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:
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.
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.
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.
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
*Films I still haven’t seen that could’ve appeared here: Hodejegerne (Headhunters), Anna Karenina