Juan’s Top 25 of 2011

10. Hugo (dir. Martin Scorsese)

While there have been plenty of movies this year that are about classic films, Hugo truly takes the cake. Never have I been this genuinely surprised about a film’s topic. The advertising for this movie made it seem like traditional kids fare, but Scorsese’s movie was so much more than that. Martin Scorsese brings us a film about classic cinema — specifically, in the form of Georges Méliès and the magic of the silent film world. As for the 3D aspect, it totally works for the film and few directors make it work as nicely as Scorsese did.

9. Melancholia (dir. Lars von Trier)

Haunting, depressing, beautiful — all perfect words to describe Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia. Frankly, it’s gotten to the point where I can’t even just watch the trailer without tearing up a little bit. Dunst conveys depression in the best of ways and just watching Gainsbourg’s performance in the second act is one of the most heart-breaking things I’ve ever experienced. The way von Trier inspires the tiniest light of hope in people, even after the opening in which you see the world ending, is so masterful and should be seen by everyone.

8. The Skin I Live In (dir. Pedro Almodóvar)

Almodóvar is such a stunning director and he rarely ever disappoints. The Skin I Live In is an excellent example of what someone can do when they return to their roots and the things that made them marvelous in the first place. Elena Anaya stands out in this movie more than the others, although Banderas does wonderfully as well. It’s a twisted story, but it’s one that stands out this year.

7. Shame (dir. Steve McQueen)

It’s hard to find words that describe just how intense of a movie Shame is because it’s really quite the rough experience. Plenty of people will walk in expecting sex sex sex, but it’s really not like that at all. It’s actually one of the most unerotic movies ever, in my opinion. Nevertheless, it’s marvelous, features stunning performances from both Carey and Michael, and holds its NC-17 rating proudly.

6. Another Earth (dir. Mike Cahill)

For a debut film, Mike Cahill does an absolutely brilliant job. Much unlike Melancholia, the other planet in this film does not pose a threat to our world. It serves as a beacon of hope and redemption for those people who have had tragedy fill their lives. Brit Marling’s acting (and co-writing as well) helps add to the emotion of the story. It makes me excited to see the other films she’s been working on lately. Don’t take my word for how gorgeous this movie is though; experience the beauty yourself.

Juan Barquin

Just yer average twenty-something college student with no time on his hands who ends up watching (and writing) too many movies and shows for his own good.

18 Responses

  1. Juan I applaud your list. but did you not see Take Shelter? or did it just not make in your top?

    • Juan Barquin says:

      @Cinema Fanatic, I never got to watch it. The only place it released here in Miami was this tiny arthouse theater with a screen the size of my face that’s really cramped and far away. It was also only a two day release, so I got royally fucked over with that one.

    • Juan Barquin says:

      @Cinema Fanatic, Getting that movie online for me to watch is one of the few reasons I wholeheartedly support piracy lol

  2. Julyssa says:

    You are my hero! I am still struggling with my top 25 in Korean music.

  3. amy says:

    This is a dedicated list. xD I disagree a bit with your intro statement, I didn’t think it was such a great year for film. I mean, it was a good year, but not in the amount where you have to ask yourself in sudden hysterics “OMGGG, which one do I love the mostttttt??? I CANNNNOTTT CHOOOOOSE~~~” I think that happened to me in 2006 or 2008 xD

    • Juan Barquin says:

      @amy, what are you talking about omg do you understand how hard it was for me to organize my top ten? It was BRUTAL. They’re all such wonderful films in their own way and it was so hard to properly organize them. The only ones I knew for sure were #1 and then 2-4 (which were also hard to organize fairly because they’re all flawless).

      • amy says:

        @Juan Barquin, yeah. that feeling. Hasn’t happened to me since 2008. If you check my MUBI list, it’s fairly slim compared to previous years.

        And I’m completely disconnected from award season this year. It’s the first time in… many years since I miss all the award shows. I really don’t know what it is… I used to be the one reserving the day, and showering early pretending to prep for the award show and watch it all… not this year.

        Anyway – I want to shock you with this. Did you know The Muppets only stayed 2 weeks at the theater down here? I tried to watch it two weeks ago, and it was already gone despite it opening on Xmas week.

  4. Camiele says:

    Damn, I’m sooooo behind! I need to see ALL of these films. I’m most interested in My Week With Marilyn, Winnie the Pooh, The Muppets, Bridesmaids, and Shame, though apparently I need to see Drive. So, I’ve got LOADS to catch up on. I haven’t been able to actually see anything really for two or three years…yeah, it’s been that long.

    Thanks for the list. Now I know where I need to start :)

  5. Rodrigo says:

    I haven’t seen all the films yet. :(

    While I agree that TOL should be seen in Blu-Ray because it’s graphically stunning and has really great music, I wouldn’t rank it above Drive and Midnight in Paris.

  6. Eric says:

    Great list. Similar to mine. You should do a Top 25 worst.

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