The Kaje’s Top 10 Films 2011!!!!

Many people complain that the film industry relies upon remakes and rehashes of old ideas. While 2011 has seen its fair share of reworkings (some better than others), it has also seen an array of talent new and old keeping the magical cinematic experience alive. Here at ten films that really blew The Kaje away in 2011…

10. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (Part 2)

Harry Potter is epic. With each book J.K. Rowling’s tale of a young wizard got bigger and better, with the maturing Harry Potter not only having to deal with puberty and all that entails, but his role as the chosen one. All the stops are pulled out as the film series reaches its dramatic conclusion, and it is nigh on impossible to not get carried away with its sense of wonder.

9. 50/50

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard head up the cast of the quirky American comedy dealing with cancer. When Adam Learner (Gordon-Levitt) discovers he has a tumour, his life seemingly falls apart. His best friend Kyle (Rogen) is there for him in ways, while his girlfriend Rachael (Howard) cheats on him. However, with a zest for life and a determination, Learner pushes through in this unconventional comedy.

8. Horrible Bosses

“Horrible Bosses” is so far removed from the laugh a minute comedy you might expect from both the cast and the trailer. With a dark premise, “Horrible Bosses” is full of challenging twists and turns and breaks the mould with performers who are often stereotyped. Be warned Jennifer Aniston is not the nice girl in this one…

7. We Need To Talk About Kevin

It is very rare for a film to be able to leave you truly dumbfounded and breathless, but that is exactly what Lynne Ramsay’s big screen adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel “We Need To Talk About Kevin” does. With mind-blowing performances from Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” is one of 2011’s unforgettable features.

6. My Week With Marilyn

Sometimes a single performance can make or break a film. Though Colin Clark’s (Eddie Redmayne) story centres around his fleeting fling with global icon Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams), he is barely noticeable in this on-screen adaptation such is the prowess of Williams. The film itself is perfectly feel good and boasts an all-star cast (Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, Emma Watson), but it is Williams who should win the Oscar as a result.

5. Bridesmaids

Improvisation troupe The Groundlings was the meeting place for Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the screenwriters responsible for this year’s surprise comedy winner. Centred around best friends Annie (Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) in the lead up to the latter’s wedding, the comedy stems out of the unlikely characters forming the Lillian’s bridesmaids. There is little to say other than “Bridesmaids” is simply pant wettingly funny!

4. The Help

Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel “The Help” is one The Kaje’s favourite books from recent years, so it was with fearful anticipation that we approached Tate Taylor’s film interpretation. Sure it stars The Kaje favourite Emma Stone as protagonist Skeeter Phelan, but could Taylor really do justice to Skeeter, Abileen (Viola Davis) and Minny (Octavia Jackson)? The answer is – not fully, but then discrepancies between the film and book are easily forgiven due to clever alterations and sensational performances from the films’ leads, notably the sublime Viola Davis.

3. Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

Guy Ritchie’s second installment of Sherlock Holmes picks up where the first left off, only with added comedy bite. Both Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are on fine form, with their on-screen chemistry sizzling into a feuding friendship. Though at times the film veers on the absurd, the comic element of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows” will hopefully remain Ritchie’s focus in the next instalment.

2. Les Yeux De Sa Mere

Mathieu (Nicolas Duvauchelle) is an investigative journalist whose target is his former love interest Maria (Geraldine Pailhas) and her famous anchorwoman mother Lena Weber (Catherine Deneuve). However, when his interference leads to an unfortunate accident, Mathieu finds himself hunting down Maria’s secret son, upcoming boxing champion Bruno (Jean-Baptiste Lafarge). The twisting and turning plot presents an interesting take on celebrity culture, with Lefarge proving himself a name to keep a close eye on.

1. Weekend

Andrew Haigh’s “Weekend” is the ultimate love story. Russell (Tom Cullen) and Glen (Chris New) meet in a club. Neither are looking for anything more than simple shag, but they unexpectedly fall for each other over the course of an eventful weekend. With a simple but believable script and two of the finest screen performances of the year, “Weekend” is unmissable.

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