At long last, I have finally seen enough films from 2012 that I feel comfortable making my annual top ten list. There are a handful of films that I missed that could conceivably break into the illustrious group, but most of the biggies have been viewed. As I am getting older, responsibilities seem to be compounding and so my time for movies certainly has contracted. Still, I am becoming quite adept at attempting to only watch the "good" movies. I have seen 61 movies that were released in theaters during 2012. Of those, I only truly hated one (Piranha 3DD), and I only disliked 7 more. I saw a whopping 29 movies that I either loved or really liked. Only ten of those can make this list so here are my nineteen honorable mentions in no specific order:
Cabin in the Woods
The Invisible War
The Amazing Spider-Man
Maria Abramovic: The Artist is Present
The Secret World of Arrietty
The Sound of My Voice
To Rome with Love
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
On with the show:
10. Silver Linings Playbook
I have a thing for quirky love stories. What can I say? Whereas most of my favorite movies are love stories with their quirkiness based in fantasy, Silver Linings finds its own quirkiness in a very real place, mental illness. That may seem like a pretty strange statement, but I think that by embracing his characters struggles with their mental state, director David O. Russell actually tells a very interesting, touching, and powerful story.
9. Cloud Atlas
When I first heard three of my favorite directors (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski) were teaming up to make an epic science fiction movie that spanned six stories and hundreds of years, I was so excited I read the book. That may not sound like much, but I have a pretty poor literary history, reading scant few books that were not Star Wars or required school reading. This was the most challenging novel I have ever attempted. Six stories told from different perspectives and written in six very different ways with very little to connect them on the surface certainly did not provide for an effortless read. I finished the book just before the film left theaters and was lucky enough to catch one of the final showings. The movie carried many of the challenging themes over from the book and had to shorten some of the stories, but the heart of the novel was intact, and I can guarantee you that it provides the viewer with an absolutely unique experience that may not be duplicated again in our lifetime.
8. Moonrise Kingdom
The most beautiful film of the year. Wes Anderson has such an eye for detail it seams that he makes sure the blades of grass are lined up just so before he yells action. Read my review here.
Just saw a completely different Jack Black perform in Raleigh with Kyle Gass as Tenacious D. I love the actor and the rocker, but most of all I love Richard Linklater, by far my favorite director of all time. Read my review here.
Completely deserving of Best Picture (although two more nominees appear in my top 5). This was easily the best non-quirky, old-school, just-plain-awesome film of the year. A taught historical thriller with loads of heart. Read my review here.
Top 5 coming soon....