Stuff I loved this year

I didn’t do nearly as much cultural stuff as I’d have liked this year, but below are some of the things I loved (and a few that I didn’t) in 2011. 
Best Films
Bridesmaids
Kristen Wiig is a genius.  I still think back to the wedding dress shop scene and laugh out loud. Comparing this to the Hangover is like comparing 30 Rock to Two Pints of Lager.
The Skin I Live In
Weird, insane and no less brilliant because of it.  I can understand why it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – the man I went with was too disturbed to speak afterwards – an added bonus.
True Grit
Coens back on form after the totally over-rated A Serious Man.  I didn’t think I could love Jeff Bridges any harder, post-Lebowski, but he’s almost as brilliant as Hailee Steinfeld.
Films I missed but wish I hadn’t
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Senna
Drive
Films I saw but wish I hadn’t
Potiche
Contagion
Midnight in Paris

(By the way, how sharp is this interior at the new Everyman cinema in Maida Vale?  When I first started going to the cinema, you were lucky if they had loo roll in the bogs.  Now it’s like walking into a double page spread in Elle Deco.)

Theatre
Jerusalem
Mesmerising, extraordinary, moving, hilarious and brilliant.  I had no idea how exceptional Mark Rylance was.  As good as the reviewers said.
TV
The Killing – Season 1
I loved the fact that at the end of every episode I was convinced I knew who the killer was.  And I’ll have you know I was right the first time (but not the following 18 times…)  Season 2 a disappointment, though I could watch Lund forever.
The Crimson Petal and The White
Beautiful, evocative, brilliantly cast.  Romola Garai was exceptional.  Chris O’ Dowd was so good in this, I could almost forgive his Oirish accent in Bridesmaids.
30 Rock
Alec, Alec, Alec, Tina, Alec, Kenneth, Alec, Tracy, Alec.
Music
Adele – 21
It really annoys me when blokes I know say this is an average album, just because it’s hugely popular and mainstream.  The reason it’s so popular is because it has heart and soul and passion and honesty and rawness, and just because something’s mainstream doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cack.  On a separate note it seems that everyone I really love this year is female (other than Daniel Craig.  Oh, and I guess Mark Rylance.  And Alec.)
Books
A Visit from The Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
Original, funny, clever, moving, brave.

The Illumination – Kevin Brockmeier
Original, sad, clever, ambitious, brave.
The Cure – Rachel Genn

Original, intelligent, poetic, wise, brave.

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