The Tree of Life
MIXED BORDERING ON NEGATIVE:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
So, overall not a great year for this category. Tree of Life and Hugo are bona fide masterpieces in my book already, but the rest are hard to get excited about. Moneyball was super solid (and I’d like Brad Pitt to win Best Actor since Fassbender can’t) and War Horse was endearing for its old fashioned sentimentality, but other than those two, none of these stuck out to me much, which is a bummer considering Drive came out this year (among other off-beat ones I haven’t seen yet). The Artist was enjoyable, but I’m being hard on it because of all the acclaim and because I didn’t find it to be much more than a nicely packaged shell. It also seemed to make a case against silent movies, which I really don’t think it intended to do. Clooney was great in The Descendants and I usually like Alexander Payne movies, but I was surprised at how many false notes and contrivances were packed into it. The Help was way too light and problematically whitewashed in its history (despite some great performances) and Extremely Loud didn’t have a single ounce of the book’s soul in it and found too much comfort in treacle. As for Midnight In Paris…just embarrassing.
I have a lot more watching to do for this year (A Dangerous Method, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Melancholia, Dragon Tattoo, Margaret, Pariah, Young Adult, A Separation, Weekend, & Certified Copy) where I think I might find something more for my tastes, but as it stands, I liked Tree of Life, Hugo, Drive, Shame and X-Men: First Class (truthfully) the most this year.
Feel free to argue with me!