First of all, a very happy New Year to you all. Fingers crossed it will be a happy and healthy one for us all.
2011 kicked off with the Golden Globes in January followed by the Orange British Academy Film Awards and the 83rd Academy Awards. Colin Firth reigned supreme and took home all the Best Actor awards for his performance in The King’s Speech. Natalie Portman was his female counterpart and received the Best Actress accolades for her performance in Black Swan.
2011: A fantastic year
The nominees for the 84th Academy Awards, which will be hosted by Billy Crystal on 26th February, are due to be announced 24th January while the nominees for the Orange British Academy Film Awards, which will be held 12th February, will be announced 17th January.
The nominees for the 69th Golden Globes, which are taking place on the 15th, have already been announced. Leading the nominations is The Descendants, The Ides of March and Midnight in Paris.
In between all the sequels, remakes and prequels, 2011 was a great year in cinema. I kicked off the year with 127 Hours and ended with Arthur Christmas. I saw 25 films throughout the year though there were many, many more that I would have liked to have seen.
10 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
9 Real Steel
7 X-Men: First Class
6 True Grit
5 The Guard
3 Rise of the Planet of the Apes
2 Midnight in Paris
1 The King’s Speech
I enjoyed each of these films for very different reasons. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was a bittersweet finale to Harry’s epic saga while Rise of the Planet of the Apes exceeded my expectations after a poor teaser trailer and left me marvelling at Andy Serkis’ wonderful motion capture performance.
Drive featured one of the coolest soundtracks released this year while catapulting its leading man, Ryan Gosling, into the hearts of critics and movie goers alike.
X-Men: First Class was everything I hoped for, and James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender certainly proved worthy counterparts to Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.
Thor and Real Steel left me thoroughly entertained and laughing in the cinema aisle while True Grit featured stunning performances by Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld. Both were, in my opinion, highly deserving of their Oscar nominations.
The Guard brought together the unlikely double act of Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle but it certainly worked.
However, it was Midnight in Paris and The King’s Speech that stole my heart and made me fall in love with the cinema all over again. The King’s Speech just had the edge over Midnight in Paris though they are both films that I know I will come back to year after year after year.
Looking forward to 2012
There is one film that I am literally counting down the days – 347 days, to be exact – until, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Director by Peter Jackson and starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage, I cannot wait to be transported back to Middle-earth. The second part of the films, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released in December 2013.
PJ has posted several production videos from the set of the The Hobbit, which can be viewed on his Facebook page here. The latest video was posted on the 23rd and explains the logistics of location shooting.
Seven other films I don’t want to miss
- The Avengers (27th April)
Dir: Joss Whedon Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Liam Hemsworth
The Daddy of all comic book adaptations, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) unites Iron Man (Downey Jr), Thor (Hemsworth), Captain America (Evans) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in order to destroy Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
- Prometheus (1st June)
Dir: Ridley Scott Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender
While little is known about the plot, the current official synopsis explains that a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
- The Dark Knight Rises (20th July)
Dir: Christopher Nolan Starring: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy
The conclusion to the Nolan-Bale series, the film begins eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. Tom Hardy stars as Bane, a super criminal who plans to destroy the city.
- The Bourne Legacy (17th August)
Dir: Tony Gilroy Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton
Gilroy, the screenwriter of the first three films, takes the Bourne franchise in a new direction in the shape of Renner. Renner stars as Aaron Cross, a new CIA operative in the Treadstone universe.
- Dredd (21st September)
Dir: Pete Travis Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey
This film has been a long time coming: the first image from the set was circulated in late 2010. Urban takes on the role of Judge Dredd, the most feared of elite Street Judges, with the power to enforce the law, sentence offenders and execute them on the spot – if necessary.
- Skyfall (26th October)
Dir: Sam Mendes Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem
Otherwise known as Bond 23, the film’s plot details have been kept securely under wraps. What is known is that Bardem will be the film’s main villain, and that Bond’s loyalty to M will be tested as her past comes back to haunt her.
- Django Unchained (26th December)
Dir: Quentin Tarantino Starring: Jamie Foxx, Kurt Russell, Samuel L Jackson
Production is well under way on QT’s newest flick, which is a Western about the revenge of a slave on his former master. Foxx has been cast as Django while Jackson will play Stephen, a wise, proud house slave. Kurt Russell has been cast as Ace Woody, a “vile and sadistic trainer of slaves who are forced to fight in death matches for a plantation owner”.
The Best of the Rest
Haywire (18th January)
Underworld: Awakening (20th January)
The Grey (27th January)
The Woman in Black (10th February)
John Carter (9th March)
The Raven (9th March)
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (9th March)
We Bought a Zoo (16th March)
The Hunger Games (23rd March)
Dark Shadows (11th May)
Snow White and the Huntsman (1st June)
Rock of Ages (8th June)
Jack the Giant Killer (15th June)
The Amazing Spider-Man (4th July)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2nd August)
Brave (17th August)
Total Recall (22nd August)
The Expendables 2 (TBC)
The Great Gatsby (TBC)
- What films are you looking forward to? Leave a comment and let’s get chatting!