2011 was a pretty good year for movies, capped off by what is undoubtedly the best film of the year – The Descendants. It’s a relatively meditative story about various generations (the older Dad, his 17 year old daughter, and his 10 year old daughter) maturing and tackling hard life choices during personally difficult circumstances. The acting (both George Clooney and Shailene Woodley), the writing, the “real Hawaii” setting and it’s accompanying local folk music soundtrack – it’s a really beautiful and wonderful film that scores in finding, out of sadness, the beauty in life and it’s unpredictable natural order. 2011 also brought us Lars von Trier’s gorgeous end of the world film Melancholia which features a fantastic (Cannes award winning in fact) performance from Kirsten Dunst, as well as Woody Allen’s biggest domestic hit to date, the very fun Midnight in Paris. The nine million reference pointing film Drive somehow came across incredibly unique to me in the end, and the same could be said for 1980’s John Hughes type throwback The Myth of the American Sleepover (which I previously reviewed right here). Two documentaries also made the cut, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop which refreshingly showed us the other side of Conan, and Better Than Something : Jay Reatard (co-produced by a good friend of mine), which successfully portrays a musician I and most people have probably never heard of in such a light that despite any pre-conceived notions you may get from even just the trailer (the music, his stage name), his passing was undoubtedly a tragic loss for the music world, and more importantly for his friends and family. The mark of a great documentary. Oh, and yes, The King’s Speech did indeed come out last year, but I saw it this year, so it’s on this years list. And it’s excellent. If only The Iron Lady was out by now, I have a feeling I will love that just for Meryl Streep. She really can do no wrong. Click the posters for the trailers!