Yes, it's pretty awesome getting to select my top movies of the year for the Source. And for the second year in a row the process has proven difficult because, as we all well know, most of the "best" movies of the year take their sweet time coming to Bend. Unlike last year, there weren't a lot of obvious, dramatic standouts, but there were a lot of laughs.
Why give Bridesmaids the number one spot? Because no movie made me laugh harder this year. The female Hangover? Absolutely not - these laughs are for everyone!
The best stories have always leaned heavily on the intermingling of comedy and tragedy and in Alexander Payne's first film in seven years, he blends the two with great success. I adore the dynamic between Matt (George Clooney), his daughters, and tagalong Sid.
3. The Help
It's difficult to adapt a beloved novel for the big screen without harsh criticism from fans of the original, but The Help managed to do justice to the source material and it stood on its own cinematically. It doesn't hurt that the film was flawlessly cast with some of the best actresses in Hollywood.
As a fan of the Swedish adaptation, (which coincidentally held the number four spot on my list last year) I went in skeptical of the seemingly unnecessary American remake. Rooney Mara did Lisbeth Salander justice, Trent Reznor's soundtrack soared, and the intense, much more cinematic retelling scored big in my book.
5. Like Crazy
Interestingly enough, Like Crazy had no set script, which allowed for Anton Yelchin
and Felicity Jones to create a touching story of young love through instinctual passion and improvisation.
There's romantic comedy and then there's romantic comedy through the lens of Woody Allen. Midnight in Paris finds Allen in a return to form, creating not only a love letter to the city of Paris, but also to the artists and writers who've inspired him.
In 50/50, the comedy paired with the emotional, and mostly realistic, circumstances make us realize that sometimes it is OK to laugh about cancer. Also, I just love Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anna Kendrick.
Thanks to Video on Demand, we're able to watch Melancholia, ahead of its theatrical release, which could still be a ways off in Bend. My money's on Kirsten Dunst at the Oscars for her phenomenal performance as Justine, a bride with severe mood swings on her wedding day who later takes on the end of the world with poise.
9. Rid of Me
This dark comedy, shot primarily in Portland, screened at this year's BendFilm Festival. If you didn't get the chance to see this amazing film starring Katie O'Grady, you may still get a chance as it's been picked up for distribution.
10. Young Adult
Did you know that Charlize Theron could be hilarious? I had no idea! Young Adult stridently portrays a flawed individual, who despite, or more so, in light of her faults, holds a certain amount of humanity in her despicability.