Justine: You want us to gather on your terrace to sing a song, have a glass of wine? The three of us?
Claire: Yes. That would make me happy.
Justine: You know what I think of your plan?
Claire: No. I was hoping that you might like it.
Justine: I think that it’s a piece of shit.
Claire: Justine, please. I just want it to be nice.
Justine: Nice? Why don’t we meet on the fucking toilet?
Claire: Then let’s not.
Justine: You’re damn right let’s not.
The numbers are how many votes the winners received from the 58 voting members of the the society.
*1. Melancholia – 29 (Lars von Trier)
2. The Tree of Life – 28 (Terrence Malick)
3. A Separation – 20 (Asghar Farhadi)
*1. Terrence Malick – 31 (The Tree of Life)
2. Martin Scorsese – 29 (Hugo)
3. Lars von Trier – 23 (Melancholia)
*1. Brad Pitt – 35 (Moneyball, The Tree of Life)
2. Gary Oldman – 22 (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
3. Jean Dujardin – 19 (The Artist)
*1. Kirsten Dunst – 39 (Melancholia)
2. Yun Jung-hee – 25 (Poetry)
3. Meryl Streep – 20 (The Iron Lady)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*1. Albert Brooks – 38 (Drive)
2. Christopher Plummer – 24 (Beginners)
3. Patton Oswalt – 19 (Young Adult)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*1. Jessica Chastain – 30 (The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, The Help)
2. Jeannie Berlin – 19 (Margaret)
3. Shailene Woodley – 17 (The Descendants)
*1. Cave of Forgotten Dreams – 35 (Werner Herzog)
2. The Interrupters – 26 (Steve James)
3. Into the Abyss – 18 (Werner Herzog)
*1. A Separation – 39 (Asghar Farhadi)
2. Moneyball – 22 (Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin)
3. Midnight in Paris – 16 (Woody Allen)
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
*1. A Separation – 67 (Asghar Farhadi)
2. Mysteries of Lisbon – 28 (Raoul Ruiz)
3. Le Havre – 22 (Aki Kaurismäki)
*1. The Tree of Life – 76 (Emanuel Lubezki)
2. Melancholia – 41 (Manuel Alberto Claro)
3. Hugo – 33 (Robert Richardson)
Ken Jacobs, for “Seeking the Monkey King.”
1. BAM Cinématek for its complete Vincente Minnelli retrospective with all titles shown on 16 mm. or 35 mm. film.
2. Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema for the restoration of the color version of George Méliès’s “A Trip to the Moon.”
3. New York’s Museum of Modern Art for its extensive retrospective of Weimar Cinema.
4. Flicker Alley for their box set “Landmarks of Early Soviet Film.”
5. Criterion Collecton for its 2-disc DVD package “The Complete Jean Vigo.”
While, for me, 2011 was not as a great a year in cinema as 2009 (many of the films I loved from that year I didn’t get to see until Jan of 2010, but still), I found myself loving more films this year than I did last year. In fact, you may notice that although I claim this is a list of fifteen films, it in fact contains sixteen films. There is one tie and I will explain my choice when I get to it. Last year before the year ended I managed to watch 53 new releases; this year I saw 57 (which is kind of pitifully low when you consider how many new-to-me films I saw this year; but that’s neither here nor there and you have to wait until tomorrow to read about that cinematic odyssey). I want to point out that my top five films have not changed since October, but the ten (eleven) that follow have been shifted and adjusted many, many times since then. Probably when I rewatch those films late on this list might still evolve some. I also want to mention that there were at least two films that I wanted to see before the end of the year that I was not able to see (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn); as always, there is no way to know whether those films would have even made the list had I seen them, but I wanted to point out that I’ve yet to see them so that comments of “where is ***?!” didn’t ensue. Okay, enough chatter, on to the list.