So I decided to have a look back at all the films I saw in 2012; get them listed in a spreadsheet with corresponding cinema scores and determine what the top 10 would be. I’d never looked back at a year of cinema watching before and so I was quite shocked to find that I’d watched 44 of the films released in 2012. This top 10 list is a little premature as I’ve still not seen Spielberg’s Lincoln, Kathryn Bigelow & Mark Boal’s Zero Dark Thirty, Tarintino’s Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Promised Land or The Impossible. All of which have been tipped for Oscar nominations. Additionaly, I missed Haneke’s Amour, while it was on a two week run. So take this top 10 with a pinch of salt, as I reckon the bottom half of this list will most likely be replaced with the aforementioned films. I’m almost confident Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Amour and Django Unchained will be in there.
Before we start with the Top 10, I’d also like to shine a light on some of the films which were good, but just not good enough to make it into the list, The “Honourable Mentions”, so to speak: Cloud Atlas, which was an over ambitious film to make, and was always going to be difficult to get one hundred percent. The Cabin in the Woods – A film that was actually made in 2010, but was released around the time of The Avengers to cash in on the success of Joss Whedon’s epic comic book juggernaut. French film, Rust and Bone, had some great performances from Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, but ultimately not that compelling enough of a story for me. Think Like a Man was a fun movie to watch and challenged the lilly white dominance of Hollywood rom-coms. John Carter was a box office disaster, but had a descent storyline and was a fun action adventure film, that had some franchise promise, but will now surely be poison. And we cant forget that this year was also partly responsible for the “McConaisance” with Matthew McConaughey pulling in brilliant performances in Killer Joe and Magic Mike. Let’s not forget how he may-have-an-almost-serious chance at winning an Oscar for “Ladies of Tampa”. PLEASE LET THAT HAPPEN OSCAR GODS!
Anyway, here the (current) Top Ten for The Bioscopist in 2012. If I’ve got a full review of the film, there will be a link at the bottom of each film for you to check out:
10: Moonrise Kingdom
I think you have to be a Wes Anderson fan to begin with, otherwise this film will probably drive you up the wall. It’s Wes Anderson at his most “Wes Anderson-ey”. If you’re into it, it’ll be everything you want it to be. There’s khaki trousers that are too short, precocious kids, child-like adults and a shirtless Bill Murray walking around with an axe , looking for a tree to chop down, after a heavy rum sesh. What’s not to like.
9: Seven Psychopaths
Martin McDonaghs follow up to In Bruges had mixed reviews with people either loving it or hating it. Basically the Marmite film of the year. I think what it boils down to was the heavy meta element to the plot. For wannabe filmmakers and writers it struck a chord. [FULL REVIEW]
8: 21 Jump Street
2012 has not been a great year for comedy. Frankly neither has the last 4 years. Jump Street stood out this year by showing us that Channing Tatum was more than just “the whigger on the block”, and could also flex his comic muscles and break your funny boners on demand. Filmdrunk’s Ashley Burns and Vince Mancini have come up with the moniker fitting his earlier Step Up days, “C-Tates”, which I salute and will from now on refer to him as such. [FULL REVIEW]
7: The Avengers
Joss Whedon made every comic book nerd wet their pants when he directed the best comic book adaptation you could make from the marvel universe. It probably helped that everyone’s expectations were pretty low going in. Did anyone see Thor? or Captain America? Those films sucked, but served the purpose of bringing together the most bad ass super hero team ever realised on the cinema screen.
Compliance was one of those films that never got much time at the cinema and had a very limited release. If you managed to see it, it was probably on DVD, LoveFilm or on Netflix. Either way it was a difficult watch and infuriating at the same time. Never had I felt so much anger at fictional characters before. Which goes some way to highlighting the performances of the actors involved. [FULL REVIEW]
5: Life of Pi
Ang Lee is proving yet again that he is one of the most versatile directors out there. This has been the only 3D film I’ve enjoyed this year. I’d not read the book this was based on, but I’d heard it was good, so my expectations were positive. I only just wrote a review for this which you can check out here [FULL REVIEW]
4: The Sessions
I was lucky enough to catch this at the London Film Festival, but it isn’t going to be released (outside of the US) until next year, most likely to tie in with any potential Oscar buzz it generates. It was part Oscar bait, part humble drama. The ensemble cast is what stands out in this film and not necessarily the directing. Helen Hunt and John Hawks are both hotly tipped contenders for the Best Acting Oscar categories. [FULL REVIEW]
Ben Affleck is becoming a good director to look out for. With Gone Baby Gone and The Town under his belt he’s proven he has a good eye for all things cinematic. Using his background in Middle Eastern Politics (Which he studied at college), Affleck delivered an intelligent and well executed thriller, which didn’t fall for the obvious bad guy tropes found in lesser films. Affleck is surely the next Redford for this generation. [FULL REVIEW]
2: Silver Linings Playbook
David O. Russell’s film about relationships and mental health is very honest and based in the directors own real-life experiences. Both Russell and his son are plagued by mental health issues, so you can see why the sympathetic and humorous, yet sweet approach works for it. It’s also a rom-com that can appeal to both sexes and is not overly cheesy. Silver Linings is probably the hot favourite right now for Best Picture, since the controversy with Zero Dark Thirty appeared. We’ll see…[FULL REVIEW]
1: The Master
Paul Thomas Anderson’s film was probably my most anticipated film of 2012. As you can probably tell I’m a HUGE PTA fan, so I’m probably more forgiving for The Master’s flaws than most. You only get a film from him every 5 years, so it’s like a major event when it happens. The film was surrounded in controversy and buzz following the revelation of the theme’s being discussed in the film. PTA’s earlier draft title for the film was “The Paul Thomas Anderson Scientology Film” so it got a lot of people interested early on. The performances by Phoenix and Hoffman were probably the best of the year. Combine that with excellent cinematography and outstanding score, from Johnny Greenwood, and you have my best film of the year. [FULL REVIEW]