Review of The Year
Hollywood’s elite will next week gather at the Kodak Theatre to give each other a pat on the back for their services to film. Forget that, this is where it’s at. Here is a look back over the best and worst of all things film this past year.
Moneyball will almost definitely be overlooked next week but the true life story of The Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane was the stand out film of the year. Billy is left with not much of a team. The richer clubs have taken his best players and he has to find a way to turn around The Oakland A’s for next season. Superbly acted, directed and scripted, Moneyball is a fantastic against the odds story that has a whole lot of heart. Brad Pitt gives a career best performance to bring Beane to life, the same can be said for Jonah Hill, whose portrayal of a performance analyzer who helps re-build the Oakland A’s, is the perfect match for Beane.
I know nothing about Baseball, nothing. It didn’t matter. Moneyball is about as close to movie perfection you’re going to get.
BRAD PITT - MONEYBALL
No surprises here. Pitt was tailor made for this role, struggling against a stubborn scouting network and an apathetic coach, Pitt gives a fantastic performance of a man whose strength of character gets him through.
Haunted by the demons of his past as a former baseball player who failed to live up to expectations, he is determined not to come up short again. It’s an engaging, involving and wonderfully observed portrayal of a man fighting for some kind of redemption.
JEAN DUJARDIN, BERENICE BEJO - THE ARTIST
It’s hard, nigh on impossible not to fall in love with these two. The Artist was so refreshing and enjoyable and it was brilliantly held together by this pair. George Valentin and Peppy Miller, one a star of the silent movie, the other a rising name in the new world of talkies come together and showcase the heights and pitfalls of 1920’s Hollywood.
Dujardin in particular stands out, his transformation from a star to a regular guy who’s down and out is pitch perfect, and he does it all without saying a word, well almost.
TRANSFORMERS 3: SOME RIDICULOUS SUB-TITLE THAT I CANT REMEMBER
Is Michael Bay actually a teenage boy? Is he really more into creating explosions than films? Transformers 3 was not a film, not by any stretch of the imagination.
A little known fact about Transformers 3 was that the script was actually written on the back of a damp beer mat. What’s really great about the movie is that the character development is so subtle that you barely even notice it, giving you lots more time to revel and point at all the explosions while no doubt stuffing your fat face full of more popcorn.
Rosie Huntington-Whitely got a lot of stick for her performance but this film has bigger problems than her, specifically the fact that it is god awful. Michael Bay has apparently signed on for a fourth film, and if that’s the kind of news that excites you then you are a moron.
MOST OVERRATED FILM
Step forward this years indie film that everybody has decided to get carried away with. George Clooney is back as a man who has just learned that his wife is cheating on him. Only problem is she is stuck in a coma and he has to traipse through Hawaii with his family to track down the man she was seeing.
Clooney falls back on his tried and tested acting technique, the delayed reaction, to get him through playing a part that requires more than his limited abilities are capable of. A pregnant pause here, a steely eyed stare there and bobs your uncle it’s two hours later and I’m seven quid poorer.
There is nothing remarkable about the Descendants, it is an average film with average performances, not the best film of this or any other year.
Liam Neeson doing what Liam Neeson does best in the unstoppably awesome The Grey. The lovely feeling of nostalgia that was delivered by Super 8, how refreshing it was to see a great original movie amongst the usual summer sequel fest. The unintentional hilarity that comes with watching Abduction, Taylor Lautner may just be the worst actor on the planet. Nicolas Cage stating that he wants to re-visit The Wicker Man but in Japan, who exactly are the Hollywood Execs stopping this from happening? The tension cranking score in Moneyball, I think it’s fair to say I firmly love everything to do with that movie. Ryan Gosling making a shiny scorpion jacket look cool in the unquestionably cool Drive. Finally Gary Busey declaring himself bankrupt. I’ll offer 5 to 1 odds that by this time next year he has also declared himself criminally insane.