Jessica Day George

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Top 11- Part 1: Movies!

Because it's 2011- in short: the FUTURE!- I have decided to not just do one big post of my top tens of the year, but to do several weeks of posts in which I give you top ELEVEN picks in movies and books! YAY! Aren't I nice? (Yes. Yes I am.)

So we'll start off with movies, because I am still mulling my book lists and how I want to divide them up and such (All adult books together? Separated by genre? It's a puzzler!), we'll start with movies, simple and straightforward. We have two small kids, so we only go to movies if a)the kids can come or b)we REALLY want to see it. (Or, actually, c) we REALLY need a night away from the kids.) Some of you are wondering, too, why an author is putting up her movie picks. Well, you see, kids, I am a big movie fan. I minored in theatre & film briefly in college, and have taken film classes since high school. I also used to do review movies on an amateur movie review site called along with my husband and a few of our discerning friends. So, in short, I think I'm pretty awesome when it comes to separating the winners from the duds. I mean, I've seen The Umbrellas of Cherbourg AND Woman in the Dunes! (I really, really cannot express my hatred of Woman in the Dunes enough, by the way. Though I believe it is exceeded by my hatred of La Strada. Also Mac and Me.)

Oh, and here's my little disclaimer: not all of these movies are suitable for all audiences. Please check the ratings and consider your own age/personal tastes before viewing. These are just my favorites, they may not be yours.

And so, without further babble . . .

Jessica's Top ELEVEN Movies of 2010!

1. True Grit (The DIALOGUE! Oh, the DIALOGUE!)
2. How To Train Your Dragon (A classic hero's journey, with humor, pathos, and great animation. Also: a dragon movie that doesn't suck! Wahoo!)
3. Toy Story 3 (This movie brought me to tears at least four times. And I'm not ashamed of that.)
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (The first of the Harry Potter movies that, frankly, could have stood alone as a great movie without the book fandom to support it.)
5. Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton's bizarro sequel to the original story was creepy and fun and bizarre . . . the acting is as delightful as the craziness.)
6. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (It's literally a graphic novel come to life. Or a graphic novel, video game, and anime film mashed together . . . )
7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Great cast, fun settings/costumes, and it's hands down the best of the Narnia films.)
8. Tron: Legacy (I'm a big nerd, a huge fan of the original film, and a huge fan of Jeff Bridges. What's not to love?)
9. Inception (An amazing achievement in writing and filmmaking. But it's low on the list because . . . well, after a long day, what would YOU rather watch? Johnny Depp being weird as the Mad Hatter, or Leonardo DiCaprio feeling bad about his wife? Uh huh, thought so.)
10. The Millenium Trilogy: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, the Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (Difficult to watch because of the graphic nature of the violence in the first film, but nevertheless a riveting and amazingly faithful adaptation of the bestselling books. The lead characters are so perfectly cast that I can't imagine how the Hollywood version attempt to improve on them!)
11. Tangled (A charming fairy tale in the classic Disney style! Both my kids were hooked, and so was I!)

What were YOUR favorite movies this year?


SandyKay said...

True Grit is definitely my #1. And seeing the John Wayne one made me appreciate the 2010 version even more. And HTTY Dragon has turned my girls into true dragon-lovers, in preparation for one day reading your books, of course!

ladybugz613 said...

Well, you now have another reader! I've never read blogs before, it seems sort of stalkerish somehow. But I stumbled upon yours while helping my 9 year old daughter with her homework. This month's genre is Sci/Fi or Fantasy, and she needed to include information about the author of her book (Dragon Slippers), and we found your site. I found myself reading long after she was finished with her assignment. You have a delightful style, and a wonderful sense of humor. I can't wait to read the rest of your books, and follow your adventures in blogging.

I love your movie choices. I've either seen most of them, or they're on my to do list. True Grit was really #1?? I loved the original but was a little hesitant to see the new one. But now I can see that I'd better put it on the list as well!

Jaleh D said...

I LOVED How to Tame Your Dragon. My husband and I chose it to be our son's first movie-in-the-theater. And he loved it too. (Even if the theater seat did try to eat him and I was no help from giggling too hard) Mega bummed that I had no HTTYD calender to sell at the kiosk. I mean really. How could we not have one when the movie was so awesome? Sigh.

c'est moi said...

Yay, True Grit! Yay, HTTYDragon! Yay, Scott Pilgrim! Yay, Toy Story 3! Triple Yay, GirlwtDragonTattoo! I also really liked Despicable Me and Megamind. I was okay with Alice, but the dancing at the end was a very near deal-killer for me. I think it's one of my all-time LEAST favorite scenes in ANY movie.... I liked Narnia and Harry Potter, but didn't love them. I really, really didn't like Inception. When I look back on the year, it seems to me that I mostly loved animated films and then then Coen brothers. Not a bad year, for all of those, but otherwise, kinda meh.

Anonymous said...


I've really enjoyed reading your blog and can't wait to read even more.

As for the films, I agree with you on every count but one: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I love that book. It may be the best of the movies thus far, but I still feel like they slaughtered it. Throughout the film, I felt like the screenwriter/director, etc pulled all of the pages out a copy of the book, shuffled them together, dropped them and then picked them up. Then, realizing they had to tie it all together, they threw in a quest, entirely ignoring the fact that the the book already had one.

Looooved Tangled, though. Thought it was adorable.