You might have recently checked out my top ten list here. In that I mentioned there were just too many great movies this year and with the intensified focus I had on it this year I had a lot to choose from. So here is a quick runners up piece, hopefully giving some well deserved films the proper respect.
In no particular order
The Artist - Michel Hazanivicius
At once a joyful homage to the silent era and old hollywood, and a great silent film in and of itself. Incredibly entertaining performances by all involved make this one of the most charming films in recent memory, you might not agree with all the accolades it's been receiving, but I don't understand how this film wouldnt warm your heart.
Attack the Block - Joe Cornish
Incredible debut, and does the impossible in making an alien invasion story feel absurdly fresh. With a star making performance from John Boyega as the head of the gang with incredible leadership potential. This is a great story of responsibility and assumptions, Joe Cornish is one to watch.
Contagion - Steven Soderbergh
Incredibly dense, but with a smart script, strong directing, fluid editing,
and of course some great performances by all involved the film moves along at a breakneck pace. We feel invested in every story as each one manages to hit all the proper emotional notes, really thought this was going to be in my top ten, but that's just how strong this year was.
13 Assassins - Takeshi Miike
My favorite Miike film is Ichi the Killer, but I'm going to have concede that this is easily his best film. Taking his raw approach to violence and Toning down the quirk just a bit Miike has made the best samurai film since Kurosawa. Yah thats what I said. Any other year this would have easily made the top ten and it kills me not to be able to fit it in.
The Last Circus - Alex De La Iglesias
Cinematic lunacy abounds across the screen as this absurd take of sad clown versus funny clown takes us on a wild adventure set against the last days of the Franco regime. This was in my top ten for a long time until I saw a few heavy hitters at the end of the year, but that doesn't take away from the power of this film. De La Iglesias is telling stories like no other and making them incredibly entertaining and full of life. I don't even know where to begin other than the film starts off with clowns rushing into battle with swords and guns, and he makes you buy into this slightly surreal world. He definitely has some Fellini inspiration, but with a darker sense of humor.
One last thought - yah yah there's still plenty more great films to talk about but this about wraps up my year end piece. There's one mare article which should be up shortly, focusing on two films that were made a year or a few year ago but were jut released in the US on DVD this year. But then that's it.