Sophia top tens
'Rust and Bone,' 'Sister,' 'No,' 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'The Master'

SOPHIA SAVAGE

Choosing a top ten was hard enough, so I am listing my films alphabetically. Some of these are imperfect and leave a lot of responsibility with the audience; they also assert a kind of creative audacity that is increasingly hard to find. With each of the films listed below, the director's voice is clear and uncompromising, the craft is impeccable and there is (in most cases) little regard for commercial obligation. They take risks, ask questions, cause arguments and present stories that truly made me feel something.

BEST FILMS (Listed alphabetically)

"Amour" - Michael Haneke
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" - Benh Zeitlin
"The Master" - Paul Thomas Anderson
"No" - Pablo Larrain
"Oslo, August 31st" - Joachim Trier
"Rust and Bone" - Jacques Audiard
"Silver Linings Playbook" - David O. Russell
"Sister" - Ursula Meier
"Wuthering Heights" - Andrea Arnold
"Zero Dark Thirty" - Kathryn Bigelow

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"The Hunt" - Thomas Vinterberg

"The Loneliest Planet" - Julia Loktev

"Our Children" - Joachim Lafosse

"Polisse" - Maïwenn

"The Snowtown Murders" - Justin Kurzel

BEST FILM I MISSED IN 2011:

"L'Apollonide" ("House of Pleasures"), Bertrand Bonello

BEST SURPRISE(S):

"The Hunger Games," "Magic Mike"