It's that time of year again. The end.
The end of December is the time for film critics and movie fans alike to comprise their lists of the "Best" & "Worst" that cinema had to offer over the previous twelve months. It's an annual tradition I revel in being a part of, and I'm thrilled to be sharing my list with GlobalGrind. There are lots of BIG things on the horizon with me, Russell, and his amazing team at GG in 2012 so stay tuned...
I've always enjoyed hearing and reading everyone's various rankings of the movies that inspired, moved, disappointed, and entertained us as much as the imposing construction of a countdown of my own favorites. And that's just what they are. Personal favorites. Nothing more, nothing less.
The most responsible and respectable film critics have always been passionate, knowledgeable, and honest when it comes to their opinions about movies. I've been reviewing films professionally on TV, on the radio, and in print for eight years now and those are the three qualities I've always wanted my own reviews to embody, and I've worked hard over the years to ensure that.
Let's face it, in today's 21st Century "sharing" culture, when everyone has a platform just by logging on, uploading, or hitting SEND, we all are critics, some of us just get paid a little bit for it, but everyone is more than welcome to chime in and take part in the conversation if they adhere to these three standards.
"Passionate" in the sense that they respect the craft of movie making and enjoy the experience of seeing the end results. "Knowledgeable" meaning that they have actually SEEN the movie they are so passionately praising or panning (trust me, you'd be surprised how often this is overlooked), and "honest" in that they are speaking from their heart, even if their sentiments don't fall in line with the status quo and the sensibilities of their contemporaries.
So as 2011 winds down, here are my personal favorites. I have eleven films on my list. Why? Because I wanted to and it's my list and I can do whatever I want. Got a problem with that? Didn't think so. Let the discussion begin...
Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn)
My favorite movie of 2011 was 'Drive'. The unforgettable opening sequence sucks the audience into a seedy LA underworld filled with ferocious criminals, and lost souls looking for redemption.
The movie has a style all it's own, and is fearless in taking chances. From the perfect against-type casting of Albert Brooks as a heavy, to the captivating soundtrack and score that becomes another character unto itself, every moment seems unafraid and unconventional.
With a patient and understated performance, Ryan Gosling shows once again why he is among the best actors of his generation, if not the #MJ23. 'Drive' is not for the faint of heart due to some brutal moments of graphic violence, but in an age of forgettable, contrived, over-produced studio heist movies, this one stands out as something special.
The rest of "My Favorite Films of 2011" are ranked alphabetically, NOT numerically.