Amid the rubble at the local multiplex were some real gems among the movies of 2011.
Here are my favorites.
- THE ARTIST — A magical movie of pure joy. A visual feast of a bygone era. Don’t miss this one.
- MIDNIGHT IN PARIS — Combines some of my favorite things–Woody Allen, Paris and the romance of writing. I’m a huge Woody fan and this is one of his best in years. It’s a great companion to the book “The Paris Wife” which was one of my favorite books of 2011.
- THE DESCENDANTS — Great performance by George Clooney has a man discovering secrets about his comatose wife and his children. It’s a perfectly executed movie by the great filmmaker Alexander Payne.
- MY WEEK WITH MARILYN — A beautiful little movie with an astounding performance one of the best actresses on the planet–Michelle Williams. It makes you realize that it wasn’t easy to be Marilyn Monroe.
- TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY — This Cold War spy drama is a gem of a bygone era. Gary Oldham is fabulous. I had to see it twice to try to figure out all of the nuances. It was worth the effort.
- YOUNG ADULT. — A woman who is having trouble moving past the fantasy of a high school love revisits her hometown. Charlize Theron carries the movie on her lovely back. A great study in how we comes to terms with the life we have and that “going home” is not always the answer.
- MONEYBALL — Another great Brad Pitt movie of 2011. I grew up watching the Oakland A’s and love baseball movies. This is a great baseball movie but much, much more.
- DRIVE — I’ve always had a soft spot for Albert Brooks but I never imagined that he could really frighten me. He can. Another great performance by Ryan Gosling. It’s violent and makes you cringe at times but you can’t stop watching.
- THE HELP — Great book becomes a great movie. Wonderful performances by the ensemble cast of women who remind us that despite our problems, we’ve come a long way. It’s a story that everyone under 50 needs to see to know what the world used to be like.
- MARGIN CALL — The best movie among several about the economic meltdown. It makes the complex financial maneuverings understandable and moving. You can’t lose when you have Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Simon Baker and Stanley Tucci