The tragic comedy of the first half followed by the cosmic tragedy of the second.
Style over substance in all the right ways.
3. The Tree of Life
Flawed Masterpiece but a masterpiece all the same, one of the finest films about our briefest moment in time.
4. The Turin Horse
Bleak and unrelenting end to a master filmmakers craft but the opening shot alone is unforgettable.
5. Take Shelter
Continues the “end is nigh” theme of the year with intense performances, chillingly atmospheric dream/premonitions and a mood that seems to best evoke the uneasy state of America in 2011.
6. Midnight in Paris
Woody’s best and most charming film in 20 years. Time travel for the sentimental dreamers in us all. The Bunuel gag had me on the floor.
The least plausible and yet most emotionally satisfying film of the year. Cliche after cliche somehow merge with the fine performances to find something alive and sad between the brotherly blows. A real sleeper!
8. Kid with a Bike
The simplicity and hope that underlie the Dardenne’s latest are a welcome change to their continually fascinating work.
9. Martha Marcy May Marlene
Parallel storytelling used so simply that it really creates a fascinating cause and effect reflected upon the protagonists face in every frame. An excellent first feature.
10. Road to Nowhere
I’m a huge Monte Hellman fan so was relieved to find his latest film had all the ambiguity and layers of his greatest works. The pacing and mystery create a self-referential cinematic puzzle that has kept me thinking long after.
Note: I saw Certified Copy last year and it was my #1, it seems to be on most lists this year- if it was on mine again it would still top the list.
Close behind: Tinker tailor Soldier Spy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, The Innkeepers, Insidious, Shame, Another Earth, Bellflower, Moneyball, Answers to Nothing, Once Upon A Time in Anatolia, The Skin I live in, Rubber.
Notable yet to see: The Artist, The Descendents, Hugo, The Girls With The Dragon Tattoo, A Separation and tons of great inide / art cinema I didn’t get to yet due to a year consumed watching Horror films.Read less