Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Joshua Blevins Peck's tops for 2011

When I was compiling my list of favorite films, actors, writers and directors for the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, I realized pretty quickly that a lot of the stuff I liked in 2011 was the more mainstream film releases. Odd how that happens sometimes. The serious, award garnering releases such as Shame, Melancholia, My Week with Marilyn, A Dangerous Method and others were either ones I couldn't stand [Shame] or films that didn't strike the same chord with me as they did with other filmgoers [Melancholia]. While I admired the heck out of The Tree of Life, it didn't make my top ten. There are some indies on my list, but only Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In is considered really outside the box of the mainstream. Was it being in the midst of quitting my job and moving to Los Angeles that made me embrace comedies, fantasies and romances? Maybe. Here's the entire list of everything I was asked to vote on in the OFCC--including all my favorite acting, writing and directing performances ranked from 1-5.

Top fifteen films
#1 Hugo 
#2 Drive
#3 Midnight in Paris
#4 The Artist 
#5 Win Win 
#6 Beginners
#7 The Guard
#8 The Trip
#9 Meek's Cutoff
#10 The Skin I Live In
#11 Moneyball
#12 Margin Call
#13 50/50
#14 Jane Eyre
#15 Bill Cunningham in New York

Five almosts: Cedar Rapids, The Descendants, Bridesmaids, Attack the Block and Carre Blanc.

Best first feature 
#1 John Michael McDonagh [The Guard]
#2 JC Chandor [Margin Call]
#3 Joe Cornish [Attack the Block]
#4 Eli Craig [Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil]
#5 Jean-Baptiste Leonetti [Carre Blanc]

The Obviously Worst film
#1 Heart Specialist 
#2 The Roommate 
#3 I Am Number Four 
#4 Something Borrowed 
#5 Just Go With It

The Not So Obviously Worst film [Or, the most disappointing; or, the most overrated, etc etc]
#1 Tiny Furniture 
#2 Shame 
#3 The Conspirator 
#4 My Week With Marilyn 
#5 Larry Crowne

Best director
#1Terrence Malick [Tree of Life]
#2 Martin Scorsese [Hugo]
#3 Michel Hazanavicius [The Artist]
#4 Cary Fukunaga [Jane Eyre]
#5 Alexander Payne [The Descendants]

Best actor
#1 Jean Dujardin [The Artist]
#2 Brendan Gleeson [The Guard]
#3 Paul Giamatti [Win Win]
#4 George Clooney [The Descendants]
#5 Joseph Gordon-Levitt [50/50]

Best supporting actor
#1 Christopher Plummer [Beginners]
#2 Kevin Spacey [Margin Call]
#3 Albert Brooks [Drive]
#4 John Hawkes [Mary Martha May Marlene]
#5 Isiah Whitlock, Jr. [Cedar Rapids]

Best actress
#1 Tilda Swinton [We Need to Talk about Kevin]
#2 Glenn Close [Albert Nobbs]
#3 Viola Davis [The Help]
#4 Kristen Wiig [Bridesmaids]
#5 Kirsten Dunst [Melancholia]

Best supporting actress
#1 Octavia Spencer [The Help]
#2 Melissa McCarthy [Bridesmaids]
#3 Jessica Chastain [The Help]
#4 Berenice Bejo [The Artist]
#5 Melanie Laurent [Beginners]

Best original screenplay 
#1 Woody Allen [Midnight in Paris]
#2 Michel Hazanavicius [The Artist]
#3 Kristen Wiig/Annie Mumolo [Bridesmaids]
#4 JC Chandor [Margin Call]
#5 Mike Mills [Beginners]

Best adapted screenplay 
#1 Aaron Sorkin/Steven Zaillian [Moneyball]
#2 John Logan [Hugo]
#3 George Clooney/Grant Heslov/Beau Willimon [Ides of March]
#4 Moira Buffini [Jane Eyre]
 #5 Alexander Payne/Nat Faxon/Jim Rash [The Descendants]

Best documentary
#1 Bill Cunningham in New York 
#2 Corman's World 
#3 Buck 
#4 Page One: Inside the New York Times
#5 Conan O'Brien Can't Stop

Best foreign language film 
#1 The Skin I Live In [Spain]
#2 Carre Blanc [France]
#3 13 Assassins [Japan]
#4 Point Blank [France]
#5 This was a light year for me watching foreign films, only choosing 1-4

Guilty pleasure 
#1 Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil 
#2 Source Code 
#3 Rise of the Planet of the Apes 
#4 The Beaver 
#5 Limitless

* This list was compiled on January 21, 2012. At the time of making the list, the following films were not among the approximately ninety new releases that I watched in 2011: Take ShelterTinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Carnage, Adventures of Tin Tin, War Horse, The Iron Lady and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. 


Eva said...

Totally agree about Something Borrowed! The Tiny Furniture thing - ha, you made me all curious about it when you wrote about this past year. I saw recently it's playing streaming on Netflix, maybe I'll give it s shot! Just to be able to join the talk.
My Week With Marilyn, agreed, too. didn't like it much while I watched it, like it now even less.
About to go see Hugo soon (and The Artist a second time with my mom) - and 50/50 coming in the mail tomorrow.

Oh, one movie I really didn't like in 2011 was the Dutch movie Bride Flight - I rarely like things from Holland, though ;) What a predictable and blagh story, and on top of that the person I saw it with asks me why European women are always so slutty. Eh, excuse me? Thanks a lot!

Rumblefish said...

Love the lists. Although, I'd say your "worst" top 5 might really be a "most disappointing." Are any of them really worse than Transformers 3 or Twilight:Breaking Dawn? No, sir.

I was underwhelmed by some of the other Oklahoma Film Critics lists. I like yours more.

Rumblefish said...

Disregard earlier comment about the "worst" lists. I didn't see the "obvious" and "not obvious" distinctions. Mea culpa. :-)

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

Eva--I don't know that Dutch film...50/50 was a complete charmer for me--really surprising.

Rumblefish--I might change that category title as you're right, no way that SHAME is worse than TRANSFORMERS 3. Luckily, I didn't have to see that one...Michael Bay is the devil you know. It could have been called "Films that I thought I'd like a lot more but left disappointed".

I don't really agree w/ most of the OFCC choices. Way more mainstream and full of frontrunner choices I think.

Joshua Blevins Peck said...


I had a snafu with my blogger account and it deleted recaps I was writing in for all top 15...didn't want to rewrite them so just have the list here. Sorry!

Eva said...

Hey, I just finished 50/50 - that really was great - I had no idea!

what was really funny was that on top of the fact that the movie made me laugh, my mom really made me laugh, too. Her English is decent, but not great or expanded, and right away - well, I didn't quite know the movie was going to have that kind of language, not that I care - I just didn't know - my mom asked all these question "what does this mean, what does that mean?"

so right from the start - my mom is like what does "yeast infection" mean, what does "you're dick" mean, what does "she's a pussy mean", what does "weed" mean, what's "take her out for a doggy date mean" etc etc. No breaks!

At the end of the movie she says to me "so the cancer guy's friend, I don't know English all that well, but he spoke a pretty coarse gutter language, didn't he?" And then (she'd had a couple of glasses of red wine): "so this whole language class I just had, can you repeat that for mean when I'm fully sober tomorrow?"

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

I saw WARRIOR yesterday and regret it's not on my list of top 15 + 5. I will post on it in a few days to give it some due.

hidden staircase said...

happy to see paul giamatti on there. i liked win/win a lot and always appreciate his work. i think he is one of those actors who will do absolutely anything and do it well. happened to see in CR on late night tv part of 'big fat liar'...which is really silly and i didn't like it and would never watch it if i were not on vacation...but paul giamatti's over-the-top performance as the self-serving a-hole hollywood producer was really enjoyable.

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

I wish WIN WIN would have come out later in the year. It was lost in the summer bs and not a lot of people saw. That is a quality movie from top to bottom.

hidden staircase said...

win/win, yeah!
i also was glad to see 'beginners' in your tops. still have to see 'the artist'...hopefully this week! also i know it is NOT my usual genre...but i want to see 'drive.'