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2011 Screens Top 10s

Kimberley Jones' Top 10 list

By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Jan. 6, 2012

<i>Beginners</i>
Beginners

1) Beginners Intimate and ambitious, consumed with death and dizzy with the possibilities of rebirth, Mike Mills' gorgeous second film is like a tonic for the hurting heart.

2) Melancholia And now, let us crash back to Earth – or, rather, into Earth – for an annihilating assay of acute depression. Not gonna lie: This movie really fucked me up.

<i>Weekend</i>
Weekend

3) Weekend Andrew Haigh's microindie about two London men rounding and resisting new love is the most romantic movie of the year. Suck on that, Hollywood.

4) Shame Shame, sure, but degradation, humiliation, longing, and despair get a pretty good workout, too, in this shuddering descent into addiction.

5) Bridesmaids Six months before The Atlantic published Kate Bolick's tipping-point piece on The Way Women Live Now, this hard-R, seriously funny comedy got the conversation started. Keep talking to us.

<i>The Trip</i>
The Trip

6) Drive Ryan Gosling's swoon-inducer. An A-grade ensemble shredding scenery like panthers on a fresh kill. L.A. neon noir. That mash-note aesthetic. File under: Things That Make You Go Vroom.

7) The Trip Gaw, comedians are messed up in the head. Fun place to visit, but you wouldn't wanna buy real estate.

8) Bellflower Ad speak jargonese aside – "an explosive debut!" – Evan Glodell's low-budget, pyrotechnics-happy heartbreak saga of the surreal had some defiantly un-PC ideas about what happens when a boy-feminist gets burned by love.

<i>Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy</i>
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

9) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Hard not to warm to a Cold War spy thriller this stylish and expertly acted.

10) Meek's Cutoff Kelly Reichardt just doesn't give an inch in this ruthlessly unsentimental, Oregon Trail-set stress fracture of a film. This is the stunner from Michelle Williams this year, not that oopsy-daisy Marilyn schtick.

NEAR MISSES

Margin Call, Take Shelter, 50/50, Heartbeats, Turkey Bowl

MOST OVERRATED

<i>Life, Above All</i>
Life, Above All

Project Nim, Submarine, Win Win

MOST UNDERRATED

The Debt, Shame, Contagion

ACTING KUDOS (MALE)

Michael Shannon (Take Shelter), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Michael Fassbender (Shame), Christoph Waltz (Carnage), Brad Pitt (The Tree of Life)

ACTING KUDOS (FEMALE)

<i>Bridesmaids</i>
Bridesmaids

Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Michelle Williams (Meek's Cutoff), Khomotso Manyaka (Life, Above All), Carey Mulligan (Shame, Drive), Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin)

BEST DIRECTOR

Lars von Trier (Melancholia), Mike Mills (Beginners), Andrew Haigh (Weekend)

BEST SCREENPLAY (ORIGINAL)

Bridesmaids (Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo), Margin Call (J.C. Chandor), Beginners (Mike Mills)

BEST SCREENPLAY (ADAPTED)

<i>Breaking Dawn</i>
Breaking Dawn

Moneyball (Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin), Drive (Hossein Amini), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan)

WORST FILM

Look, I'd like to think I have a sense of humor about ham-fisted abstinence propaganda, but this really is the limit: The whole Twilight franchise is the devil's work.

WILD CARD

Let's Get Metaphysical!: Take Shelter, Melancholia, and The Tree of Life are a few of the films this year that gave the brain cage a good rattle.

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