Archives For Best of 2011

This year, I got to participate in a critics group list. Well, not technically a real critics group, but it’s fun to look at it that way. CAST stands for Cinema Appreciation Society of Toronto. Basically, it’s a collection of bloggers and film lovers from around Toronto, organized by James McNally of Toronto Screen Shots, and called upon to deliver a ranked list of 2011 films. The results of the bollot process went online yesterday, and it’s a pretty interesting list. Come with me as I take a look at some of my favourite rankings.

First off, here’s the list:

1. Drive
2. The Artist
3. The Tree of Life
4. Attack the Block
5. Take Shelter
6. Midnight in Paris
7. Melancholia
8. Shame
9. Beginners
10. Martha Marcy May Marlene
11. Hanna
12. Café de Flore
13. The Raid
14. Blue Valentine
15. Bridesmaids
16. The Muppets
17. The Illusionist
18. The Descendents
19. Super 8
20. Contagion
21. The Interrupters
22. Tabloid
23. Hugo
24. The Trip
25. Meek’s Cutoff

Click to read my thoughts

I think I need to preface this list by saying that I hate lists. I’ve discussed this before. I had ranking films. It’s the worst thing ever, and it’s almost always arbitrary. I could labour over my rankings for hours and then be switching things back around the next day. But hey, it’s the end of the year and if I’m going to talk about my favourite films, might as well put them in a list, rank them, and earn some praise and scorn.

(As a side-note, I tried to leave off films from TIFF that haven’t gotten a theatrical release yet, but there are a few exceptions in cases where I really wanted to highlight them.)

Also, I think it’s appropriate now to comment on what kind of year 2011 for film. Well, I think it was a pretty phenomenal year, but also an odd one. There weren’t really any films that stood out as obvious #1s, but I think a lot of that is because there were so many amazing films that were all great for very different reasons.

To give you an idea of just how good I thought this year was, while my top film is pretty well solid, any of the films in my 2-15 would likely have been Top 5 level any other year. In fact, there are a couple of films that just missed my Top 20 from earlier this year that I swore would make my Top 10. It’s been THAT good a year. Anyway…

On to the list! Click to read more