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There is no point in doing a film of the year 2011 list, because most of the 2011 films reach me way too late – I can do a list if the best films that I saw and that were originally released in 2011 maybe early 2013… but anyway, as I keep updating my “ranking” of the films that I have actually seen, why not praise those that were the best and were actually released AND seen by me in 2011.

The best film I have seen over the last two years is still the same that topped that ranking last year (and that would have kicked “White Ribbon” off that list two years ago, had the list existed then). Nothing has nearly been as impressive as  “Winter’s Bone”, and how could anything top this masterpiece? But there is Le Quattro Volte (2011), the silent goat-herding experiment, I have only this year seen Fish Tank (2010) (another Dameselle in Distress movie – it was pointed out to me that “Winter’s Bone” and “Fish Tank” topping my list tells a lot about me… I suppose the lost goat baby was also technically a goat girl teenager) and I stumbled across Certified Copy (2010) as the most unlikely of my favourite films. I would never see that film intentionally, the same way I only saw “Before Sunset” by accident because I happened to have a ticket for the Berlin Festival premiere – and not only are both films my most surprising favourites, but of course also strongly related in how they take you on a strange ride, a talkative one.

The year was a disaster for disaster movies and busted all the blockbusters. I checked what the best-ranked action / adventure movie was I saw, and I find a bit of Hanna (2011), and my most fun movie of the year Real Steel (2011) (not as good on second viewing, especially if the second viewing is not in a movie theatre – but man, when Twin Cities gets it, it is still time to throw the doughnuts at the screen and cheer!). A bit behind these is Duncan Jones’ surprising follow-up to “Moon”, Source Code (2011), which had its flaws and suffered from the “Run Lola Run” syndrome (knowing that you have to have all these repetitions, but not really having the perfect solution for keeping the tension up). There was one film that I saw in 2D and wished it had been 3D (Piranha 3D), and at least one case where I wished I had found a 2D screening Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010-11).

Animated movies were not very good this year:  “Cars 2” was even more boring than “Cars”, “Rio” was nicely coloured and that was that, and “Rango” was a bit more edgy, but also not fully satisfactory. I will need to catch up on the smaller productions, I look forward to “Chico and Rita”, and have only seen a little bit of “When Sita got the Blues”, plus “The Illusionist” and “My Dog Tulip” waiting in the wings. It can only get better.

Hors Category, as they say in the Tour de France, are some films I particularly enjoyed, for various reasons:  Trollhunter (2011), Red State (2011) or Beginners (2011) all contributed one way or the other to an interesting movie experience.

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  1. […] The Movies of the Year, or the previous rather, and a bit of the one before […]

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