On the brink of 2012, I can’t help but take a deep breath and reflect on this past year. 2011 was filled with amazing vacations, unforgettable parties, new friends, excellent music, and most importantly some awesome films.
January is upon us, which means the Oscars are less than two months away. So, if you are not up to date on 2011’s best flicks, slap that on your list of resolutions, grab some popcorn, and take a seat. I’m giving you my list of the Top Ten Best Films of 2011. Here we go:
10. The Help – Based off of the novel by Kathryn Stockett, The Help tells the story of Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) and her quest to learn more about two black maids in Civil Rights America in the 1960’s. Stone, along with her incredible ensemble cast, including Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Jessica Chastain, introduce us to brilliant characters with extraordinary stories.
9. Tree of Life – If you haven’t seen it, you have probably heard about Terrence Malik’s artful, but somewhat mysterious film. The story, starring Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain, follows a family with three boys in the 1950’s. It may not be a wordy script, but the movie is worth seeing just for the incredible images within it. There’s nothing more refreshing than innovative filmmaking.
8. Warrior – From it’s poster you might assume that Warrior is just another boxing movie, but it is absolutely not. Warrior introduces us to the world of mixed martial arts when Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) returns home to his father (Nick Nolte), a recovering alcoholic ex-boxer. When Tommy enters a mixed martial arts tournament, his life turns around and he is forced to face old family demons. Warrior is out in stores now and truly worth a watch.
7. Drive- The story surrounds Ryan Gosling’s character, who is a Hollywood stunt driver and wheelman by night. Irene (Carey Mulligan) is soon introduced to the plot and his love for her gets him into a very ugly contract with the wrong people. With amazing getaway scenes, and a few gory deaths, Driver is a quiet, yet powerful must-see.
6. The Artist- It’s 1927 in Hollywood and silent film star George Valentine is concerned about his career as talking pictures arrive on the scene. During this time he falls in love with a young dancer in search of stardom. Their story is told not only in black and white, but told as a classic silent film. Be sure to watch The Artist for a unique and heart-melting experience.
5. Bridesmaids – Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig), a jobless pastry chef, hits rock bottom when she becomes maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding. Rose Byrne and Kristen Wiig deliver hilarious performances as they experience a long battle over who is the bride’s best friend. If you are in the mood for non-stop laughter, check out Wiig and her priceless ensemble in Bridesmaids.
4. Martha Marcy May Marlene- If you dont’t know who Elizabeth Olsen is, you sure wont forget her after seeing Martha Marcy May Marlene. In the film, Elizabeth plays Martha, a young woman who tries to re-kindle with her family after escaping from an abusive cult, but is haunted by the memories of her past. The haunting film will leave you reeling as you try to decipher between her present and past.
3. Midnight in Paris- Woody Allen does it again with his Parisian film that transports us into the past. Gil, played by Owen Wilson, is a middle aged dreamer from Los Angeles vacationing in Paris with his fiance (Rachel McAdams). There, Gil finds embarks on a midnight journey that will forever change his obsession with the past. Midnight in Paris is so important, that theaters have continued to play it for eight months now. You can also find it on DVD. Either way, catch this flick ASAP!
2. Take Shelter – This psychological drama, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, is without a doubt one of the most riveting films this year. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter takes you into the life of Curtis (Michael Shannon), haunted by the doom of an impending storm, as well as his own mental well being. Shannon and Chastain deliver brilliant performances as a devoted husband and wife who embark upon the biggest struggle of their lives together.
1. Beginners – A young man’s life is changed when he finds out his father (Christopher Plummer) is not only dying, but is coming out of the closet. Along with this jolting news he meets Anna (Melanie Laurent) a traveling actress who brings him not only happiness, but adds confusion to the meaning of his life. This beautiful story shares a struggle that every human being can relate to.
So, there you are friends. I’m giving you an adorable Ryan Gosling, the genius Woody Allen, the hilarious Kristin Wiig, and three Jessica Chastain flicks. What’s not to love?So after a long night of New Years partying, start the year off right by catching up with the rest of us.
Foodie, photographer, and actress, Adrien Finkel hails from Scottsdale, Arizona and is happy to reside in the heart of Hollywood. After years in New York, Adrien settled in Los Angeles not only for her career, but because it provides an excellent playground for her extensive palate for food and art. Although Adrien spends much time on both coasts, her heart lies in photographing LA's eclectic population and keeping up to speed with the overwhelming amount of excitement the city has to offer.
DailyISO.com has become a popularly referenced independent resource for information on Los Angeles Lifestyle and Events. Our site caters directly to those who are looking to discover all best parts of their city by providing honest and independent reviews of the events, music, nightlife, fashion, culture and lifestyle in or around Los Angeles. Additionally, readers are able to use our social events calendar to make their weekend plans, and can even find links on how to access exclusive events, whether it be through a free guestlist to an event, ticket sales for a concert or the right contact for booking table service at a nightclub.
In addition to website content, DailyISO.com publishes a weekly Weekend Guide Newsletter which highlights the very best of the best of Los Angeles. Signup is free.