Tag Archives: 2011 films

The Best Films of 2011 (updated)

It comes 10 months into 2012 but, for the first time, I am confident enough to make my own list of the “best” films of 2011.

Imagine how important it was for me to wait until now to publish this list, that the film that eventually ends up at the top is one that I only managed to watch 3 weeks ago. Without it, this list would have been a crime against my own taste.

Instead of giving you a top 10 or a top 20, I simply give you a run-down of all of the films that received, at the very least, a 4/5 (very good) in my rating system. The result is that there are 17 films out of the almost 100 films from 2011 that I managed to watch, 11 of which received a 4/5, five films received a 4.5/5 and only one received the very rare 5/5.

Despite still missing some highly praised films released the previous solar year (it is impossible to cover them all), I now give you my favorite films of 2011 (and why they are) when we are already in October 2012:

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Film Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

Genre: Drama, Horror

Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller

Director: Lynn Ramsay

There is something wrong with Kevin, the director knows it, the camera knows it and we are certain of it. Eva, his mother, played by a glum Tilda Swinton, feels that there is something wrong but she can’t quite pinpoint it or act upon it. From the moment she was pregnant, she was not at ease, perhaps even saddened at the fact that her carefree lifestyle of travels had been suddenly replaced by a growing fetus inside her uterus. Franklin, her husband, played by an aloof John C. Reilly, could not be happier about the birth of their first child, unaware of his wife’s discomfort.

During the first years of child rearing, even before he can speak fluently, Kevin seems rebellious and distant towards Eva, almost looking at her with a mixture of anger and disdain. Maybe he can feel her mother’s hesitation during pregnancy? As Kevin grows older, he seems to begin to grow ever more distant, defiant and hurtful, seemingly preferring the company of his father, the ever-loving and increasingly permissive Franklin.

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Film Review: The Tree of Life (2011)

Genre: Drama/Spiritual

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken

Director: Terrence Malick

The Tree Of Life is one of the most challenging films I would ever have the pleasure to review, a cinematic poem of incredible visual beauty that dares to examine our place in the Universe through the eyes of a boy growing up in Texas during the 1950s.

Only the fifth feature-length film of Terrence Malick’s long career, The Tree Of Life is as ambitious as it is personal, feeling like the director’s quest to find God in the memory of a fading childhood.

Malick’s exploration is a quiet one, using his impressive cast as vessels of emotion that speak through their eyes and through their touch, more than by the content of their words. For most of its running time, The Tree Of Life centers on Jack, the oldest son of an American southern family. He is shown as an older man reminiscing about his childhood and the loss of a brother, played by a nearly silent Sean Penn; and as a young kid, played by the very capable child actor Hunter McCracken, who seems to grow up in front of our eyes, balancing two very different parents and two younger siblings.

Continue reading Film Review: The Tree of Life (2011)