Is it me, or were movies more united by theme this year than is usual? Nostalgia was the big one, with several titles capitalizing not just on our nostalgia of a past era, but of movies from a past era — from silent films to Spielberg blockbusters and everything in between. People have been in an awfully romantic mood of late — perhaps because the recession made the present so unappealing. Movies have always been about escapism, and this year more than ever, they’re taking us backward rather than forward.
A few titles amongst my personal favorites harken back a bit, but on the whole, I prefer the fresher fare — films that actually do feel a little progressive, despite the popular wave of nostalgia.
So here I’ve selected my top 8 films of the year. Why 8 instead of 10? Well, it’s simple. Because I’m leaving two slots open for a handful of titles I have yet to see. By the time the Oscars are telecast, I’ll have seen and written about one hundred 2011 releases, and I’ll feel confident enough to put together a full Top 10.
But for now, on the eve of the Academy Award nominations, here are all but two of the year’s best movies.
(The rest of this entry has been moved over to my full Top 10 list here.)