Top Ten of 2012
Another year has come and gone, which means it's time to look back on the best movies of 2012.
Previous thoughts on the film HERE and HERE. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln features some of the strongest performances of the year. Daniel Day Lewis' performance alone is enough to merit a spot on the list, but the film has a lot more going for it than just that. The story is both compelling and inspiring, however I'm not quite sure it will have much of a rewatch factor (then again, it's not like I've watched Schindler's List ten times and that doesn't exactly diminish its quality...)
9. Zero Dark Thirty
I couldn't believe this movie was being made so soon after the events that inspired it. In some ways I still kind of think that's questionable, but I can't deny that I'm glad this movie was made...if only to give praise to the unsung heroes that really made the siege happen. Jessica Chastain does a marvelous job, which is a really good thing because the movie almost rests entirely on her shoulders! I wish the film was a bit more tightly edited, but also can see how the filmmakers wanted to stress every detail to make the viewer understand what a long process it really was to find Bin Laden.
8. 21 Jump Street
Any of my honorable mentions could have definitely filled this spot, but you know what? I needed a nice well-rounded list that included a bit of comedy, and 21 Jump Street happened to be my favorite comedy of 2012. This film had me in stitches all throughout the first time I saw it. And who knew Channing Tatum was anything more than a mimbo!? (That's a male bimbo for those who are unfamiliar with Seinfeld.) This is probably the best work he's ever done to be honest! And while we're talking about the cast I have to say I love little Dave Franco in his supporting role. Really though you can tell that everyone is having a ball in this movie!
7. Liberal Arts
Original review HERE. Josh Radnor wrote, directed and starred in this Sundance hit about the "in-between" stages of life...and like his other work, it really resonated with me. It's not a perfect film by any means, but I really identified with far too many of the things it had to say. Plus I really appreciated that I wasn't really able to predict everything that was going to happen (to be honest, I was too engaged in the dialogue to focus on what may or may not happen next.) I don't know...I just thought it was an incredibly refreshing film.
6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Original review HERE. Yeah, I know people have their issues with this film... but honestly I've seen it three times now and I've loved it every time. I love the character of Bilbo Baggins (as well as Martin Freeman who plays him), and I found the first part of his story to be highly enjoyable and entertaining. No, it's not a carbon copy of the Lord of the Rings films, nor does it have to be. The two film series rightfully have completely contrasting tones, and I for one am perfectly fine embracing that. Besides, who doesn't love a little time in middle-earth? Especially with an excellent as ever Gollum this time around!
Previous thoughts on the film HERE. Ben Affleck does a masterful job of building tension in this incredibly true (well...true yet highly dramatized apparently) story. How this scheme to rescue a group of kidnapped Americans in Iran plays out was both incredibly fun and tense to watch! From the characters conceptualizing the idea to carrying it out, each phase is important and interesting. It also doesn't hurt whenever you throw Alan Arkin into the mix!
4. Silver Linings Playbook
Yet another film packed with wonderful performances by a terrific ensemble cast finds its way onto my list. Bradley Cooper, in particular, is absolutely excellent in this story of a bi-polar man trying to get his life back together (even though he pretty much wants to make the same mistakes that got him into the mess he's dealing with in the first place!) There's definitely a lot going on here and honestly it's hard to categorize the film into any one genre, and that's kind of what I love about it.
3. Ruby Sparks
Previous posts on the film HERE and HERE. This is the third relationship film to find its way on my list...(yes I must admit I have a weakness for them,) and this one is definitely my favorite. This film has a bit of magic to it that I adore; it's kind of like Stranger Than Fiction meets The Purple Rose of Cairo in the best possible way. When it comes down to it, it's about loving a person for who they are, not for who we want them to be, or think they should be. The script is funny, smart and incredibly poignant all at once.
2. Life of Pi
Original review found HERE. Ang Lee's Life of Pi was without a doubt the most visually stunning film to grace the screen in 2012 (maybe though had Gatsby not been delayed there would have been more competition!) And although as spectacular as it was, that cinematography wasn't all that Life of Pi was able to boast. in its favor. I was stunned this film was as riveting as it was! Honestly, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time...and once it was over I thought about it for days. It's definitely a film that stays in your mind, not only visually, but intellectually as well.
And now.....my #1 favorite film for 2012 was:
1. The Impossible
Original review found HERE. This film was without a doubt the most powerful film of 2012. Nothing even came close to making me feel the emotions I felt while I was sitting in that theater. The performances of everyone involved were honest...beyond remarkable. Somehow these actors made you truly believe that they were a family; that they had this bond. You can just FEEL their love and concern for one another...and that on its own is powerful. This film deserved so much more recognition than it got and it is truly a shame that more people haven't taken the time to see it. Honestly, I can't even say enough how wonderful a film this is. It is one of the most brutal you could possibly watch, but truly rewarding and wonderful all at the same time.
Honorable Mentions: The Dark Knight Rises, Les Miserables, The Amazing Spider-man, Looper, Bernie.