When I first started this blog, I wrote a lot about movies. In 2012 I have written almost no film reviews or musings. My current theory is that 2011 was not a great year for movies.
I first got Netflix back in January 2011, and I used it to catch up on films from the past year. I worked my way through a slew of Oscar nominees, wonderful films like The Social Network, The Town, and True Grit. Maybe I got a little spoiled. When 2012 began, I figured that Netflix would serve the same purpose: allowing me to enjoy the best films of the previous year.
Then something strange happened. Months went by, and I found myself feeling lukewarm toward almost every movie I saw. The trend continued this week when I watched My Week with Marilyn and felt mildly entertained but not truly impressed. What can be the cause of these symptoms? Have I just seen too many movies in the past year? Working full-time allows me to watch a new Netflix DVD less than once a week, so I find that explanation improbable. Maybe it has something to do with my state of mind. Even if that’s a contributing factor, I can’t deny the fact that the main cause is probably the movies themselves.
Drive grabbed my attention with its cool vibe and unexpected music choices, but the protagonist’s life quickly dissolved into senseless violence that was incredibly difficult to watch. Crazy, Stupid, Love had its moments of humor and sweetness, but one too many storylines took screen time away from the characters that were actually interesting. Despite its fragmented structure, The Tree of Life had me on-board for the first hour, but I never felt the pieces come together in a satisfying way. The Help was a decent adaptation of the novel, but I expected more from Viola Davis in her much-nominated performance. Breaking Dawn, Part 1 . . . well, I didn’t really expect that to be good.
Of course, there’s an exception. One film that I really loved was Moneyball. It’s a sports movie in which you see almost no sports being played. All the action is behind the scenes, the deals and deceptions that keep Major League Baseball running. As a girl who was raised on baseball, I was riveted every step of the way. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are a perfect one-two punch. I love to see Jonah Hill taking on a meatier role and receiving some recognition as an actor.
Time to step it up, 2011. Maybe the good movies are out there, and I just haven’t found them yet. As long as the little red envelopes appear in my mailbox, I will keep trying.