Some favorite movies, seen in 2011

These were favorites either because they were highly entertaining, transported me far away, exposed me to something new, or otherwise left a lasting impression. I don’t see that many movies, especially not on the big screen.

In a Better World. I watched it last night, and it inspired me to make this list. Especially in light of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, this movie offers lots of layers and questions about the ethics of responding to violence.

Bridesmaids. It’d been a loooong time since any movie or show had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt the next morning.

Mother and Child. Three adoption narratives–an adult adoptee, a birth mother, and an adoptive parent–intertwine. I saw this alone in a theater with several people also watching it alone…and not-so-quietly sobbing.

Mother. This South Korean movie is difficult to describe. Its a subtle suspense mystery about a woman whose mentally disabled son is accused of murder. The film’s originality and eccentricity are part of what made me love it. The opening sequence gives you a taste of that:

Crossing the Line. I’ve been obsessed with North Korea for months and have watched several documentaries to learn more about what’s going on there. This one, made with permission from the North Korean government, is about an American soldier who defected to the North. The film’s subtext and portrayal of the defector’s psychology fascinate.

Bill Cunningham New York. Said it before.

Winter’s Bone. That girl. Once it started, I was completely absorbed.

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