After the best Canadian films and the best performances, 2011 in Review ends with my picks for the best films of the year. I made a slight gaff, though, as I broke my own rules by including Take this Waltz as a 2011 film during my picks for Canadian films. I usually follow the rule that a film is categorized by year of theatrical/DVD release so as not to shut it off from discussion before everybody else has a chance to see it. I’m okay with allowing Sarah Polley to double-dip, though. Likewise, Jane Fonda’s comeback in Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding will be the performance against which all others are judged in 2012. (A pretty high bar, if you ask me.) 2011 was a decent year for movies, but not a great one, I think. Only three films earned a five-star rating, as opposed to the eight or so dished out for 2010; however, this may be a product of frequent criticism that I like too many films. It was a good year for movies nontheless, as five or so films were duking it out for the tenth spot, until I saw a last minute goodie. Selecting my top spot was an easy choice, though, for one film stuck with me all year.
The Top Ten Films of 2011:
1. Midnight in Paris
A dream for Woody Allen fans and casual moviegoers alike, Midnight in Paris brings out the best of the director’s work. As always, this film by the Woodman is another musing on love and death; however, it’s also a walkthrough of the very best aspects of his films. The neuroses, the obsequious banter, and the high-falutin’ pseudointellectuals are prime Woody staples, but they haven’t felt this fresh since Annie Hall. Starring Owen Wilson in fine form as Woody’s surrogate, Midnight in Paris is a nostalgic walk through the city of love, but it shows the dangers of living in the past, too, as Allen uses his finest achievements for new ideas, rather than to recycle old ones. Still going strong at age 77, Allen is smarter, wittier, and funnier than ever in Midnight in Paris.