Since Old Man 2011 clearly decided not to put up a last minute fight and has officially ceded power to the wailing babe of 2012, I thought it might be useful/fun to collect all the CHUD staff writers’ year-end thoughts in one tidy post. 2011 ended up a very strong year, but if our lists serve as any indicator, the year lacked a blatant front-runner. We agreed on many films, yet no two of us put the same film as #1. In fact, the only film that fostered any kind of unanimous consistency was 13 Assassins, which Nick, Renn and myself all coincidentally placed at #12. But variety is the spice of life (and Arrakis). What’s the fun of talking about movies if we all agree?
Nick’s Top 15
Nick’s #1: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Contributing factors: Assured direction. Impeccable casting. Great period design and costuming. Phenomenal source material. Perfect timing for the antidote to the typical modern thriller.
Nick’s 15 Worst Films of 2011
Renn’s Top 15
Renn’s #1: Warrior
Contributing factors: The dueling protagonists so well built up that you don’t know who you want to win more. An exciting, dynamic, but realistic approach to filming the mixed martial arts fight.
Josh’s Top 15
Josh’s #1: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Contributing factors: DHP2 is a movie’s movie. Every aspect of it sings from the script to the direction to the acting to the casting to the editing to the visual FX to the set design to the score to the sound editing to the sound FX to the make-up and so on down the line. Other movies in 2011 may beat DHP2 in any of those individual categories, but none can come close to outmatching it in all categories. And that’s why I put it at #1.
Josh’s 2011 Addendum: Best Performances, Scenes, and More
David’s Top 15
David’s #1: Le Noms Des Gens (The Names of Love)
Contributing factors: Complicated and winning script, bursting with commentary and charming characters.
Tim’s Top 15
Tim’s #1: The Artist
Contributing Factors: Its beautiful use of light and shadow. Hazanavicius could have very easily used his tools to make a gimmick film. The fact that there’s nothing gimmicky about The Artist is reason enough to appreciate the film on its own merits. Aside from that, am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that Penelope Ann Miller appears in a film where there’s a character named Peppy Miller? I am? Nevermind then.
While our five lists may differ wildly with certain selections (one man’s The Muppets is another man’s Hanna), there is a definite venn diagram of repeated selections amongst us, which itself forms something of a Best Of list. Here is a breakdown of films that appeared on more than one CHUD list:
Appeared on 2 lists:
A Dangerous Method
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
The Tree of Life
Appeared on 3 lists:
Attack the Block
Appeared on 4 lists:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Only one film appears on all five of our lists. Which, by rules of democracy, means that CHUD’s de facto pick for Best Film of 2011 is…
Not a huge surprise. What is surprising is that Rise of the Planet of the Apes was the clear and lone second place film. Who the hell would have seen that coming a year ago?
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12 Days of CHUDmas
With the holidays and their inherent storm of present buying, traveling, eating, and much-needed year-end relaxing filling your time, it’s quite possibly you missed CHUD’s special gift to everyone there at the end of 2011… the 12 Days of CHUDmas. Each entry is a celebration of a great movie new or old, and they’re all well worth a peek if you missed out. Here’s a quick index…
On the 12 days of CHUDmas my true CHUD sent to me…
Twelve Systems’ Death Sentence
A Cartridge in an Improperly-Handled Prop Gun