Monday, March 19, 2012

Saving the Second Best for Last

Having finally unveiled my top 10, I now unveil my second 10 - those "almost" movies that are still each excellent in their own ways. This is presented strictly alphabetically, since ranking 20 is going too far, if you ask me. (All are available on disc)

Beginners - An utterly winning film, powered by Christopher Plummer's Oscar-winning performance. He didn't just get a career award - he's flat out wonderful as a man who comes out of the closet late in life. Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent are nearly as good.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II: Harry and his pals couldn't get one lousy Oscar, but they earn a spot on my list for delivering an excellent finale. I'm sure they must be so proud.

Horrible Bosses: I loved Bridesmaids too, but I laughed more at this movie.

Jane Eyre: Conventional wisdom says that modern movies can never match up to Hollywood golden age counterparts. Not this time. This version with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska may be at least as good as the 1944 version with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine - if not better.

My Week with Marilyn: Too many people sold this movie short, saying Michelle Williams was great, but the film was only decent. I  thought it was nearly as good as 2011's other movies about movies, The Artist, Hugo and Super 8.

Martha Marcy May Marlene: Some people complained about the movie's abrupt ending, which I will not spoil. But I will say that had the ending been more concrete, the movie would not have haunted me and made this list. Elizabeth Olsen proved her family has actual talent and not just marketing finesse.

The Muppets: I almost didn't put this here, and then thought, what am I doing? I don't think I smiled wider during any other movie last year.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil: One of the best moviegoing experiences I had last year was seeing this fiendishly clever horror spoof with a packed house that absolutely ate it up.

Win Win: Tom McCarthy makes films that are small in scale but big in emotions. Like The Station Agent and The Visitor, this movie subtly burrowed under my skin and stayed with me for a long time.

X-Men First Class: Like most people, I'm looking forward to seeing The Avengers this year. Unlike some people, I sort of doubt it'll top this terrifically retro prequel. 


Scott Copeland said...

Ashley Olsen isn't in Martha Marcy May Magdalene. Her younger sister Elizabeth is.

Sir Critic said...

Fixed, thank you. It's funny because I was thinking of going to see Slient House with her in it - guess I waited too long!