1) The Separation, the deserved winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film and the work I consider the best film of 2011 (though it opened here in 2012, thus qualifying for this list).
3) Moonrise Kingdom, an especially winning example of Wes Anderson’s melancholic whimsy.
4) The Deep Blue Sea, the latest masterpiece from Terence Davies, a filmmaker whom I’ve long admired and whose The Long Day Closes ranks among my Top 10 all time.
5) Footnote, an Israeli film that manages to mine surprising comedy and drama from Talmudic scholarship.
Cliff Froehlich is the director of Cinema St. Louis. Cinema St. Louis organizes film competitions throughout the year and the St. Louis Film Festival.