Saturday, January 12, 2013

Best Movies of 2012

What a great movie year.  Tough to compose a list, but here it is (for people who care about lists and Matt, which are few and far between).

Could have made the list: Dark Knight Rises, Flight, Skyfall, Compliance, Silver Linings Playbook.

10. Les Miserables- Wasn't great directing and was trying to win Best Picture too much, but good performances from Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway (might walk away with Oscar for her brief performance).

9. Argo- Good film. Good directing. Ending was contrived. Genuinely intriguing all around good film.

8. Beasts of the Southern Wild- A low budget movie that hit a homerun. Brought out some really good discussion around race, poverty, etc. and proves that nine-year-olds can act.

7. Life of Pi- Good job. Haven't read the book. Looks really good as well.  Ang Lee comes through as always.

6. Cloud Atlas- I know this didn't make many lists, but I was thoroughly impressed with this film.  I have read the book, which helps I think. Directed well, looks fantastic, good acting.  I thought they did really well adapting this to screen.  Should have gotten an Oscar nomination for something, at least visual effects.  Not sure why it was panned by critics so much.

5. Lincoln- Great screenplay, classic Spielberg.  Day Lewis is probably the best actor we will ever see in our lifetime.  Lincoln was made to win Best Picture and probably will.  Great ensemble of a cast.

4. Django Unchained- Great Tarantino film, reminds me of why I like him so much. The first half was better than the second half. Christoph Waltz should win Oscar (again). The ending was a little strung out, but overall, fantastic.

3. Moonrise Kingdom- Fantastic screenplay and classic Wes Anderson.  This should be no surprise to anyone who knows me. Wes Anderson could direct Star Wars and I would still love it.

1 & 1. The Master/Zero Dark Thirty- Cheating a bit I know, and they are two completely different films.  Both were absolutely fantastic.  The Master was a clinic in acting and filmmaking, and Paul Thomas Anderson can do no wrong in my book. Everything fit together: the soundtrack, cinematography, directing, acting.  It was all there.  Zero Dark Thirty surpasses most films this year in terms of suspense, even though we know the ending.  Jessica Chastain should be recognized for being a strong female character without a hint of objectivity in a world where female characters are often objectified.  Both films are some of the best I've seen since in a number of years.  Bigelow was robbed of a Best Director nomination, likely for political reasons (the movie does not condone torture, and I'm tired of the argument), and The Master was robbed of a Best Picture and Director nod.

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