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Recommend Halfway Honors.Best of 2011 Thus Far (Email)

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This year seems to be off to a slow start but here's what I'd choose as the best of the year thus far.I've excluded films that are still waiting for their proper release like Andrew Haigh's finely tuned miniature gay dramaWeekend(which has been collecting festival trophies and which I loved) and Paddy Considine's discomfiting abuse dramaTyrannosaurwhich I did not love but which boasts impressive acting.

TOP TEN PICTURES (alpha order)
The Arbor,Beginners,Bridesmaids,Certified Copy,Jane Eyre,Midnight in Paris,Poetry,Rango,The Tree of LifeandUncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.You can see a complete list of what I've seenhere.

[Notable films that I did plan to see but will have to catch on DVD include:Hanna,The HousemaidandWin Win]

DIRECTOR
Clio Barnard - THE ARBOR
Lee Chang-dong - POETRY
Abbas Kiarostami -CERTIFIED COPY
Terrence Malick -THE TREE OF LIFE
Mike Mills -BEGINNERS

notes: I gave Barnard the slight edge over Apichatpong Weerathesakul mostly because I far prefer "Joe's"earlier effortTropical MaladytoBoonmee.But not without some hesitation.I appreciated the bold experimentation ofThe Arbor,a documentary/narrative hybrid about the life and work of playwright and screenwriter Andrea Dunbar (Rita,Sue and Bob,Too).I just wish the film had been tighter and less relentless in its last 45 minutes.It had already done so much surgical socioeconomic surveillance damage by that point that rather than feeling devastating it started to feel exhausting.But it's definitely worth a look.

ACTRESS
Juliette Binoche - CERTIFIED COPY
Yun Jeong-Hie -POETRY
Mia Wasikowska - JANE EYRE
Kristen Wiig - BRIDESMAIDS
Michelle Williams -MEEKS CUTOFF

actors and the supporting crop and even a few technicals if you just...


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