A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Monday, January 02, 2012


The Online Film Critics Society posted the results of our annual awards voting today.

You can read all of our picks here. I think the only ones I actually voted for myself were the wins for The Tree of Life (including Jessica Chastain as Best Supporting Actress) and also Cave of Forgotten Dreams (which I reviewed for the Mercury). Which isn't a gripe, I don't have any problem with any of the choices here. Had I seen We Need to Talk about Kevin earlier than yesterday, I might have debated voting Tilda Swinton over my personal choice for best actress, Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia. Rango is really the only film I didn't like as much as my colleagues, but it wasn't a knock-out year for animation, honestly. (I voted for The Adventurs of Tintin.)

Since in one stage of voting I had to organize my top 3 favorite films, I thought I'd go ahead and list them here, with links to my original reviews:

1. The Tree of Life: A film that only grows more glorious the more time you spend with it. My second viewing was actually on an iPad while traveling, and it lost none of its power. In fact, the second time, what seemed hard to grasp on first look gels and it becomes even more obvious that Malick is 100% clear in his intent. It's a powerful movie that reaches back through the dawn of the ages and connects man and his condition to the very spark of life before taking us beyond our own petty concerns into something far more majestic.

2. Melancholia: Lars von Trier's movie is as dour as Malick's is hopeful, yet both recognize the lesser impulses that mar human existence. Both films see life as being full of pain, but whereas Malick encourages us to struggle against the tide, von Trier's end of the world scenario suggests we should discard our delusions and embrace the emptiness. Oddly, there is as much comfort in his finish as Malick's, it just depends on what kind of oblivion you prefer.

3. Drive: This one is just bad ass. I can layer on my existential philosophy and argue about its deeper themes of pure love, but screw it, it's just bad ass. Nicolas Winding Refn channels Jean-Pierre Melville into a Paul Schader script, and builds his nasty little crime drama with an exceptional cast. Ryan Gosling, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan, and Christina Hendricks are all great and fit perfectly into Drive's desolate pulp world. Tough-minded and yet, like all the films here, desperately human.

Films still not seen this year: Carnage, Corialanus, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Le Havre, The Iron Lady, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Pariah, A Separation, War Horse, Young Adult. 

Current Soundtrack: Common People are People at Turntable.fm

No comments: