Posted by: Trisha Leigh | December 20, 2011

Hey! There’s No Liquor on This Bandwagon!

What in good golly Miss Molly is a bandwagon, anyway? Normally I love to look up terms, where they come from, and etymology, but I’m a wee bit tired this evening. It’s probably the eighteen potatoes and half a rotisserie chicken I ate. Alone.

The point is, the end of the year is nigh, and if the Mayans were correct we won’t see the end of another. I don’t actually put any stock in that crap, but hey, some days the prospect doesn’t sound all that horrible.

Again, the point. Yes. End of year lists! Over the next couple of weeks I plan to share with you some of my favorites of 2011: books, movies, television shows old and new. Let’s kick it off with movies, shall we?


5. The Help – I read and loved the book this year too, and the film adaptation certainly did an admirable job, though it downplayed my favorite relationship/interaction in the book. Great performances that I expect to see recognized at the Oscars, and it illuminates a period in our history some people deem best forgotten or glossed over.


4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – Amazing, moving, heartbreaking, and as perfect an ending to this juggernaut franchise as is humanly possible. So sad to see it end, so pleased Hollywood gave the source material the respect it deserved. These adaptations will surely be held up as examples of how to get book to film right for years to come.

3. Super 8 – I loved this movie for all of the many reasons I still adore films like The Goonies, Stand By Me, Now and Then, and any other coming of age drama you can name. The boys are pitch perfect and hilarious; their antics and interaction remind the viewer of the carefree glee we all once felt at the prospect of an afternoon with our friends. Yes, there are moments, especially toward the end, where the story got a bit out of hand, but overall a powerful and honest achievement from one of my Hollywood favorites, J.J.Abrams.

2. Drive – Totally not my typical fare, because it’s full of some of the most graphic violence I think I’ve ever seen on the big screen, but even though it required some eye-covering, there was never a question it belonged on this list. Out of the rather numerous Ryan Gosling films 2011 offered, this is not only my favorite, but the one I believe showcases his true abilities as an actor. The character of Driver in this film is so simple and so complicated at the same time, and his journey combined with the style brought to the screen by director Nicholas Winding Refn are a beautiful thing to behold, in spite of the blood.

1. The Debt – This choice as favorite of 2011 is a little unexpected, but it’s a film that surprised me in a million good ways when I saw it in the theatre, and it’s a story (or several stories) that continue to haunt my thoughts and twist into my dreams. It’s gorgeous and sad. Jessica Chastain (who has had almost as big a year as Ryan Gosling), is my new favorite actress and she is brilliant, guys. I recommend this without any hesitation, despite another hiccup ending.

Honorable Mentions (because we all like films that aren’t going to make any lists) – Horrible Bosses, Sherlock Holmes, Hugo, Fright Night, The Muppets, 50/50, Friends With Benefits, Source Code, Hanna.

Worst Movie I Paid $$ To See in 2011? Beastly, hands down. Although Sucker Punch and Monte Carlo are up there.

This is most likely an incomplete list, because I haven’t seen a ton of flicks out now (Melancholia, Like Crazy, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Another Earth, My Week With Marilyn, We Bought a Zoo) that are likely Oscar contenders. I’ll let you know if one or more of them belong on that top 5 list in the weeks to come.

What about you guys? Agree? Disagree? What were your Top 5 movies of 2011? I’m always up for recommendations!



  1. LOVED Super 8 with a passion. It was the first movie in a long time that had me leaving the theater giddy and smiling like a complete doof.

    Also, I REALLY want to see Melancholia and Another Earth. If you get the chance to see those, do blog about them?

    • Will do, I definitely plan on seeing them both. And yeah. Super 8 was magical. So was Hugo.

  2. I’ve only seen HP and I concur! Outstanding end to an amazing legacy.

    Also, I love that I’m not the only word nerd who actually searches out the meanings and origins of certain idioms. That made my day 🙂

    • I do it all the time! (That’s what she said!) Also, see the other movies, they’re great!

  3. The Muppets should get more than an honorable mention. They have been out of the game since the 90s, their last theatrical release, From Space, was a bit disastrous, and this made up for everything. The music was excellent, the cameos were spot on, the songs were perfect, and the jokes were clean.
    Speaking of clean jokes, I believe that if Horrible Bosses gets an honorable, than Bridesmaids should as well. Easily the most quotable movie I’ve seen this year.

    • If I had a Top 10 The Muppets would have probably been on it. I enjoyed their film, a lot. And I actually didn’t see Bridesmaids. Still want to!

      • Okay, I did see Melancholia (the night you posted this, actually). I’m not going to tell you not to see it, but don’t get too caught up on whether it made the top five or even top ten. It didn’t.
        If you do get around to seeing it, though, I’d love to discuss it, because nobody I know has seen it yet, and I believe it’s definitely worthy of a conversation.
        Or a Recently Viewed Support Group (the subject matter is a bit grim).

  4. I agree with your list. Especially Super 8, which we just saw on video recently (don’t know why we didn’t catch it in the theater — just too busy, I guess) and LOVED. Great movie.

    • Yes, it was just such pure fun! I’m glad you finally saw it!

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