Tom Jolliffe returns to 10 years 2011, offering ten essential films from …
I am almost amazed that we are now 10 years old since 2011. For me, 2011 is the future. I’m still stuck somewhere in 2004. How the hell have 21-year-olds been born in this century? Still here we are. Let us not get too optimistic about the future prospects of the film supply. We might as well look back. 2011 was a pretty solid year of movies, through which there were a few true cult favorites. Here are 10 essential films from that year.
Let’s start the procedure with a film that may have slipped on your radar. Star actor Paddy Considine transformed into a star filmmaker by writing and directing this story about a bitter man struggling with his evils and uncontrollable anger. Outside the selected public in the UK, this didn’t really get the deserved notice. Peter Mullan once again showed in an amazing performance how thoroughly undervalued the actress she is, and Olivia Colman is also great here. He’s stepped into the limelight he deserves more than he deserves in the intervening years, and is now (deservedly) an Oscar-winning actor. Tyrannosaurus is a grim but compelling view.
Another film that slipped under the radar somewhat. Take cover is a fascinating character work that sees Michael Shannon presenting the best performance of his career as a blue – collar family as a man obsessed with his preconceived apocalyptic event. His obsession soon disrupts work and family life and finds him in conflict with the community as well. The film brought writer / director Jeff Nichol to the public’s attention and was adorned with critical praise, even if it didn’t find a wide audience. It’s a great movie.
Brad Pitt as a baseball coach who develops a revolutionary scouting method based on statistics. It sounds either to fantasy baseball league enthusiasts who dream, or to the film world for all of us. It turned out that the fantasy league friends are right. Money ball was unfairly rejected in some corners as a populist trip, but it’s a fascinating real-life story that somehow makes the subject entertaining. Pitt is as effortlessly charismatic as you might expect, but the big surprise was Jonah Hill, who stood out from the stoning comedies and produced a show that destroyed all prejudices about his limitations. Some dismissed six Oscar nominees (including a surprising but welcome nod to Hill and one to Pitt) for a snobic shortage, but the success of the award season was justified.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Based on the novel by the late John Le Carre, the classic Cold War era story gets the perfect cinematic adaptation of the pitch (which is also worthy of an excellent British TV mini-series). Gary Oldman directs all the stars in a film excellently directed by Tomas Alfredson (Get right in). It’s a slow-burning and old-fashioned thriller that’s constantly fascinating. Bridget O’Conner and Peter Straughan do an exceptional job of adapting classical source material. Despite its critical popularity, this did not find any resonance with everyone, as the slow pace, which felt particularly strong in 2011 in particular, steadily increased with the growth of unregulated, shorter-attention films.
Here is a curve ball. This was pretty underestimated for me. It was often rejected like Liam Neeson Assumed with wolves. In reality, the film feels much more than a mixture of literal and allegorical struggle and grief of loss. It is a simple self-confidence, but a brutally effective struggle to survive in extreme conditions against a fierce animal enemy. The wolf pack picks up the survivors of the plane accident one by one in almost uninhabited snowy conditions. The scene and the enemy make an exciting film, but Neeson’s performance (as an almost hopeless hunter who finds his will to survive) is layered with the actors ’own fresh sorrows in a film made only long after he lost his wife Natasha Richardson’s tragic accident.
This almost immediate cult hit became “have you seen…” among the blue filth that year. Uber-stylish neo-noir about a stoic stunt driver who sounds like a getaway driver, which was a lot of debt to Michael Mann. Nic Winding Refn had cult fans Push series and Bronson in particular, but Drive really attracted him wider attention. It was and still is his most readily available “mainstream” film, and as such, his further development has tended to alienate as many as they have certainly attracted. In addition, Ryan Gosling saw a big leap in popularity, especially among men, when he suddenly became the coolest mofo in Hollywood. Stunning soundtrack, stunning visuals and sensational Actors (including Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman) combine into a film that remains one of the best of the last decade.
Another neo-noir. This also marked one of two films in Matthew McConaughey’s key year. That was really the beginning of McConaussaince. After spending years in mediocre romantic comedies, where she usually leaned against a poster at an oblique angle (sometimes with a female director), she took a decisive direction and began making a darker, more mature, and more challenging film. There was Lincoln lawyer too, but Killer Joe was more pleasant to me (Mud, written by Jeff Nichols came the following year). The dark story of fraud and assassination attempt as a two hundred criminal piles up in debt (Emile Hirsch) tangled with a hiring police officer / killer with a reputation that precedes him. McConnaughey enjoys his enigmatic and rogue role. He is lofty and so are the other Actors. It also marked an excellent return to form for one of the cinema masters, William Friedkin. He has not been able to answer that.
Duncan Jones followed his excellent debut year Moon, with this other beautifully enclosed and immersive sci-fi thriller. This is where Jake Gyllanhaal does Groundhog Day at the turn, the same last moments have to be repeated before an explosion destroys a train full of passengers. He must find the bomber and prevent him from hitting again. It is complex, tortuous and well-crafted. Gyllenhaal is huge, the nature of his role and the simulation are tragic. The fates of those in the simulation are inevitable as he fights for the future of the next potential victims of the bomber. To the surprise of many, the big prizes completely ignored this.
Family drama meets as MMA brawl. Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy), a former sailor, haunted by his past, returns home and sets his sights on the splendor of MMA and recruits his father (Nick Nolte) to train him. At the same time that the promising fighter has become a teacher, Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton), the estranged older brother returns to fight low-level fights to make meat. Meeting the brothers in the ring is inevitable. Warrior is brilliant, anchored in the exceptional performances of Hardy, Edgerton and Volte (especially fine). It is exhausting, fascinating and the fights are also carried out exceptionally. I found this more fascinating than Fighter, which covered some similar remarks (in the real life story of Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg from 2010).
Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender teamed up after their starring film Hunger (2008) Shame. Fass plays a sex addict whose hedonistic hobbies interfere with the arrival of her stubborn sister (Carey Mulligan). As we have now expected and appreciated, McQueen is uncompromising in his hard character research and likewise Fassbender is fully committed to his complex role. Mulligan is also exceptional. It’s a great movie that doesn’t suit all tastes, given its uneven dependence on a kind of addiction that the film doesn’t often cover up (in a realistic way anyway). It’s the perfect cohesiveness between the director and the actors.
What are your favorite movies from 2011. Tell us on our social channels @ flickeringmyth…
Tom Jolliffe is an award-winning screenwriter and passionate kinefile. He has several films on DVD / VOD around the world and several releases to be released in 2021, including Renegades (Lee Majors, Danny Trejo, Michael Pare, Tiny Lister, Ian Ogilvy and Billy Murray), Crackdown, When Darkness Falls and War of the Worlds: attack (Vincent Regan). You can find more information on the best personal site you will ever see …https://www.instagram.com/jolliffeproductions/