My Top Five Films of 2011

I think it’s been quite a good year for decent films, and when I first sat down to compile the list, I had selected 9 films as being in contention. Narrowing it down to 5 was tricky, and I’m sorry to Blue Valentine which ended up being relegated to 6th spot.

So without further ado, here are the votes from the Manchester jury:

Number 5

Animal Kingdom

Dysfunctional family personified. Gritty but fascinating Australian film following events in the life of a teenage boy, envelopped by his gangster family after the death of his mother. Not an easy watch, but worth the effort.

Number 4

Norwegian Wood

At the time, I wrote that this Japanese film was a “…very beautiful, at times achingly sad look at grief, guilt and growing up”. It’s raw, and haunting, and worth a viewing.

Number 3

Source Code

I do like a high-concept movie, and this was an easy choice for my top five. A fast pace and a plot that keeps you thinking from beginning to end – what’s not to like! Director Duncan Jones made one of my favourite films of this century (Moon) and I can’t wait to see what he has lined up next.

Number 2

The Skin I Live In

Almodovar on top form again.  A friend of mine just described this film as ‘heavy going’, but I didn’t feel that at all. The humour punctuated the seriousness perfectly, and the underlying bizarreness of the story is presented so stylishly, I found it impossible not to love every minute of it!

Number 1


I’m not alone in raving about this film this year and yes, it is a documentary. But it is also an extraordinary piece of story-telling, about an extraordinary man. Pieced together entirely from pre-existing footage, it’s a film I have recommended to everyone (probably more than once!).  I nominated it as “best film seen this year” when I saw it at the beginning of June, and it has remained there ever since. Put in on your DVD list, and enjoy!


I’d love to know what you liked this year, and if you agreed with my choices.  Happy New Year! 

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