And so it comes down to it. After two weeks of doling out awards to the best of the best from 2011 we come to the actual best. The number one film. The film that stood out above all others for the most writers here at Flixist. This is the Golden Datctyl for Best Movie. It’s kind of a big deal.
I don’t know about you, but for the staff at Flixist last year presented a lot of fantastic films in a wide variety of genres. Our votes for Best Movie ranged from animated movies to blockbuster Science Fiction and pretty much every in between. It’s hard to even tie down a single unifying factor for what made a movie great in our mind, but if I had to pull one out I think it would be that it did something different. Once you take a look at our votes below you’ll see that what really makes a movie great isn’t just the directing, acting or story, but a film that tries to give us something new (even when it’s old like The Muppets).
I think what our nominees, and especially our winner really show is that despite the ever growing dominance of big budget schlock in theaters, and the increasing jadedness of the entire population great movies can still some how capture our imagination, our heart, our minds and our souls. It’s with this in mind that I present to you the 2011 winner of the Golden Dactyl for Best Movie…
I mean if you didn’t see this coming after the glut of wins the film already got over the past two weeks you need to get your eyes checked. The thing is Drive deserves this and so much more. Criminally overlooked by awards shows the world around because of its western/action roots and extreme violence, Drive is seriously the best film of the year. It’s hard to be powerful and yet subtle; silent and yet heard;strong and yet emotional. Yet Nicolas Winding Refn’s film does all these things all at the same time.
Our unnamed anti-hero is a throw back to the type of hero who rides in on a horse, saves the town and then leaves with only a tip of his hat. Yet there’s so much more to him throughout the film that hints at a character you can’t help but want to find more out about, but never really will. Supported by a nemesis as layered and challenging as he is, portrayed perfectly by Albert Brooks, it’s rare we see so much on screen with so little displayed. Despite being surrounded by violence and action, it’s Drive‘s emotional middle that really makes it great. Proof that you can deliver deep and thoughtful characters while making a movie about a guy who drives cars. This movie says more in a single look from Gosling or a few perfectly executed shots than most films can hope to ever achieve.
Also, the movie is just badass. Really, really badass.
That’s not to besmirch the other films you see below. The Artist delivers almost as much raw emotion without even saying a word and Hugo might be one of the best directed and shot films ever made. Meanwhile films like The Muppets, Super 8 and Winnie the Pooh reminded us that it’s still cool to be a kid. Meanwhile The Descendents and Midnight in Paris won us over with incredibly strong screenplays and looks inside who we are. Take Me Home Tonight is an underrated classic, and I shouldn’t have to explain how great Attack the Block is. Finally, the disturbing The Skin I Live in shouldn’t be missed as it’s one of the most enthralling stories told in a while.