2011 CAST Awards Announced

January 2, 2012 — Leave a comment

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

So I guess I should say that I love the #1 choice. While Drive was not my top film of the year, it was easily in my Top 10. I love the film and I love that it captured enough hearts to land so high on this list. The same can be said for Attack the Block, a film I’ve come to appreciate more the more times I see it. The Muppets may not have made the Top 10, but it got into the Top 20 and that makes me happy. People clearly approached it as a legitimately great film. Hanna is a wonderful surprise. I was worried that it would be forgotten by most people, but obviously Joe Wright’s masterful film has stuck in people’s minds.

There are five films in the list that I haven’t yet seen. Café de Flore, The Raid, The Descendants, The Interrupters, Tabloid. I can’t wait to see all four. In terms of films I wish weren’t on the list? Well, I think The Artist is a light bit of decently constructed fluff and not much more. I hated Beginners, but I realize I’m in the minority on that one. Everything else, I’m pretty much cool with.

The biggest disappointments come more from the fact that certain films simply weren’t seen by enough people. War Horse, my favourite film of the year, was only seen by seven people, and so it came in 82nd. A Separation, which hasn’t opened in Toronto yet even though it played TIFF, also came in very low. Margaret, my true #2 of the year, only played at the Cumberland for two weeks and nobody went to see it. So few, in fact, that the film didn’t even make it through the initial nomination round. I hope that going into 2012 more people catch up with these great films. The other big disappointment is that The Skin I Live In didn’t make the list. It’s a fantastic film that I wish was a lager part of the conversation in the film world right now.

You can go see the original announcement of the CAST Awards at Toronto Screen Shots, and you can see an incredibly detailed breakdown of the full list and ballots, including my own, by checking out this PDF. (Please note, that my ballot is not exactly the same as the Top 20 I posted on this blog.)

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