There’s obviously no denying that Quentin Tarantino is a die-hard movie nerd. His encyclopedic knowledge of obscure films can put most experts and historians to shame, and he’s made a career out of fashioning his own movies from bits and pieces of others. Nonetheless, every man has his limits. Judging by his recently-posted Official Top Eleven of 2011 list, Tarantino must not have gotten out to the movies much last year.
As posted on the Quentin Tarantino Archives fan site, the director’s eleven (really twelve) favorite films of last year were:
- ‘Midnight in Paris’
- ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’
- ‘The Skin I Live In’
- ‘X-Men: First Class’
- ‘Young Adult’
- ‘Attack the Block’
- ‘Red State’
- Tie: ‘The Artist’ / ‘Our Idiot Brother’
- ‘The Three Musketeers’
I certainly can’t argue with ‘Midnight in Paris’ or ‘The Artist’. Those were my favorites of the year as well (though I’m a little surprised at Tarantino’s enthusiasm for them). I’ve also heard very good things about ‘Moneyball’ and ‘Warrior’.
‘Attack the Block’ and ‘The Skin I Live In’ (and perhaps ‘Red State’) seem like movies that would be right up Tarantino’s alley, so no surprises there.
But ‘X-Men: First Class’ and ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, really? Even if he considered them to be excellent blockbusters (I’d argue against the latest ‘X-Men’ in that regard, personally), does he honestly think that these were among the best films of the year? Yet he calls ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ (which outclasses either of these two by light years) just an honorable mention? Huh.
I also feel that lumping ‘The Artist’ and ‘Our Idiot Brother’ together as a tie (for “indie comedy,” I suppose) is a disservice to the former.
Tarantino’s inclusion of Paul W.S. Anderson’s goofy re-envisioning of ‘The Three Musketeers’ as a 3D Steampunk action extravaganza feels like a deliberately perverse pick, designed specifically to generate controversy. While I haven’t seen this one yet, I also have a guilty-pleasure soft spot for most of Anderson’s other movies – but I’d never be crazy enough to put one on a best-of list.
The director’s list of honorable mentions span the range from critical favorites (‘The Tree of Life’, ‘The Descendants’) to populist fare (‘Captain America’, ‘M:I-4’) to outright crap (‘Green Lantern’, ‘The Hangover: Part II’).
Beneath this is a “Nice Try Award” category that includes ‘Drive’, ‘Hanna’, ‘Drive Angry’ and ‘Real Steel’. I’m not sure whether that heading is meant to be sarcastic or not.
In Tarantino’s defense, the guy is currently in the middle of making a new movie of his own. Trekking out to the theater may not have been a priority for him last year. And even with that said, he saw more movies than I did.
Read the full article for the rest of Tarantino’s honorable mentions, as well as his picks for the best directors and best screenplays of the year.