I’ll reveal myself as a bit of a film buff and certainly saw some brilliant ones this year, two of which rank highly as best ones I’ve ever seen. You may notice that only one of these films actually came out this year – well thats because I live in a totally backwards part of the world and films are seen either during very infrequent visits to the cinema or thorugh the excellent lovefilm and film4od websites.
After seeing Moon I was very excited about Source Code, but maybe I overhyped it, didn’t quite live up to expectations, so my blockbuster of the year goes to this ingenious and fast-paced little gem. After a few ‘interesting’ years living on the coast I could relate to the lead character who is able to completely open up his mind so that perception is complete. The stockmarket whizz kid theme also harks back to my favourite film of all time Pi. Bradley Cooper is a revelation and De Niro is back on form. And the bit where he finds himself on a bridge in torn clothes having no relocation of what he got up to in the last 48 hours… We’ve all been there surely!
4 Point Blank/Tell Noone
Lumped together because of their similarities – two French films about a chap who’s wife gets abducted, who is then in line to be framed and who as to associate with the bad guys to win her back. The two films can be seen as very similar but what shines through in both is that at the moment the French are making good honest crime thrillers like no other. If you want your slice of Bourne type action this year look no further, but please don’t wait for the inevitable hollywood remakes
Made for next to nothing, Monsters is not your typical alien/monster movie by any means, in fact it has been argued that it could have been possible to make the movie without any monsters in it at all. It is much more a road trip/will they won’t they character study but the moment the monsters appear should appeal to anyone interested in animal interaction or who appreciates that animal behaviour is almost always interrupted by human intervention.
2. Animal Kingdom
Given the utterly misleading moniker of ‘the Australian Goodfella’s’ this is one dark movie but with brilliant central performances and a disturbing social backdrop. The opening scene of a son having to call medics about his overdosing mother but being unable to pull himself away from Deal or No Deal sets the tone immediately. The underlying theme of members of a pride constantly being in the process of usurping each other in order to reach the top of the pack is subtly played out.
1. A Prophet
The best movie set in the clink bar none and that includes you Mr Shawshank. After about 20 minutes the premise of the movie, kill or be killed is laid out loud and clear. In some ways the film can simply be seen as a rites of passage in a similar way to the Godfather trilogy. For me though what set it apart was the extraordinary supernatural element that gently underplays the moments of brutality. Spiritual and amoral and utterly essential.