The Greatest

This week’s NOW is our big year-end wrap-up issue, wherein we say goodbye to 2011 and look forward to 2012 and the destruction of all life on Earth as predicted by the Mayan calendar.

As I’m obviously in denial about that last thing, why not check out my picks for the ten best movies of 2011? The list — expanded from the compressed version that ran in the paper — is online here. You’ll also findĀ NOW’s master list and top tens from Glenn, Susan and Rad.

Enjoy! And if you’re in a contrary mood, well, that’s what the comment fields are for.

3 thoughts on “The Greatest”

  1. I liked Four Lions more for its audacity than for actually being, you know, funny, which I wish it was more of. I hadn’t even considered it for a theoretical Top 10 list (that I’m not actually going to write), even though a friend of mine was a producer on it and would probably give me shit for overlooking it.

    I’m more enthusiastic for The Artist than you are. I’m almost surprised that it even made your Honorable Mentions, given the apathy you expressed for it in that CTV spot the other day. At least you haven’t called it (yet, that I’ve noticed) “rather dire,” as Glenn Kenny has. (Who, by the way, named Incendies as one of his worst films of the year. WTF is up with that?!)

    I’m afraid that I’m with Walter Chaw on The Adjustment Bureau. Don’t understand your love for that one at all.

    Sadly, I still need to catch up with a lot of the other titles on your list, including Tree of Life, Meek’s Cutoff and Take Shelter.

  2. In fairness, I wasn’t being dismissive of “The Artist” as much as the frothing Oscar push behind it — I agree with Kenny about its generally derivative nature and misaligned acting styles, but I don’t think they’re the weaknesses he says they are. I’ve seen the “OSS 117” films; I know how Hazanavicius operates. He’s a pastiche artist, and everyone who thinks “The Artist” is a serious cinematic throwback is just buying into the Weinstein spin. It’s a pleasant trifle, but it’s not the second coming of the art film.

    Watched “The Adjustment Bureau” again last week. Still think it’s great. And I’m not sure “Four Lions” is supposed to be a comedy all the way through — the realization that the characters’ stupidity isn’t necessarily an impediment to their goals has a way of curdling the laughter halfway through, and what happens after that isn’t exactly played for laughs …

  3. It sounds like your complaints with The Artist have more to do with its marketing than the film itself, which I found delightful on every level – precisely because it doesn’t pretend to be an art film. The point of the thing is to remind us that silent movies were meant to be entertainment, not just something to be dissected in a film studies class. Yes, it’s obnoxious the way that Weinstein’s been pushing it as Oscar bait, but that’s his specialty. Every once in a while, he still manages to latch onto a good movie.

    I liked Four Lions, and I get what you’re saying, but for me it’s one of those black comedies that work better conceptually than in practice.

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