10) Animal Kingdom
Release Date: February 25th 2011
While most may have stumped for Snowtown in the battle of the Australian serial killers, Animal Kingdom totes did it for me thanks to it's squeaky bum time conclusion and horrible mum who sadly lost an Oscar to Melissa Leo and her shameless (and slightly impressive) 'For Your Consideration' ad. Although she did swear as she collected her gold statue so I'm willing to forgive her.
9) The Artist
Release Date: December 30th 2011
You love happy kitty.
Release Date: May 27th 2011
Take a group of East End hipsters and make them shit out a ton of vintage clothes on three French people and you basically end up with the stupendously pretty (and minimal) cast of Xavier Dolan's Heartbeats. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Most were annoyed and bored by the constant music cues and longing looks, but I love that shit and it's the sole reason for my obsession with this.
Release Date: November 25th 2011
Though it may have featured Seth Rogen being a bit too Seth Rogen for my liking, Will Reiser's own struggle with cancer at 27 years old gave this comedy-drama a realistic feel amid all the filthy gags and nights on the prowl and successfully achieves what most dramadies can only dream of - a tearjearker with actual belly laughs. JGL balances out the Rogen factor with ease but plaudits must go to Ms Angelica Houston who stole it as his worrisome mother. She's still a giant, btw.
Release Date: October 14th 2011
If I have to sit through a load of lazy rehashes of classic 80s films, then please God, let them all be like this. Somehow managing to update the ridiculous original while paying homage to it is easier then it sounds and Craig Brewer's 113 minute fun-fest deserves recognition. Dare I say it, it actually may be better then the original. *runs and hides*
5) X-Men: First Class
Release Date: June 1st 2011
*ignores dodgy CGI, Fassbender's recurring Irish accent, January Jones being the most wooden diamond in history, messy storytelling and Beast resembling a blue Honey Monster*
4) The King's Speech
Release Date: January 7th 2011
HE HAS A VOICE!!!!!!!!!! And I'm more than willing to listen to it even though it ROBBED The Social Network of every major award this year. I'm not bitter.
3) Blue Valentine
Release Date: January 14th 2011
Derek Cianfrance's romantic drama first garnered press attention for its SHAMEFUL and DISGUSTING cunnilingus scene that received the NC-17 rating (aka the kiss of death) Stateside but this deserves attention for a lot more than that. Williams and Gosling both give heartbreaking performances as a couple in a crumbling marriage and although that satin jacket started trends-a-plenty, let's not forget the plethora of animal sweatshirts that successfully diverted attention away from Gosling's faux-receding hairline.
Release Date: June 24th 2011
The world reacted with shock in June when it was revealed that women were capable of being quite funny, and the result is this consistently ROLF-worthy comedy that contains ace performances all round. It may have turned Kristen Wiig into a proper actress soon to be seen alongside the likes of Sean Penn and New Year's Eve's Robert De Niro but I'm choosing to highlight Rose Byrne as the standout actress for subtly stealing it.
Release Date: September 23rd 2011
The jacket, the soundtrack, the actor and neo-noir style all added up to make a very atmospheric and moody film that turned Baby Goose into a superstar and launched a million tumblr blogs. Drive had me at the amazingly stylish opening credits and kept me to such an extent that I paid - PAID! - actual money to watch it again, and we all know that that's the ultimately seal of approval from a person who's paid to watch films for free. Nicolas Winding Refn - I salute ye.