So, only half a year after everyone else published their lists, I am finally going to throw in my two cents. I apologize for my tardiness, but there were things I had to see first. These articles are actually not so much about 2011 as about the 2011-2012 awards season. If a film was given an Oscar qualifying run in 2011 but didn't come out in theaters until 2012, it still counts. Foreign Language Films nominated this year also fall into the Best of 2011 consideration, even though most of them didn't actually release until 2012 (in one case, several months in). I didn't want to go on record with opinions formed largely in ignorance. As I write this, I have just finished my 136th film in contention herein (it was the Korean film Poetry, review forthcoming). I still have twenty-two films to watch that qualify, but it's the end of June, and NO ONE will care about last year by the time A Cat in Paris becomes available on DVD.
Besides the aforementioned Animated Feature nominee, there are a few other films I think I should make it clear that I have not seen yet before people start howling that I left this or that out. Foreign Language Film nominees In Darkness (been at the top of my Netflix cue for a month, nothing so far), Footnote, and Monsieur Lazhar are movies I am woefully unprepared to consider. The same goes for Documentary Feature nominee Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and winner (yikes!) Undefeated. Two non-contenders at the Kodak this year that I regret having missed out on so far just as much are Margaret and Le Havre, especially Margaret. Most of the other films on the "still to see" list are much further under the radar.
In an effort, however, to catch a few of my unseens before they have missed their opportunity to shine here, I am going to split this series up into four weekly posts, to be spread out throughout the month of July. My last post of each week, be it on Friday or Saturday, I will release another part of the Best Of 2011 series. We start with the techs, because the indie, foreign, and documentary films that dominate the population of my "Unseen 2011" list are most unlikely to factor in there. The next week we will move on to the acting awards (sorry Anna Paquin, but Margaret doesn't come out until August). There are a few more than just four categories here, so look for some people to slide into recognition that you might not expect. Week Three will be the climax of the series as we cover writing, directing, and best and worst film of the year lists. Finally, in Week Four we will do a post script covering the genres. This MIGHT allow me to catch Footnote before the final post.
In addition to "Best of"'s, each category will also have one film with the "Worst of" honors named. Probably a tie or three in there, but except for Picture I tried to stick with one choice. If it's hard to wade through all of my reviews to find my top recommendations, you can do it quickly in this little series of articles. If you watch movies like I do, you'll hopefully be reminded of some greatness that had faded a bit with time. If you are an opinionated spirit, please feel free to challenge me in the comments. I would love to get some conversation and community going on this blog.
I know you're out there, is this thing on?