recent Chav Summer meltdown in London actually makes this movie seem poignant and puts a face on the movie’s deeper message. Trust, you’ll like it, believe. Available on DVD and Blu Ray in these United States through places likes Amazon and Best Buy.

8. My Black Mini Dress (마이 블랙 미니드레스)
Let the teasing begin! What can I say, I simply love Yoon Eun Hye! Add to that the bonus of Yoo In-Na and we are in business!! This is movie explores the hopes, dreams and failures of four friends living in Seoul and was my movie of the spring! This is another that is only available on DVD and Blu Ray in Asia or through a digital download on the internet.

7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
A cold, slow, twisty English thriller in the old sense that never fails to deliver. From it’s stark art direction, to the sparse score, to the winding narrative… it is to be seen and taken in. Who cares if you don’t really know what’s going on… you just know something is.

6. Moneyball
Nothing tugs at my heart more than sports statistics and making lists… this movie has them both! It’s a sports movie of a different kind, the one going on in the heads of the back room staff. Brad Pitt is excellent as Billy Beane in this semi-true, yet fictionalized account of the Oakland A’s attempt to change the system of baseball during the 2002 season. Jonah Hill is also excellent, especially in that scene where he wears a sensitive purple sweater.

5. Nothing To Declare
Dany Boon follows up his smash comedy “Welcome to the Sticks” with a tale of two warring customs agents on opposite sides of the border between France and Belgium. It is brash, ingenious and utterly hilarious and, one would hope, will be released in the US someday soon. This was another classic from the COLCOA festival held at the DGA.

4. Fast Five
That’s right… I did it! I put Fast Five in my top 5 for the year. Sure, it is a dumb, brawny movie with outlandish action, tons of bro moments and super silly dialogue, but who cares… I love it!! You have to a love a movie where the Rock gets so Buff that Vin Diesel is forced to ‘roid it up, too, or else look like a pussy. In fact, Diesel’s neck is so yoked that you can barely understand what he is saying! Oh, and I am not sure why the Rock is constantly glistening… maybe it is the weather. You also can’t deny a movie that uses that Jesus statue in EVERY establishing shot to remind you that you are STILL in Rio. Genius!!!

3. Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen has been a hero of mine since I was young and it has been so great to see him recapture his form after so many years in the woods. With “Midnight in Paris”, Woody finds a very rich, funny subject matter that captures a spirit of melancholy often missing from his movies over the last few decades. Owen Wilson is wonderful as a wide-eyed writer getting to meet his literary heroes in a strange alternate reality and brings his own brand of charm to the usual “Woody Allen” role. Marion Cotillard is equally charming and it is her sense of longing that gives the movie the sad undercurrent that I love. I know many people are split over this movie and I just don’t understand why. Maybe it’s because it deals with literary giants and the allure of being a writer in Paris… or maybe they are just dicks.

2. The Women on the 6th Floor (Les Femmes du 6ème étage)
Another gem from this year’s COLCOA festival, this little movie is just wonderful. It is so funny and endearing, you can’t help but cheer for Fabrice Luchini and fall for the lively Spanish women living on the 6th floor. This film actually received a US release and I believe it is due for DVD and Blu Ray in the near future. I highly recommend you watch and enjoy!

1. Jane Eyre
Nothing quite sums me up more than a melancholy tale of cold, English repression and regret. “Jane Eyre” is a film of remarkable quality, from its beautiful photography and art direction, to its subtle score and performances, it is just amazing. This is the year of Michael Fassbender and he is as powerful and tragic here as any character he’s portrayed… it is brilliant. Mia Wasikowska is equally brilliant in the title role and sets herself apart from every actress that has portrayed this character in the past. By far the best adaptation of the classic novel… this “Jane Eyre” is not to be missed.

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