Now that the nominees for the major award shows have been announced, Midcoast Station writer and frequent film reviewer, Nathan, takes a look back at 2011 in film and shares his best, worst and in-betweens:
2011 was not a great year for movies. I saw 82 theatrical releases of 2011 and saw fewer than 10 that I would most likely watch again. This list is in no way meant to be what I think is going to win awards, hell some of these things probably won’t get recognized with a nomination, but I wanted to give them some credit anyway. Without further ado here are my awards for the best of 2011.
Honorable Mentions: The Artist, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Descendants, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
This may be the first movie listed, but it was the last one that I chose. In the end I gave the award to the movie that I have thought about the most. I’m still not sure I chose the right one.
Worst Movie: Super
Dishonorable Mentions: Cowboys & Aliens, Hall Pass
Not to be confused with Super 8, which was excellent, the Rainn Wilson-led Super is painful to watch. It is poorly acted, filled with uninteresting characters and horribly unfunny. Some movies are so bad they are fun to watch and this wasn’t one of them. I can’t think of a worse movie experience all year.
Funniest Movie: The Inbetweeners Movie
Honorable Mention: Midnight in Paris, 50/50
Comedy was one thing that 2011 did well (maybe the only thing). The highbrow part of me wanted to go for Midnight in Paris, the empathetic side of me said 50/50, but in the end I went with the only movie that made me laugh until I cried.
Popcorn Award: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal
Honorable Mentions: Super 8, X-Men: First Class
I wanted to recognize movies that were excellent, but also just downright entertaining. I have seen MI twice and the others 4 times each.
Honorable Mentions: Brad Pitt (Moneyball), George Clooney (The Descendants), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
This is the first time I will cheat, but it will not be the last. All of my honorable mentions gave great performances in their respective movies, but only Fassbender gave great performances in many movies. Regardless of whether he was in a Victorian period piece, playing the troubled psychoanalyst Carl Jung, or had the ability to control metal, Fassbender always delivered great work and deserves to be recognized.
Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
Honorable Mention: Charlize Theron (Young Adult)
This is the category in which my movie watching was weakest. I have seen none of the major contenders for awards so I can’t say how they were, so my pick goes to Kirsten.
Best Supporting Actor: Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte (Warrior)
Honorable Mentions: Michael Parks (Red State), The entire cast of Margin Call
Another cheat, this time honoring two actors from the same movie. I thought about this one a lot and couldn’t decide between them so I award a tie.
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley (The Descendants)
Honorable Mention: Berenice Bejo (The Artist)
This was another category in which I had seen few that were top contenders, but Woodley is great as the eldest daughter of George Clooney in the Descendants, so I’m not sure it would have mattered.
Honorable Mention: David Fincher (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
Like my award for best actor this category is won because of quantity. 2011 did see some entries from masters of their craft in these three as well as Alexander Payne and a great live-action debut from Brad Bird. Spielberg released two excellent movies in the moving period-piece, War Horse, and the motion-capture animated Tintin.
In you are wondering what I am excited about in 2012 check out my list here.