Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mette's 2011 Retrospect - The Films

Like me, you might already have read many lists about the year that went by. 
Books, things that happened, people that died/ got married/ were born. And of course, lists of favored films. 
These lists, at least the film-based ones, often consist of ten motion pictures. I feel that listing my ten favorite films of the year is something I want to do, however I would also like to highlight the films that won't get the chance to be included in the list.

Therefore, my retrospect will look a little different than most. The list of my top 10 films of 2011 can be found at the end of this post, before that I will present you to all the films that I liked. 

Moreover, this retrospect includes eight "officially" 2010 films that I had no legal opportunity to watch in the year of their official release. Many of them are well-known, successful films, but I hope you still understand why I want to include them. The films are in the order I've seen them in. 

That was it then, let's go.


All feature films watched: 246
All short films watched: 53
Indian films watched: 94
Re-watches: 29
2011 films watched, official and non-offical ones: 40

The dream come true
Black Swan
Ballet, horror, endless levels of interpretation and great style. It was too good to be true.

The teenage dream
127 Hours
I'm talking about James Franco of course - the next James in the famous list.

The typical surprise
The King's Speech
Everbody's seen it, most people before me, and I thought I knew everything about it. It surprised me.

The most exotic
Visually topped by The Tree of Life only, this film was at least one thing: different. And off-putting.

The happiest
Put a smile on my face that lasted for a long time.

"Booooooring!" - No?

The Fighter & Senna
I thought boxing and formula one were some of the most boring things in the world. Then these two came along.

The one that set the standards
No One Killed Jessica
The first Indian film of 2011 I saw was just as good as everyone had claimed. Rani rocks!

Female power part II
7 Khoon Maaf
Speaking female power, Rani soon became concurrence. Superb film that spans over various genres and emotions.

The good German
Almanya - Wilkommen in Deutschland
It wasn't a good year for German film, but this heart-warming comedy about Turkish immigrants was top-notch!

Joe Wright never let's me down - Hanna kicks more ass than anybody this year. And she's my age!

The hyped and feared
Never Let Me Go
I read the novel this year, by chance, and was mesmerized. Feared a bad adaption, but it looked good - and it was good, even much better than expected.

Most pleasant surprise
Water for Elephants
I had absolutely no expectations. And it wasn't just good because of this man here. Always knew there was more to Pattinson.

Dhobi Ghat | review
I was so blown away by this one, there was not a single word I could write about it. Almost.

Speechless inverted
The Tree of Life | review
I was so blown away by this one that I wrote the longest review I'd ever written.

The one that broke up
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
There will never be a franchise as big and as wonderful as Harry Potter. R.I.P.

Shaitan | review
It was different, it was sick and crazy... it was good. Not just because of the shock-factor, I really think it was a good film with many levels.

The open secret
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
Within few months, this film went from insider tip to acclaimed masterpiece. Well-deserved.

Midnight in Paris
I would describe myself as geeky. And a bit nostalgic too, definitely. So it's no surprise I am absolutely in love with this exceptional filmic demonstration of nostalgia-geekism.

Lonely lizard
Rango | review
Not a superb movie, it had some of the best animation I've see and some super cool details. And it was far better than the second animated feature of 2011 I've seen, Cars 2.

Mind-broadening depression
Hated by many, loved by just as many. In my opinion a perfect world's-end-movie, and so much more than that.

La Guerre est Declarée
The only film of 2011 I watched without knowing anything about it turned out to be one of the best. Not only because that guy is so hot (had to say that, sorry).

The funniest
Horrible Bosses
The best performance of Jennifer Aniston until now - at least from what I've seen. And so funny.

Neither boyish nor boring
Super 8
Sci-fi is not my favorite genre, but Spielberg is clearly one of its masters. Surprisingly thrilling.

What I've been waiting for
The Help
There are not enough films like these - serious and acclaimed films in which, for a change, men play the second fiddle. 

Last but not least
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Not the worst film to watch as a dessert (of the year, if you get me). There is still hope for the romantic comedy.

So now you've seen a lot of pictures and read a lot of things and the thought might've crossed your mind that... is this girl insane? Didn't she watch any bad films, films she didn't like?
The fact is that I only left 13 films out, and I didn't even hate all of them. The only three films come closest to thumbs-down are the German Sommer in Orange, and the Indian silly-comedies Yamla Pagla  Deewana and Pyaar Ka Punchnama.

Having said this, I feel it is the time to announce the biggest winners of this race...
It was not as easy as I had thought, but I'm proud I did it, because this is my debut.
May I present to you:

Mette's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2011
(Only official 2011 films)

10. Super 8

9. Hanna

8. 7 Khoon Maaf

7. Shaitan

6. The Help

5. La Guerre est Declarée

4. Jodaeiye Nader az Simin

3. Midnight in Paris

2. Melancholia

1. Dhobi Ghat & The Tree of Life
The former is ranked highest in my Top 100, but after so many months I don't remember which I like the most. Both are very special and trailblazing, and they've launched many discussions, both among people and among my various personalities. Therefore, these are my two favorite films of 2011.


Many people say that 2011 was a poor year for films. I don't agree. I've seen many wonderful new releases this year, which happens to be the first of its kind; I dived deeper into the filmic world than ever before, discovering many new and old films that became favorites and more and more learning to appreciate film as an art form.

This blog has also grown and transformed so much from what it was initially. I would like to thank everybody who made this possible.

I hope to still discover new great films that were released during these 365 days, and climb further in the crooked mountains of cinema. May highs and lows come, for I do not fear neither.

To a happy new year of cinema!


  1. Both Hanyo and 7 Khoon Maaf are currently available on Netflix here. I may have to check them out based on your recommendation. Great post overall, I like that you did not opt to go the tradition top ten route.

  2. Love your format. Nice List. And good to see Dhobi Ghat there. Little different but interesting attempt. I especially loved Yasmin's story.

  3. Such a cool retrospective! I'm so glad Super 8 is in your top ten. I'm not going to be writing a 2011 list, but it would probably be in my top ten. I loved it! (Sci-fi is also kinda my thing, haha). Rango was really cool, Harry Potter made me cry, Tree of Life was mind blowing. I didn't get to see Water for Elephants, but I'm glad to hear Pattinson got some approval. Once he breaks away from Twilight he should have quite a good career.

  4. Love this! And I'm happy to see The Tree of Life made your number one - at least I'm not the only 16 year old in the world who loves it.

    Also, I'm so happy that you mentioned Senna! I thought the same thing as you, but I was pleasantly surprised!

  5. Thanks, everbody!

    CS - Do that! I always get so jealous when I hear somebody talking about Netflix... but I guess we'll never get it in Germany or Denmark.

    SDG - Me too, but I think each and every actor gave their best and contributed to the greatness of the film.

    Ruth - I've been getting more into sci-fi lately, actually I like the idea but I'd seen a lot of bad "ambassadors" of the genre. I also read Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Verne this year and loved it.

    Stevee - Good :). Actually, my little sister who turns 14 soon also liked The Tree of Life, at least partly.
    Senna was SO good!

  6. Very cool list. If I made a comprehensive list, Tree of Life and Melancholia would likely be my 1 and 2, and it's nice to see Hanna on there as well. Oh and based solely on your recommendation, I'm going to try and track down this Dhobi Ghat.

  7. I haven't seen most of them, but we sure agree on Midnight in Paris, Melancholia (watched it last night, cried my eyes out) and The Tree of Life. I too think 2011 was great for films, some true pearls, like these last two, so different from what we usually see.

  8. Good List. Tree of Life would also be one of my top ten. I just never got around to reviewing it. I've been hearing so many good things about Senna. I really need to check that out.

  9. NOKJ was a fine movie, but I would not really rate it among the best ones, and if so only because for me it actually was a disappointing year (talking about bollywood). I did like 7 Khoon Maaf very, very much though! As for dhobi Ghatt... well, I think your heart might break once I write my own review...

  10. Thanks to everybody!

    Bonjour Tristesse - Please do so, I haven't heard an opinion from somebody who doesn't usually watch Hindi films that often.

    Maria Sofia - Yes, exactly! I don't think there can be a "bad" year of film, it's just about finding the right films.

    Dave - That was what I thought, even though it seemed boring, and I'm glad I did watch it. Wonderful to hear how many of you guys liked The Tree of Life!

    Gaja Gamini - Well, I already thought that it wouldn't be your kind of film, but I'll read your review if I remember.

  11. There are a couple of films here i hadn't heard of that i will now try to see. Good post

  12. Wow fantastic and eclectic list of movies. I totally agree that Horrible Bosses was the funniest comedy of the year. Never Let Me Go was flawed I thought but over time, it's a film that is remarkably memorable, haunting even. And yes... so long Harry Potter.

  13. Dirtywithclass - Thanks, I'm always happy if what I write is useful to somebody.

    CastorTroy - Yep, looks like it... I'm content.
    Great, another one who love Horrible Bosses! It seems one either hates or loves it.
    If you think that way about Never Let Me Go, I think you would like to read the book, it's much better.

  14. Thats a great top ten list a few on there I have not seen yet and have to check out. I am a bit scared by Melancholia as my brother saw it and did not care for it, but so many people have it in their top tens.

    1. I know what you mean. I've seen many films that others love and I didn't care for, like Gone With the Wind for example.
      And there are people who didn't like Melancholia, so I can't say it's a film you have to love. But I would still absolutely recommend it.


Let the discussion begin!