This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Movie Listed: 15 Standouts

I keep a list of every movie I see. Yes, I know this may seem weird to most people. When I first started doing it, it felt weird to me, too. After a short amount of time though, it became a habit. If you're a movie-lover or a film professional, keeping a movie list of some sort makes total sense. Most of the films I see are new to me, but I bust out my favorites ever so often, too.

The best part about having a list, is that I can look at it at the end of the year and know how many films I've experienced for curiosity's sake. I'm also reminded of the standouts-- the movies that truly made a difference for me... or the ones I'll remember for years to come.

Here are 15 standouts for me from the last couple of years (in no particular order.) Some of the films were released in 2010, but not all. None of them were in 3-D. Thank you very much. Additionally, some 2010 favorites like 'Black Swan' and 'True Grit' are excluded from this list since I viewed them... in 2011.

*FROST/NIXON (Dir: Ron Howard) / 2008
A drama. Historical. Political. Sure, doesn't sound particularly interesting on paper, but believe me, it's oddly compelling and the acting is superb.

*INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (Dir: Quentin Tarantino) / 2009
When I first saw the preview, I had no desire to see this. Luckily, I didn't skip it because it proved to be one of my favorites-- in fact, I dare say, one of Tarantino's best.

*BOB AND CAROL AND TED AND ALICE (Dir: Paul Mazursky) / 1969
How open-minded are you when it comes to marriage? An interesting romp from the tail end of the '60s.

*AN EDUCATION (Dir: Lone Scherfig) / 2008
A beautiful coming-of-age story. I can't imagine anyone being better cast than Carey Mulligan. She deserves every ounce of recognition she got from this role!

*THE LOVELY BONES (Dir: Peter Jackson) / 2009
Some die-hards panned this movie. In fact, I didn't see it for a long time because I was a huge fan of the book. But a book is not a movie. Stanley Tucci's performance was fearless and Saoirise Ronan's was hauntingly beautiful. The kaleidoscope of Susie's depictions of heaven are downright gorgeous and I'll admit: I cried.

*CRAZY HEART (Dir: Scott Cooper) / 2009
A good ol' story about a down-and-out country star who's seen his better days and a woman reporter who makes him examine himself from the inside out until he is motivated to become a better man.

*WHIP IT (Dir: Drew Barrymore) / 2009
A surprisingly well-done directorial debut for Drew Barrymore. The sense of girl power and the motto of "Be Your Own Hero" are both things I can get behind when they're done well, as they are here.

*CYRUS (Dirs: Jack and Mark Duplass) / 2010
There are times I squirmed because the moments were so awkward and so funny because they were awkward. Very well-written and a good turning point for Jonah Hill. He should do more like this.

*EASY A (Dir: Will Gluck) / 2010
Emma Stone owns this role! This film could easily be slighted because it appears to be a high school flick about a girl's tarnished reputation, but it is so much more than that!

*THE LAST STATION (Dir: Michael Hoffman) / 2009
I knew nothing about Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy and I was fine with that, until this film made me care. An exploration of the tension and struggles between Tolstoy and his wife in his final years.

*IT MIGHT GET LOUD (Dir: Davis Guggenheim) / 2008
A jam session and open discussion between guitarists Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, The Edge from U2, and Jack White of the White Stripes.

*SEARCHING FOR DEBRA WINGER (Dir: Rosanna Arquette) / 2002
An intimate discussion with actresses of a certain age and the challenges they continue to face in Hollywood.

*SMILEY FACE (Dir: Gregg Araki) / 2007
OK, not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. Anna Faris though? She rocks it into absolute hilarity with her portrayal of a chick that is so high on life that she can barely hold it together.

*WONDERFUL WORLD (Dir: Josh Goldin) / 2009
Few people probably saw this. In fact, it may not have even had a theatrical release. The unlikely blossoming of a relationship between Ben Singer (Matthew Broderick) and his roommate's Senegalese sister proves that opening yourself up to other cultures and ideas can truly alter your life in amazing ways.

*SOCIAL NETWORK (Dir: David Fincher) / 2010
How do you make a Facebook movie? Make it about a guy with an immense, almost hypnotically determined desire to succeed. Add conflict, tension, intense success and shitloads of money beyond anyone's wildest imagination and explore how that strains all the relationships in a guy's life. Make it all talk and fast-paced. Cast great actors. Done.

©2011 by KLiedle

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