My top 10 films of 2012 (yes, in March)
I’m aware that 2012 ended more than two months ago. But I wanted to wait until after the Oscars, the symbolic end to the movie year, to present my list of what I consider to be the ten best movies of the past 12 months.
Movies take ages to open here and while I was able to check out many of the contenders on the big screen, I wouldn’t have seen a big chunk of them if it weren’t for illegal downloading (I’m sorry but it’s a necessary evil).
Silver Linings Playbook, Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild, for example, all three nominated for Best Picture, haven’t been available at Mexican cinemas yet. This seriously needs to change. The delays baffle me.
But enough of my first world problems. I present to you, in alphabetical order, my top 10 films of 2012:
De Rouille et D’os
The French filmmaker (Jacques Audiard) has an audacious vision and voice, and a style that places the visual at the top of his priorities, without ever losing sight of the emotional. His work behind the camera is not always the most appealing to the senses, but certainly proves very powerful at creating an emotional response.
Contrived? Manipulative? Some will argue that this film is those things; it’s also effective…the only impossible thing here is to not be moved.
Shockingly violent, brazenly sexual and featuring the most disturbing use of a fried chicken leg ever committed to celluloid, Killer Joe is one of the best movies of the year, displaying the very worst things you could ever imagine.
Not flawless by any means, but without a doubt, one of the most satisfying cinematic experiences I’ve had in a long time. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are the standouts among a talented cast where Isabelle Allen, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Daniel Huttlestone and Samantha Barks shine, as well.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This is proof that when a filmmaker shares a true connection with the story he’s portraying and the characters he’s giving life to, experience in the biz is secondary. Stephen Chbosky adapts his own book to the screen, as well as directs it, and in his first foray behind the camera achieves something brilliant and poignant.
With a marvelous script by Ben Lewin (based on Mark O’Brien’s article),The Sessions is the touching tale of a man’s plight to experience a new facet of life before it is too late. You’re constantly rooting for Mark (John Hawkes) and how couldn’t you? With funny, self-deprecating dialog and an excellent performance by Hawkes, Mark O’Brien is one of the finest characters in 2012 cinema.
Silver Linings Playbook
I don’t know if it’s because quite some time has passed since I saw the film, or if I’m just a bit tired or if it’s writer’s block but I have no idea what to write about this film. I just know that, despite it being difficult to watch sometimes, I loved it. The writing is superb and so is the acting.
For a director who specializes in poignant dramas about domestic life and conformity, Mendes sure knows how to handle high-octane action sequences. A chase through some Turkish streets and rooftops, as well as the final shootout at the Bond manor, the titular Skyfall, are real highlights.
Bright, touching, clever, funny and carrying a timely message for the kids, Wreck-it Ralph is the best animated film in a long while. This is coming from someone who couldn’t complete a videogame if his life depended on it. Ralph‘s loss at the Oscars is offensive.
Zero Dark Thirty
This riveting drama sets itself apart from other similar movies in that it gives us a fascinating character we can care for, amid the chaos and dead ends of the chase for Bin Laden. We truly get to care for Maya (or at least I did), even if sometimes we don’t agree with her methods (or at least I didn’t), and Jessica Chastain does a terrific job at bringing her to life.
The Amazing Spider-Man, Amour, Arbitrage, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Dark Knight Rises, Después de Lucía, Django Unchained, Flight, Frankenweenie, The Hunger Games, Intouchables, Katy Perry: Part of Me, Lincoln, Looper, Prometheus, Ruby Sparks
The Avengers, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, John Carter, Rock of Ages, Snow White & The Huntsman
*Films I still haven’t seen that could’ve appeared here: Hodejegerne (Headhunters), Anna Karenina
I agree with much of this here list… I will admit I have not seen De Rouille et D’os. It was definitely a year of some surprising fine offerings for the big studios… but I gotta say I was very, very, surprised not to see Seven Psychopaths on here. That was one fine piece of filming. Possibly the most impressive script for pure story structure of the year 🙂
Thanks a lot for dropping by. Yes, the big studios had a great showing last year. Among the smaller ones, you really should check out Rust and Bone. It’s fantastic. Marion Cotillard was snubbed of an Oscar nomination.
Oh, and I haven’t seen Seven Psychopaths yet! So I can’t really comment on it.
Great selection of films here, I still haven’t seen several of them – ridiculously that includes Perks and Silver Linings! I have to get around to those soon.
Still, any best of the year list that includes De Rouille et D’os is good by me 😀
Thanks, man. Glad you like that one, too. I loved it and I think it’s my #1 pick. Hope you see Perks and SLP soon!
Some really good films on the list and a couple I’ve yet to say. I gotta say, the John Hawkes picture did make me chuckle! 😉
Thanks, Keith. That one was pretty funny. Great writing.
What a lovely film list! I especially agree with your acclaim for ZDT! I do disagree with your inclusion of Avengers and The Hobbit among the bottom five, since I loved both. But hey, we can’t agree about everything!
Hey Jessica. Thanks for dropping by. No, we can’t agree about everything, you’re right. It would be very boring if we did. But I really disliked The Avengers and The Hobbit so I had to put them there.
I loved every film in your Top 10 with the exception of Killer Joe. You’ve seen my review so no need to explain why. A solid list with no real surprises since it includes many of the best reviewed movies of the year. I know the bottom 5 is more of a side note, but that’s where your list really seems more subversive. I already read your blog, so not shocked at what you chose. Still, It’s odd finding The Avengers and The Hobbit in any list representing the very worst of the year. But Rock of Ages and Snow White & The Huntsman were absolutely dreadful films. We agree on that.
Great list Fernando! Been waiting for this one.
Thanks a lot for dropping by and commenting, Mark. I’m glad we agree on most of the list. Killer Joe is a film that will put many people off, so no surprise you didn’t quite enjoy it, but I loved it.
Also, I know not many will agree with some of my choices for the Bottom 5 but I really hated those films, man! haha
I really love these pics buddy! The Impossible, The Sessions, Perks and Killer Joe were all my favs as well!
Thanks 🙂 Glad we agree!
Nice list. I agree with you on most of your picks, though I was one of the people who didn’t like Les Miserables. I completely agree with your Hobbit review, I saw that with some friends and really disliked it.
Thanks. Les Misérables was pretty divisive, so not surprised you didn’t like it. Glad someone agrees about The Hobbit. I had an awful time.
Aside from my strong disagreement on Avengers, I totally agree with you hear. Great to see SLP, Perks and The Impossible on your list 🙂
Thanks. Glad we agree on many things. I didn’t expect for many to share my dislike for The Avengers. I did not enjoy that one. But I get why so many people did.
Great choices mate. I’ve seen most of your top 12 and there’s some great films there. I watched Rust and Bone last night and thought it was great. Narratively a little off in places but visually amazing. I can’t agree with having The Avengers in the bottom though, I loved it!
Thanks, Chris. Glad you liked my picks. And I know how loved The Avengers was but I just did not enjoy it, man.
Don’t worry, everyone living outside the US or UK or a major city has the same problems as you… release dates… when will they finally change stuff like that?
Anyway, some great choices here – Les MIs, ZD30, Skyfall, Silver Linings (almost every review I read said people didn’t know what to write about it, and neither do I)…
It’s a pain in the ass, isn’t it? I hate it. I don’t want to justify myself but they drive people to download illegally when they do that. Thanks a lot for dropping by, Mette! Glad you agre with some of my choices.
Is it bad that I got a craving for KFC when I watched Killer Joe?
Fernando, we agree about the movies I’ve seen (with a couple exceptions), but I really can’t comment, because not only have I not seen the ones like DE ROUILLE ET D’OS, they haven’t played here at all! And we got most of the others (except for the really mainstream ones) later than anyone else. Granted, I’ve not really had time to watch movies, but still…i share that indignation.
Thanks. It’s an unnecessary problem that (I think) shouldn’t be hard to solve. Distribution really has to improve. It’s not only a problem to other countries, but also within the United States.
Nice Fernando! I haven’t seen a lot of the films in your Best List, i.e. Rust & Bone, The Impossible, but I’ve seen them popping up in others’ list. Can’t wait to see Wreck it Ralph, it’s not available to rent yet on iTunes, forget Netflix Streaming, they’re so slow in getting the new stuff.
Such a bummer to see Hobbit in your bottom list though, but ah well, we can’t agree on everything 😀
Thanks, Ruth! Hope you get to see those soon. As you know, I loved them, haha. And yeah, we definitely don’t agree on The Hobbit! haha
That’s ok Fernando, I know some people aren’t enamored with it. But then again I’m perhaps a bit biased as I LOVE Richard Armitage as Thorin 😉
Great List, almost seen them all, Rust and Bone was simply marvelous, I didn’t expected it to be good, the performance were outstanding and a great sense of direction, Marion Cotillard really deserves another Oscar, I hate the Avengers, the most overrated movie of all time, no doubt great list, watch Anna Karenina! One of my top 10! Great list fernando 🙂
Thanks a lot! Glad we agree on many choices. Rust and Bone was fantastic and I really didn’t enjoy The Avengers. Also, really looking fwd to Anna Karenina.
Les Mis, Perks, Silver Linings, Skyfall, Ralph, and Zero Dark–I saw all of those and can’t argue with you there. I went nuts when Brave won over Ralph actually.
The Amazing Spider-Man…enjoyed it, and I’d put it as an honorable mention as well
Argo…loved it, glad it won Best Picture (even though I was rooting for Lincoln 🙂 )
Beasts of the Southern Wild…I told everybody in the house they wouldn’t have a TV if it won Best Picture, but I guess I enjoyed it, just don’t remember much of it other than Quvanzhané
The Dark Knight Rises…loved it
Flight…seeing how many people love it, I can see why you put it there, but then again I can’t see why everyone loves it (I hated it)
Frankenweenie…I liked it, but it wasn’t much original
The Hunger Games…yup
Lincoln…my #2 for the year
Looper…should’ve earned so much more at the box office
Prometheus…I believe this one’s in my top five for the year
Ruby Sparks…just got worse and worse for me
The Avengers…I didn’t hate this one, but I wasn’t all that thrilled by it either; they’re showing it at my school soon to fundraise and I may just go to support
John Carter…got incredibly bored with this one; had to make the DVD player go into “1.4x speed” so that the micelike, jittering Jar Jar Binkses could at least be of entertainment
Rock of Ages…yeah as much as I love 80s music I hated this one
Snow White & The Huntsman…hated it, and unfortunately it was inspiring enough to make more fairy tale based movies in 2013
Thanks for the long comment, dude! Glad you agree with most of my picks 🙂
Cool list Fernando, I always like it when I have not seen the majority of films on someones top ten list. Reminds me of more films I need to add to my must watch list.
Thanks, man! Hope you get to see these soon. Obviously I like them.
The Sessions was fantastic. I really need to see Killer Joe…
Glad you liked The Sessions, too. And please see Killer Joe. Not enough people have seen that and I believe it’s fantastic.
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