The Future

Ellie Kemper, Oscar hopeful Melissa McCarthy, and Wendi McLendon-Covey in BRIDESMAIDS

The Academy Awards are commonly referred to as the gay Super Bowl, and for good reason: they each represent the culmination of months of grueling, bone-crunching competition, tend to feature misguided musical numbers, and are ultimately about impossibly wealthy people fighting over trophies while the rest of us cheer from the breadlines. In short: it’s the best thing that happens all year. My post-Oscar depression is far more devastating than even the worst case of post-Christmas blues. Such emptiness. The nominations for this year’s 84th Academy Awards will be announced in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, January 24. After the jump, check out my picks for what should be nominated and what we’re likely to read about on Tuesday.

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Welcome to our list of the best films of 2011! I’m Jason LeRoy, the film editor of this fine website, and I’ll be your guide to the most excellent cinema this year had to offer. I have to say, this is a pretty exciting moment for me. While I’ve been writing about film in one form or another since 1995, 2011 is the first year I’ve managed to see just about everything. It is with no small amount of consideration (or afternoons and evenings spent slumped over in theaters around town) that I’ve compiled this list. So look after the jump for my top 10 films of the year, some honorable mentions, and a handful of staff-pick rebuttals for Best Film of 2011. And especially since this year was uncommonly lacking in unifying critical favorites, please leave your own picks in the comments below.

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Miranda July in THE FUTURE

Miranda July is an anomaly in the film industry. Perhaps this is because, although she has experienced success within it, she understands there is much more to the creative world outside of it. A multimedia artist in the truest sense of the term, July has been celebrated as much for her performance art as for her filmmaking. Her multimedia pieces have been shown and performed in galleries around the world. Her debut collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007), won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. And her debut film, Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005), which July wrote and directed as well as starred in, won four prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, in addition to numerous critics awards and a Special Jury Prize at Sundance.

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