Friday, December 16, 2011

Film Comment's Best Films of 2011

Film Comment surveyed over 120 film writers and critics to come up with their year-end list of best films. They produced two lists, one for released films and another for films that haven't yet been released, at least not in the United States.

Topping the list of released films is the mildly surprising choice of The Tree of Life, as it can be a polarizing film and the group surveyed was rather large. Rounding out the top ten in order Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past LivesMelancholiaA SeparationA Dangerous MethodMysteries of LisbonCertified CopyMeek's CutoffHugo, and Poetry. Apart from Hugo by Martin Scorsese, none of these selections is a mainstream film.

The list of top unreleased film is headed by Jafar Panahi's This Is Not a Film. It is followed by The Turin HorseOnce Upon A Time in Anatolia, The Kid with a Bike, The Loneliest Planet, Miss Bala, Footnote, Kill List, Sleeping Sickness and Play.

Canadian films that made the list were David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, Denis Villeneuve's Incendies, Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz, and Denis Côté's Curling.



The Top 10
1. The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick, U.S.
2. Uncle Boonmee, Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directedy by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/U.K./France/Germany
3. Melancholia, directed by Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany
4. A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi, Iran
5. A Dangerous Method, directed by David Cronenberg, Canada/Germany
6. Mysteries of Lisbon, directed by Raúl Ruiz, France/Portugal
7. Certified Copy, directed by Abbas Kiarostami, France/Italy/Belgium
8. Meek's Cutoff, directed by Kelly Reichardt, U.S.
9. Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese, U.S.
10. Poetry, directed by Lee Chang-dong, South Korea

The Next 20
11. Film Socialisme, directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland
12. Le Havre, directed by Aki Kaurismäki, Finland/France
13. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, directed by Andrei Ujica, Romania
14. Le quattro volte, directed by Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy/Germany/Switzerland
15. The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne, U.S.
16. Nostalgia for the Light, directed by Patricio Guzmán, Chile/France/Germany
17. A Brighter Summer Day, directed by Edward Yang, Taiwan/Japan
18. Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen, Spain/U.S.
19. Take Shelter, directed by Jeff Nichols, U.S.
20. Margaret, directed by Kenneth Lonergan, U.S.
21. Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, U.K.
22. Drive, directed by 
Nicolas Winding Refn, U.S.
23. Cave of Forgotten Dreams, directed by Werner Herzog, U.S.
24. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, directed by Tomas Alfredson, U.K./France/Germany
25. To Die Like a Man, directed by João Pedro Rodrigues, Portugal/France
26. The Interrupters, directed by Steve James, U.S.
27. The Artist
, directed by Michel Hazanavicius, France
28. Tuesday, After Christmas, directed by Radu Muntean, Romania
29. Aurora, directed by Cristi Puiu, Romania
30. Weekend, directed by Andrew Haigh, U.K.

The Rest
31. The Skin I Live In, directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Spain
32. City of Life and Death
, directed by Lu Chuan, China/Hong Kong
33. Contagion, directed by Steven Soderbergh, U.S.
34. Of Gods and Men
, directed by Xavier Beauvois, France
35. Martha Marcy May Marlene, directed by Sean Durkin, U.S.
36. Bridesmaids, directed by Paul Feig, U.S.
37. The Trip, directed by Michael Winterbottom, U.K.
38. Moneyball, directed by Bennett Miller, U.S.
39. The Arbor, directed by Clio Barnard, U.K.
40. The Future
, directed by Miranda July, U.S,/Germany
41. Incendies, directed by Denis Villeneuve, Canada/France
42. Super 8, directed by J.J. Abrams, U.S.
43. United Red Army, directed by Koji Wakamatsu, Japan
44. Road to Nowhere, directed by Monte Hellman, U.S.
45. Tabloid, directed by Errol Morris, U.S.
46. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt, U.S.
47. Terri, directed by Azazel Jacobs, U.S.
48. J. Edgar, directed by Clint Eastwood, U.S.
49. Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, U.K.
50. Pina, directed by Wim Wenders, Germany/France



The Top 10
1.  This Is Not a Film, directed by Jafar Panahi, Iran
2.  The Turin Horse, directed by Béla Tarr, Hungary/France/Switzerland/Germany
3.  Once Upon A Time in Anatolia, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey
4.  The Kid with a Bike, directed by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France
5.  The Loneliest Planet, directed by Julia Loktev, U.S./Germany
6.  Miss Bala, directed by Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico
7.  Footnote, directed by Joseph Cedar, Israel
8.  Kill List, directed by Ben Wheatley, U.K.
9.  Sleeping Sickness, directed by Ulrich Koehler, Germany
10. Play, directed by Rüben Ostlund, Sweden/France/Denmark

The Next 20
11. Policeman, directed by Nadav Lapid, Israel
12. The Color Wheel, directed by Alex Ross Perry, U.S.
13. Two Years At Sea, directed by Ben Rivers, U.K.
14. Alps, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece
15. Goodbye First Love, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany
16. 4:44 Last Day on Earth, directed by Abel Ferrara, U.S.
17. Dreileben, directed by Christophe Hochhaeusler, Christian Petzold & Dominik Graf, Germany
18. The Return, directed by Nathaniel Dorsky, U.S.
19. The Deep Blue Sea, directed by Terence Davies, U.K.
20. Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold, U.K.
21. Corpo Celeste, directed by Alice Rohrwacher, Italy/France/Switzerland
22. Oslo, August, 31st, directed by Joachim Trier, Norway
23. The Student, directed by Santiago Mitre, Argentina
24. Attenberg, directed by Athena Rachel Tsangari, Greece
25. Elena, directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev, Russia
26. You Are Not I, directed by Sara Driver, U.S.
27. Words of Mercury, directed by Jerome Hiler, U.S.
28. Crazy Horse, directed by Frederick Wiseman, France/U.S.
29. Faust, directed by Alexander Sokurov, Russia
30. Seeking the Monkey King, directed by Ken Jacobs, U.S.

The Rest
31. Disorder, directed by Huang Weikei, China
32. Psychohydrography, directed by Peter Bo Rappmund, U.S.
33. Patience (After Sebald), directed by Grant Gee, U.K.
34. Green, directed by Sophia Takal, U.S.
35. We Can’t Go Home Again, directed by Nicholas Ray, U.S.
36. Killer Joe, directed by William Friedkin, U.S.
37. Damsels in Distress, directed by Whit Stillman, U.S.
38. Slow Action, directed by Ben Rivers, U.K.
39. Bonsai, directed by Cristian Jimenez, Chile/France/Argentina/Portugal
40. Michael, directed by Markus Schleinzer, Austria
41. A Simple Life, directed by Ann Hui, Hong Kong
42. Take This Waltz, directed by Sarah Polley, Canada
43. Hors Satan, directed by Bruno Dumont, France
44. Dark Horse, directed by Todd Solondz, U.S.
45. Curling, directed by Denis Côté, Canada
46. Almayer's Folly, directed by Chantal Akerman, France/Belgium
47. 20 Cigarettes, directed by James Benning, U.S.
48. Polisse, directed by Maïwenn, France
49. Without, directed by Mark Jackson, U.S.
50. The Innkeepers, directed by Ti West, U.S.
51. Mildred Pierce, directed by Todd Haynes, U.S.
52. Las Acacias, directed by Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina

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