Top 10 of 2011 – Adelaide’s Picks
7. Andromeda Strain (1971)
I cannot believe that I have not seen this movie before now. Based on a Michael Crichton novel, it is about a virus or something from space that comes to Earth and clots everyone’s blood. What it is and where it came from are pretty immaterial actually; it’s about science and the discovery of how to combat this thing. Pulse-pounding research in action! Sound boring? I was on the edge of my seat for the whole thing. And it features David Wayne, an actor I adore.
6. Bill Cunningham New York (2010)
Bill Cunningham rides around New York on a bicycle taking fashion pictures for the New York Times. He sleeps on a cot at his small Carnegie Hall apartment, goes to church every Sunday, and lives an ascetic’s life dedicated to documenting fashion. This movie is a fascinating portrait of a man who has sacrificed what most of us consider a “normal” life to single-mindedly pursue his passion.
5. Gun Crazy (1950)
Bart Tare (John Dall) loves guns. I mean really LOVES them. He meets Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins), who also loves guns. Sparks fly, and then the trouble starts. Left on his own, Bart probably wouldn’t get into that much trouble, but Annie has a somewhat more ambiguous moral compass and aims to get what she wants however she wants, including bank robbery and murder. This is one of two movies on this list that were mentioned by Brandi Sperry in one of her and Allen’s Top 5 segments, and I just wanna say thanks. Love, love, love this movie. The chemistry between Dall and Cummins is hot, and the story takes full advantage of it. Their love is doomed, and everybody except for Annie can see it. Just writing about it makes me want to watch it again.
4. An Education (2009)
When I was 16, I had a 21-year-old boyfriend. When Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan), the main character in An Education, was 16, she had a thirty-something boyfriend. Who also happened to be a con man. And had a wife. Most coming-of-age stories are about the sexual precociousness of young men, so it’s rare—and wonderful—to see a young woman get the same treatment. Jenny is bright and driven and wants so much more than British suburbia in the early 1960s can offer. David Goldman is older, more experienced, and a complete bounder. He’s not a totally bad guy, but he wants things he can’t have and has a habit of going after them anyway. I connected with this movie because I really enjoyed seeing a young woman choose experience over safety. My friends and I made similar choices, but I almost never see that reflected on the big screen. Risk takers are often only portrayed as bad girls, and it was refreshing to see a girl who wasn’t punished for wanting a more adventurous life.