With Django Unchained set for a Christmas Day 2012 release over in the States, writer-director/cinephile Quentin Tarantino has got a busy year ahead of him. The casting news for the film has been brilliant so far, with leading roles set to come from Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Waltz, Kerry Washginton, Don Johnson, Kurt Russell, Sacha Baron Cohen, and, provided it’s possible to work it into his schedule, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Pretty much a dream-team for the director’s highly anticipated return after Inglourious Basterds.

In the midst of the current awards season climate, Tarantino has been speaking to The Quentin Tarantino Archives (with thanks to Total Film for the tip-off), and we can see the man looking back on the past year and picking out his favourites from what was a terrific year for film. And in true awards season style, he even throws in a few extra categories to go along with his top eleven (technically twelve) films of 2011.

Quentin Tarantino’s official Top Eleven of 2011

1. Midnight In Paris
2. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
3. Moneyball
4. The Skin I Live In
5. X-Men: First Class
6. Young Adult
7. Attack The Block
8. Red State
9. Warrior
10. The Artist / Our Idiot Brother (tie)
11. The Three Musketeers

Others he liked (no particular order)

  • 50/50
  • Beginners
  • Hugo
  • The Iron Lady
  • Carnage
  • Green Hornet
  • Green Lantern
  • Captain America
  • The Descendants
  • My Week With Marilyn
  • Fast Five
  • Tree Of Life
  • The Hangover Part II
  • Mission Impossible 4
  • The Beaver
  • Contagion
  • The Sitter
  • War Horse

Nice Try Award

  • Drive
  • Hannah
  • Drive Angry
  • Real Steel

Best Director

  • Pedro Almodovar
  • Bennett Miller
  • Woody Allen
  • Jason Reitman
  • Michel Hazanavicius

Best Original Screenplay

  • Midnight In Paris
  • Young Adult
  • Red State
  • Attack The Block
  • Our Idiot Brother
  • Beginners

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Moneyball
  • The Skin I live In
  • Carnage
  • Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
  • Hugo
  • X-Men: First Class

Personally, I’d give Drive more than a Nice Try Award, but obviously we’ve all got our own favourites, and there are plenty of brilliant films from the past year amongst his top films and other contenders in all the categories. It’s nice to see that something like Attack the Block – one of the several British films to make an impression in the States in 2011 – making the Top Eleven. And as a big Kevin Smith fan, I’m really glad Red State is up there too. It was Tarantino, after all, who hosted Smith’s film in his LA cinema to give it its Oscar-qualifying run, with the film’s trailer including the quote, “I f**king love this movie!” from Tarantino, minus the asterisks. (If you’re a fan of the film, or if you’re yet to see it, it might interest you to know that it will be released on Blu-Ray/DVD this Monday, 23rd January; I’ll definitely be getting my copy when it does, and can’t wait to see it again.)

With such a busy year ahead of him, and the 25th December release for Django Unchained clearly having an eye on the Oscars two months later, it will be interesting to see if Tarantino brings out a list of his favourites this time next year – both on account of conflict of interest (which of course isn’t a problem really; there aren’t any real awards) and whether he’ll have had enough time to go to the cinema much in the next twelve months. Time will tell. Either way, it’s great to see what the great writer-director’s enjoyed this year, and I can’t wait for him to return behind the camera for Django Unchained. It’s going to be an immense way to end 2012.