(NC Register) Steven Greydanus—Best Films of 2011

Posted by Kendall Harmon

2011 was a good year for film, and particularly for depictions of faith in film — but not in the Hollywood mainstream on either count.

This year, in one Hollywood film after another, religion was strikingly absent in tragic or crisis-filled times. George Clooney was widowed in The Descendants; Matt Damon widowed in both Contagion and We Bought a Zoo; Nicole Kidman bereaved of a child in Rabbit Hole (which had a limited opening in December 2010); all suffered bereavement with scarcely any acknowledgment of religion (except, in Kidman’s case, to reject it). Contagion, in particular, depicted all sorts of social consequences of a global pandemic except the role of faith in times of crisis. The black Baptist church in The Help was a rare exception.

Outside the Hollywood mainstream, it was another story. The French drama Of Gods and Men (easily my favorite film of the year) and the English documentary No Greater Love offered remarkable depictions of monastery life. Passion plays featured in two art films: Polish artist Lech Majewski’s The Mill & the Cross and Milanese architect Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture

Posted January 18, 2012 at 5:31 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/40706/

1. Br. Michael wrote:

What about “Soulsurfer”?

January 18, 8:29 am | [comment link]
2. Henry Greville wrote:

It was a big rental hit for church youth groups.

January 18, 11:41 am | [comment link]
3. Teatime2 wrote:

That’s the great thing about Netflix streaming. It quickly gets the quality films that don’t “click” with the American mainstream, including wonderful foreign films and documentaries.

I saw “Rabbit Hole” on Netflix, too, and it was so bleak and depressing.

January 18, 11:55 pm | [comment link]
4. David Keller wrote:

Wow—The Muppet Movie is #8.  It was one of the few movies of 2011 I actullay enjoyed.  No darkness, no depression, no social relevance; also no acting, no plot.  Well it did have a plot…evil oil companies drilling for oil just off Rodeo Drive.

January 19, 3:52 pm | [comment link]

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