! = recommended
* = all-ages
Don't see your show on our calendar? Contact our calendar editor.
Last year I did a post about my ten favorite films of the past year that sadly hadn't seen a theatrical release in Seattle (nor a DVD release to my knowledge). While some might view that as just mean, I got enough positive feedback that I'm reprising the effort.
What follows are pictures I saw during festival travels (including all the way to Seattle) that are some of my favorite watches of the year. If you just can't get enough of these lists you're welcome to review my overall top films for 2011, or my most memorable 2011 film related moments not related watching a film.
The latter of which I'm especially pleased with - if I do say so myself. The list below isn't in any particular order. And I reserve the right to declare new favorites on a whim. Feel free to read something into the placement if you like...
As usual, even though I've seen quite a few films this year, picking out 5-10 that really stood out was an exercise in head-desk banging insanity. BUT - I think I finally figured it out, by breaking the films into categories of films that touched me in specific ways, that made me laugh and cry, and that are examples of why I love film so damn much -- instead of trying to just list the best films made this year.
In no particular order, my favorite films that I saw in 2011 (please note that some may technically be 2010!) are:
Best Movie that Lifted My Spirits and made me long for childhood: The Muppets
I was one of those kids that perched myself in front of the TV a full 10 minutes before The Muppet Show came on, so that I wouldn't miss any second of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Rolph, Fozzie, and Scooter wrangling special guests and being ridiculously entertaining. So news of a Muppet reboot of course made me nervous, but I gotta hand it to Jason Segal and James Bobin - they totally NAILED it. This film paid tribute to all the awesome characteres we loved as kids, while also renewing them for a much younger audience. Plus, they got Chris Cooper to RAP. I mean, seriously, you guys. I left the theater smiling and haven't really stopped since. Bonus: 80s robot is like my favorite thing, ever.
Best Drama(s): Another Year, Higher Ground, and Melancholia
Another Year nailed the craziness of family, friends, relationships, and love, Higher Ground's thoughtful storytelling left me anxiously awaiting Vera Farmiga's next movie, and Melancholia was exquisitely painful and beautiful (you know, like most Von Trier films).