‘Reel’ opinions of 2011 cinema

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Maddison Shook | staff writer

The nominations for the 84th Academy Awards were announced on Jan. 24, determining the best there was in 2011 cinema. The following films were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse.

Many of these films have not been seen by the average moviegoer, let alone heard of. Many feel that the discrepancy between what critics think are the best films and what the public praises has grown greater and greater as the years have gone by.  Do students at APU agree with the critics or does that same disagreement over what makes a film great exist here as well?

Most students at APU have only seen and heard of the more commercial nominees such as The Help, Hugo, War Horse and Midnight in Paris. Students had mixed opinions of whether the list of nominees is a fair representation of the best movies of 2011. Katherine Rose, a sophomore theatre arts major, thought it was fair since a variety of styles of film were nominated, whereas Sarah Hyde, an undeclared freshman, that some more edgy films of the year such as Drive and Girl with The Dragon Tattoo were snubbed of a nomination.

“Some always seem to slip through the cracks though, but the ones nominated are all very good” Mat Arnold, a freshman cinematic arts major, said. “Ideally the movies nominated are those that either challenge us or capture the human condition in a meaningful way.”

Critics such as Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger predict that The Artist is most likely to win the Best Picture Oscar. “Making a silent, black and white film appealing to this audience in this day and age seems basically impossible, but I’m so glad that someone had the courage to produce a film like it, to go back to the origins of film. It was just great” Hyde.

However, there were many other films that students thought to be the best of the year.

“The Help was very, very touching. It was very well done, and truly had something good to say without the message being too forceful and blatant,” Jeffrey Holmes, a junior cinematic arts major, said. “Also, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is a film that most people will be sickened by and won’t understand, but is amazing if you do grasp it.”

Students also were fans of some of the major blockbuster films of the year. “I really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. It sucked you into a world of mystery, detail and problem solving with, of course, the extremely talented Robert Downey Jr.,” Rose said.

This raises the question: What truly make a movie great? Students also enjoy the escapism that comes from a good film. “A great movie is one that captures you and takes you into a different world for 90-120 minutes. It is a film that engages you and makes you feel like you are in that world, not just watching it.” Holmes said.

“A truly great movie is a movie that is entertaining, just grips you from start to finish and you leave exhilarated. It is only when you look back on the movie that you see just how deep and insightful the story really was,” Arnold said.

The world will find out which film will be the best of 2011 when the 84th Academy Awards airs on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Original Article: http://www.theclause.org/2012/02/reel-opinions-of-2011-cinema/