Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Favorite Things: Movies

I am going to step away from my cooking and crafting for a moment to discuss another favored art form of mine. Movies.

I love movies. And I like a lot of different kinds of movies. I can watch an arty, thoughtful film one evening and an action-packed no brainer the next. In fact, I love movies so much that I volunteer a few times a month at a local non-profit movie theater, the Grand Cinema. This helps me keep up to date with what movies are coming out and gets me free movie passes in exchange for my volunteer time.

Without further ado, my favorite movies of the year, in no particular order, except the first one. Now I am not critiquing these by anything more profound then the fact that I saw them and liked them and then thought about them for some time after I saw them.

The King's Speech: Just saw this yesterday and so I am a raving lunatic right now about how fantastic it is; I am going to go see it again. Incredibly satisfying to watch and terrifically uplifting. I was talking to a skeptical friend last night who thought it would have nothing to interest him. If the eternal human condition about the quest of finding one's inner strength and true self can't interest him, nothing can! And if Colin Firth doesn't win the best actor Oscar, I will eat my hat!

True Grit: I am hit and miss with the Coen Brothers, but this was well done. Best dialogue. Possibly my favorite western ever after the Magnificent Seven.

Black Swan: Psycho-sexual thriller with Natalie Portman. Enough said. Not for the faint at heart.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1: Am addicted to Harry Potter and British actors in general and these movie makers know how to make good movies.

Toy Story 3: Very sentimental, but, oh, so sweet and fun to watch.

The Young Victoria (ok, this technically came out in 2009, but only showed up in Tacoma in 2010) I love the British and costume dramas, have I mentioned this yet? And two movies about the British royalty in one year was a treat.

Inception: Saw this twice, still not sure how I felt about it. Was he dreaming, was he awake? In the end, I just really enjoyed the word play and the visual effects.

The Ghost Writer: Another British film, mostly overlooked by the American public, but I adore a good political thriller. (With Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, double score!)

I Am Love: True Italian Art House Film. Pretentious with only a wisp of a storyline, but I can watch Tilda Swinton wearing an orange dress and eating shrimp all day long. Best Cinematography.

The Kids Are Alright: Coming of age family story with a lesbian twist, which is how people describe it, but in reality, I think this is a good representation of any family in this country. Funny, but not stupid or condescending, and Annette Bening is great.

Robin Hood: This movie did not get much love from critics, but I enjoyed it. Big movie, epic medieval fighting at its best. And the chemistry between Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe reminded me how good big movie acting can and should be. I would like to see another movie featuring these two Australians.

Honorable mentions:
Joan Rivers, A Piece of Work: Went into this not liking her at all, ended the movie adoring her.

Predators: Yes, a dumb, stupid, thin story, action sci-fi, but I went with a large group of people and I laughed hysterically with every alien decapitation and at all the green blood. Sometimes, it is okay to be goofy.

Rare Exports, A Christmas Tale: Modern Finnish fairy tale that turns the Santa Claus story on its head. You don't want this Santa coming down your chimney. Just might replace A Christmas Story as my favorite holiday movie.

Still have to see: The Social Network, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Winter's Bone, Easy A, Tamara Drewe, Inside Job

Off to Seattle now to see the Picasso exhibit and then eat at the Wild Ginger. Perfect ending to a great year.

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