Saturday, 31 December 2011

My films of 2011

Just before turning the page........
This was not only the year when my cinema visits (56) were the fewest since 1974, but was also the first year during which I've read more books (60) than seen films.
Due to that it would hardly be fair to name a 'Top 10' of films when there were relatively few contenders. However, I see in my 'register' that there were just 5 films which earned a personal score of 8/10. The entry is made immediately on returning home after viewing (my evaluation can sometimes change after time) - and it should be pointed out that they are marked in terms of the profundity and/or enjoyment of my own filmic experience rather than whether they are films of a high standard. (I wouldn't claim to be able to rule on that.) So, in order of seeing them, they are:-

'The Way' (Estevez)

'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' (Alfredson)

'Melancholia' (Von Trier')

'Contagion' (Soderbergh)  - apologies to Cubby @ Patently Queer for including this, but there you are!

'We Need to Talk about Kevin' (Ramsay)

The film I 'enjoyed' least was - with apologies to Andrew @ The Widow's World, who was knocked out by it -  I'm afraid, it bored me beyond stiff:-


There were regrets in missing two particular films which had praise lavished on them -
Tyrannosaur' (Considine) which I couldn't bear to go to when I read that in the first few minutes the excellent Peter Mullen plays a character who kicks his own dog to death. I was thinking about going but staying in the foyer until after about 10 mins, but will now have to catch up on it when TV time comes.
Also 'The Deep Blue Sea' - Terence Davies' take on Terence Rattigan's play, which I know quite well. (This gay playwright, is certainly coming back into fashion now after a few decades in the doldrums)  My excuse for not seeing this film? The timings of showings were such that I'd have returned home in the dark and my pussies would have been wondering, perhaps even fretting, about what had happened - and we couldn't have that!

So that's it with this year. Will 2012 mean more frequent cinema visits or is this an indication of my slowing down?  Can but wait and see.

Wishing an exceptionally happy 2012 to ALL visitors to my humble blog. Thank you so much for your visits, my dears. Your presences are very much appreciated indeed. (Mwah, mwah!)


  1. Happy New Year, may 2012 bring nothing by good stuff and happy moments and memories.

  2. I hope your 2012 is full of fabulous flicks!

  3. Thank you so much, Jase, Tai & Dr Spo. I wish at least the same for your own good selves - but if you get more than you need, please spread a little of the excess around, will you? :-)

  4. You wonder if you are slowing down and cinema visits will be less frequent? Well, I have slowed down and confess I've seen none of the films on your list. I did toy with seeing'Melancholia' but decided against it. 'We Need To talk About Kevin'appears to have the same story as 'Beautiful Boy' which came out earlier this year. I'd like to see that one just for the sake of comparison.

    I wish you had seen Rattigan's 'The Deep Blue Sea.' I would have liked your opinion of it. I want to see it, but not this version. Vivien Leigh did it about 50years ago and the movie just seems to have disappeared. Hope one day that it resurrects.

    Let's hope that 2012 gives us many great films.

    PS. Would love to know if the second season of "Downton Abbey" is now being shown in eNGLAND?

  5. Paul, first 'Downton Abbey'. Not being a great TV watcher, afraid I've never seen it, though I am aware of all the talk and praise. I can't tell you for sure if a second series has been shown, only that it feels like it has. I've just looked on the website but as to what's been shown here, it's all gobbledygook to me......
    Hang on, I'll ring my sister -

    Right, Paul. Sis is a great fan and she tells me that the second series WAS shown here, ending a few weeks before Xmas, but (she felt) was not QUITE as good as the first. There was also a one-off single Christmas special which tantalised her, leaving viewers wanting more. She says that a third series is currently being filmed. As to where it goes after that, or if it carries on at all, is uncertain. I trust that all that answers your question and that you'll get to see as much as has been shown here before too long.

    Yes, 'The Deep Blue Sea' was my single most regretted omission in film-going last year. It's a harrowing play with some justification in thinking that the subtext of the young man/older woman relationship is a gay affair. (I know that this is trotted out for so many plays by gay playwrights but is not often true - and emphatically is NOT the case with 'Who's Afraid of V.W.')
    I wasn't aware of the (1955) Vivien Leigh film. Just looked it up in my guide which gives it one star out of a max of 4 - "Undistinguished adaptation of a very good play." I still just may catch up on the latest version otherwise I'm afraid it'll have to wait for a TV screening, which is always so much of an inferior experience.

    Don't know 'Beautiful Boy', but I'm now intrigued.
    'Melancholia' is one of those films that lodges in the brain forever. The only downside feature for me was the playing over and over again the opening bars of Wagner's 'Prelude and Liebestod'. They could at least have varied it a bit - or maybe it was deliberate? I don't know.

    Right now, this very afternoon, I'm going to see my first film of 2012, the new 'Mission Impossible'. Perhaps I'll outdo last year's count after all.

  6. A big thank you to you and your sister for the information on "Downton Abbey." I searched through the on-screen program guide and happily it is being shown this Sunday evening. My DVR is all programed.

    I saw 'Mission Impossible' yesterday. I sprang for the hefty IMAX surcharge and it was a good decision. The movie is wonderful, nonsensical fun.

    The cinemas here are not showing 'Melancholia'.
    I was able to see it on VOD. Never thought that I would say it, but the movie borders on the sublime. Fortunately, they permit you to view it for 24 hours, so I think another viewing is in order.

    It looks like my 2012 movie year is off to a great start.

  7. So pleased that you've managed to get yourself organised on 'Downton Abbey', Paul. Hope your 'yet-to-sees' will be as satisfying as you're hoping.

    I too saw 'Mission Impossible' a few days ago, though sadly, as we don't have an IMAX cinema within reach, only in the 'normal' format. Nevertheless, it was quite a rollercoaster of a film - one of those where it's better to leave your brain outside and just enjoy the ride. I gave it a respectable 6.5/10.

    I'm pleasantly surprised that you liked 'Melancholia' so much, even in inferior format. I think it's not one for mass tastes - and even in the art-house world its reception has been mixed. Any film by Von Trier is a major event for me, so it's all the greater pity that he disgraced himself with his remarks recently, which went beyond being just 'unfortunate'. However, his films are certainly provocative and memorable, as well as often being beautiful - if they're not sometimes being horrifically grisly. He's someone it's just impossible to brush aside.
    Enjoy your second viewing of this film - I'd certainly see it again given the chance.

  8. Raybeard my Dear, I have to apologize! I haven't visited your site previously because believe it or not, I thought that you were another one of my readers named "Raybob"! Doh! So I was visiting his site and not thinking a thing about it! Gads! I can count the number of times that we've been to a theatre in the last five years on one hand! Netflix has spoiled us terribly! Now that I have my "Ray"s straight (pardon the pun) I will visit more often!

  9. Tiger, you are ever so welcome. I'm not put out by your misunderstanding, which accounts for your not visiting. There are a number of bloggers whom I follow but who don't follow me, though I'd be honoured if they did. However, that's their decision.
    I don't post very often, only every few days, but when I do I try to make them not too long and self-absorbed. Your own blogs are commendably short, which makes my visiting them such a pleasure - and there's often some discovery for me to make. But, as I say, I'm pleased to have your visits, even if you don't wish to make a comment every time you pop in here.
    As for your cinema visits, or lack of them, again, it's not to everyone's taste or interest. Besides, I'm sure you make up for it in other areas of your life.
    Cheers, T.C.