Last year I saw a big ol' pile of movies. In part I did this because many of you asked me to rank not just summer blockbusters, but movies all year long. But I also really enjoy going to the movies. Even the bad ones can be fun to complain about, though I do prefer to heap praise on a film I enjoyed.
The very last film I saw during 2010 was True Grit, and I'm glad I saw it. The performances were wonderful, the dialog was amazing, and the action was both thrilling and horrifyingly brutal. I'm unfamiliar with the original book and I've never seen the 1969 John Wayne film, so this movie had to stand or fail on its own merits. It stood nicely. Grittily, even.
True Grit comes in at #7 on my 2010 "how much I enjoyed myself" rankings, and that list is now set in stone. I have a few complaints with it, but they are things that I'll save for the comments thread because they include spoilers.
The very first film I saw in 2011 was Season of the Witch. This was not as fine a movie as True Grit was, though there were similarities. Both movies had rough men outdoors, riding horses, and performing acts of violence. Both movies had a young woman in them. Both movies had strong morality elements in them, and included "disdain for authority" among their themes. But if you haven't seen either one, let me recommend True Grit to you this weekend.
Still, Season of the Witch was fun, and fares much better than the second film I saw last year. Sure, some of the dialog was stilted, and sometimes the actors delivered their lines as if they were saying the words in a language neither they nor their director actually understood (note: I'm talking about the English dialog here. The phrases of Latin were delivered quite convincingly.)
But I liked it. I had fun. It did not disappoint. So for now, at least, it comes in at #1 on my list of movies I've seen in 2011.
I expect it to drop like a rock.