Another year, seen some more films: 86 in total, significantly less than last year, which in turn was lower than the year before. If only I made the difference up by making more films myself…
My list is based on the films that have been released in the UK in the year 2012, plus films that I have seen for the first time this year.
Unpretentious. Heart breaking. Voyeuristic. Lonely. Touching. Love.
- The Master
A very dense film. Stellar acting, a nervous score, crisp imagery. This is a film I will revisit in years to come, each time taking in undiscovered aspects.
- Holy Motors
Completely wacky, and yet there is reason to the madness. This film redefines method acting Very refreshing, unlike anything I’ve seen this year. This is why cinema was invented: to amaze, to confuse, to seduce, to disgust.
Released at the start of the year but not fading away. This film reaffirms why I like Michael Fassbinder (and the acting choices he makes). Daring, intense. Moody cinematography and score.
- Rust & Bone
Damaged characters who try to make their lives slightly better. Quite a physical film, that gets under your skin. Happy to see Marion Cotillard excelling in a French film, and to see her teamed up with Belgium’s gem Matthias Schoenaerts.
Everything that we love about Bond films, but then embedded in a character driven story, and with a visual flair that really supports the theme of working in the shadows vs. being exposed.
- Midnight in Paris
Finally some magic realism in a mainstream film! Lovely ode to a Paris of days gone by, and to (now) famous artists.
Brilliantly extending the theme of depression and feeling a sense of impending doom with an actual end of days scenario. Tragic and poetic.
On my toseelist for years, and now finally released. Initially just a montage of pretty pictures, until we cut to an office worker’s cubicle where a man starts to smear clay onto his face and then applies paint. That’s when it became clear that they were raising the stakes and not “just” out to make Baraka part two.
- Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson’s films are a bit hit or miss for me. Bullseye this one! Funny, loveable characters, and leaving me with a feeling of melancholy. Great!
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Period perfection. Very skillfully acted by Gary Oldman who apart from one key moment never loses his cool.
Really only a series of music videos stitched together, but somehow not forgettable. I still do not quite get what drives (…) the main character, and whether his actions in the film matters to him or to us.
Couple of years old but only now discovered. Insightful look at the role of modern women in Lebanon. Rom com but with a bit more going for it.
- The Raid
Punch much? “High octane”, with some insanely choreographed fight scenes and mad camera work.