After gorging on films over the last few weeks, and having seen a larger number of films at festivals than has been the case in recent years, I feel somewhat qualified to offer up a ten best list. The following is in approximate order of preference.
1. The Descendants: It’s been a long time since I’ve been so moved by a film that I have gone to see it multiple times. The film’s portrayal of a family in crisis is as realistic as anything I’ve ever seen on film. And even though the surface level of the story is what one might call depressing, underneath it is a life-affirming exploration of the regret we all feel at momentous times in our lives. This is not only Alexander Paine’s most fully realized film, it is also George Clooney’s most nuanced performance. It’s far more entertaining than it has any right to be.
2. The Interrupters: Arguably a better film than “Hoop Dreams.” Now, with two masterpieces under his belt, Steve James rises to the first ranks of documentarians. Continue reading “The 10 Best Films of 2011 (in my humble opinion)”