Angela Davis, cinema, Film, film industry, Incendies, J. Edgar, Jumping the Broom, Kinyarwanda, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, motion picture industry, Movies, Movies of 2011, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, The Help, The Skin I Live In, The Tree of Life, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, Tom Cruise, Trust

My Memorable Movies — 11 for ’11


As we head into the movie awards season, many critics have compiled their best and worst lists for 2011.  Due to the subjective nature of the selections, one critic’s gem is sometimes another critic’s dud.  Who is to say what is truly best and worst?  It’s really all a matter of opinion.  I prefer, however, to focus on what and why some films are unforgettable to me as opposed to ranking them.  Here is my countdown of 2011’s most memorable movies – for reasons ranging from good to bad to notorious:

  1. The Tree of Life – Two hours of my life I’ll never get back; convoluted and overrated.
  1. Jumping the Broom – This should have been a movie on Lifetime – great looking cast, but shallow and predictable.
  1. The Help Imitation of Life meets Steel Magnolias.  That’s all.
  1. The Skin I Live In – Not my favorite Almodóvar film, but a thought-provoking examination of identity.
  1. J. EdgarThis eagerly anticipated Eastwood/DiCaprio collaboration proved to be a major disappointment.  How?  By favoring flashbacks over a linear narrative, safely skimming the surface in regards to the extent Hoover’s constitutional violations destroyed lives and movements, and therefore missing the opportunity to draw parallels to current domestic and foreign policies.
  1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – Fifty is the new 35. Thanks to the physically fit Tom Cruise and his daring stunts, I now look forward to turning 50.
  1. Trust – Though much is borrowed from Ordinary People, this film about an online sexual predator is a must-see for all teenagers and parents.
  1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – Taking in a Friday matinee with a theater full of truant teenagers was the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a very long time.
  1. Incendies – A wonderfully told, haunting story that stays with you long after the last frame.
  1. Kinyarwanda – Though specific to the Rwandan genocide in 1994, its themes regarding forgiveness and unity are universal and timeless.
  1. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 – Ironically, my most memorable movie moment of 2011 was courtesy of an Angela Davis interview from the 1970s. Davis’s insightful response resonated deeply in my soul as she articulated what I am often too emotional and/or frustrated to clearly express.  In doing so, Davis held up a mirror through which we can see ourselves as we truly are.  For that I am grateful.

Angela Davis: The Black Power Mixtape (excerpt)


What are your most memorable movies of 2011 and why?  Please share. 

Happy New Year!


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4 thoughts on “My Memorable Movies — 11 for ’11”

  1. Katherine–Obrigada! You have just saved me a ton of pesos–I try to be selective and had not yet seen any of the 2011 movies–yet still wanted to see The Help, which I attempted to on a holiday weekend at Magic Johnson, and they couldn’t show the movie because the manager “could not make it in time from Brooklyn (or some place” to open the theater. I saw Angela Davis’ interview at the time she granted it, and was in the court house in Oakland, CA on jury duty when she was on trial. She was always brutally honest.


  2. De nada, Barbara! Overall, 2011’s many “untheater-worthy” films confirmed my opinion that cable TV is a beautiful thing. Remakes, sequels and 3-D do not make up for creativity and good storytelling. Would love to hear more of your personal reflections regarding Oakland, especially during the 60s and 70s.

    The next blog is one I’ve been promising for a long time — my take on The Birth of a Nation. Look for it in two weeks.


  3. Katherine,
    For the films on your list I actually saw, your observations are dead on and to the point. I absolutely hated “The Tree of Life”. My cousin had the misfortune to accompany me to this movie and actually cried “Thank you, Jesus” in a crowded theater the moment the credits rolled. As Huggy Low Down would say, “‘The Tree of Life’ — you are the Bama of the Year, Year, Year”.


    1. Knowing Huggy, this film may also be in the running for the top award — Bama for Life, Life, Life. I hope you get a chance to check out my faves on the list. They will more than make up for Tree of Life.


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