Yesterday I posted about my favorite books and today it’s time to tell you about my favorite movies of the past year. Movies are another one of my favorite things, maybe not as much as books but they’re right up there. There were so many good movies in theaters this year and these are the ones I loved the most!
1. The Music Never Stopped: This movie is the story of Gabriel, a young man who left a home governed by his overbearing father and is only reconnected with his parents after they receive a phone call that he is in the hospital. Gabriel has suffered severe cerebral trauma and is unable to communicate or connect with anything until a music therapist begins using music from his 1960s childhood. This true story is based on the study by Dr. Oliver Sacks and chronicles the difficult rebuilding of the relationship between father and son. This is one remarkable movie and the fact that it’s true only makes it sweeter. The music, of course, is amazing but you will fall in love with father and son and love their journey to rebuilding their rocky relationship.
2. My Week with Marilyn: Who isn’t intrigued by the infamous Marilyn Monroe? This film is based on the diary of Colin Clark, a 23 year old assistant director working on Sir Laurence Olivier’s production of The Prince and the Showgirl starring Marilyn Monroe. Colin becomes one of Marilyn’s confidantes learning about the woman riddled with insecurities hiding within the world famous actress. I could not get enough of Michelle Williams who dazzles you as a very convincing Marilyn and the story is charming but a very real portrayal of the drug-addicted and vulnerable young actress. The clothes and set and acting were all flawless and I won’t be surprised if this gets nominated for some kind of an award.
3. Midnight in Paris: This Woody Allen film was by far my favorite movie of 2011. I didn’t want you to not see the other movies so that’s why I’m hiding it in the middle. This movie is the story of writer Gil and his fiancee Inez on vacation in Paris with Inez’s parents. Gil loves Paris and is obsessed with the idea of Paris in the 1920s. One evening Gil gets lost after a party, a mysterious old-fashioned automobile picks him up at midnight and he is transported back to Paris’s golden age. As Hemingway claims that Paris is “a moveable feast” this movie is a veritable feast for the eyes. You truly feel as though you have been transported with Gil back to 1920s Paris and there is a sweet meaning behind all the magic.
4. Water for Elephants: Based on Sara Gruen’s bestselling book, this is more than just a circus story. Set in the Depression, a young vet student, Jacob, loses both his parents in a tragic car accident and discovers that he has nothing. Walking to a big city alongside the train tracks, he jumps aboard a passing train only to discover he has boarded a circus train. Once the ringmaster and owner allows him to stay aboard as the circus vet, a story of romance, adventure and violence unfolds. I loved the book and this movie did not disappoint me. Robert Pattinson starred as Jacob and he did an excellent job, as did Reese Witherspoon as the beautiful horse and elephant riding Marlena. It was another beautifully constructed movie and the story keeps you engaged and in love until the last second.
5. Super 8: How can you go wrong with a Stephen Spielberg movie? Super 8 was written and shot in the traditional Spielberg style. The cast of kids were talented and fun. While it wasn’t the most suspenseful movie ever, it was certainly a lot of fun and reminded me of the awesome movies from the eighties and early nineties that I enjoyed as a kid.
6. 50/50: Both heartfelt and fun, this movie is about a young man suddenly diagnosed with a rare cancer and the friend that helps him through it. Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in the movie and make a perfect pair of friends. With all the ups and downs, sometimes you’re laughing and sometimes you’re crying. It will definitely remind you of all those friends who are there for you and who you’d do anything for.
7. The Help: This movie brings to the characters of Kathryn Stockett’s novel to life in the best possible way. You will fall in love with the characters, even the love-to-hate-her Hilly Holbrook. Every actress in this movie is supremely talented and it made me laugh and cry even more than the book. I usually hate book to movie translations but this is definitely a must-see.