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2011. I'm going to go on record now stating that I was thrilled The Artist swept at the Oscars, and I still love that film, very, very much. That being said, it doesn't land on my Best Picture ballot. A major step up from 2010, 2011 boasts some of the best films of the decade so far, a bounty of truly touching and poignant dramas that reveal a depth of human development that is so rich and sadly so rare. This was also a really great year for gay themed cinema, and in all actuality it feels like this year started a trend of well made and deeply effecting portraits of a way of life that, for the most part, gets shoddy cinematic treatment. With films like Beginners, Tomboy, Weekend, Heartbeats, 3, Pariah and even Albert Nobbs, we saw real stories with real people that helped bridge a gap often associated with gay themed stories. Coming of age stories were also strong this year, with the aforementioned Tomboy and even Beginners (in a way) alongside films like Hugo, Hanna, Super 8 and The Tree of Life, and within that little cluster we also see another aspect of 2011 that is so special; the diversity of genre (and quality within that genre) is outstanding. With that, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 2011!
[EDIT: Mysteries of Lisbon was, at one time, my clear winner in this category, but upon further exploration, it became clear that the majority of the music used in Mysteries of Lisbon was not original work, so it loses the win and the nomination.]
Mysteries of Lisbon
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
King of Devil's Island
X-Men: First Class