The Best Movies of 2011

There were two movies that I saw in 2011 that were close to perfection for me.  Incendies is a French-Canadian film which takes place in a Middle Eastern country, probably Lebanon, and focuses on a conflict between Christians and Arabs, presented as a family suspense story.  The other movie could not be more opposite as entertainment than its French-Canadian counterpart, and it is Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, about the “Golden Age” in retrospect in that magnetic city.
On a slightly lesser level are Money Ball, Alan Sorkin’s movie about business and baseball; Restrepo, Tim Hetherington’s documentary report on American soldiers in Afghanistan; My Week with Marilyn, the English film about Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier, played brilliantly by Michele Williams and Kenneth Branagh; The Artist and Hugo, both films about the silent era with the former being Belgian and the latter by Martin Scorsese; Page 1:The New York Times, a cinema verite exploration of the newspaper industry; and Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, the Part 2 and final chapter of the Potter oeuvre, starring Daniel Radcliffe, with a focus on our sensibility for the future.
Also of interest to me was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, a detailed and challenging presentation of the John Le Carre book; A Dangerous Method, ,which contrasted Freud’s interest in rationality to Jung’s parapsychology; Butiful, a stunning Spanish melodrama about poverty and redemption, featuring Javier Barden; The Lincoln Lawyer, a Los Angeles movie with a striking performance by Matthew McConaughey; and Georgia O’Keeffe starring Joan Allen as the artist and Jeremy Irons as Stieglitz, which was from a previous year but I saw it in 2011 on Netflix.

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