This blog gives a look into the eternal sunshine of my ever roving mind.
I consider myself a social critic.
I believe in Film, Music, Theatre, Musical Theatre, Gay Rights, the Right to Choose, Human Rights and YES I still believe in Barack Obama.
I believe in most things left of center.
I don't get any organized religion.They are all a sham.
This is the gay pride flag. I am proudly gay.
These are the things this blog is about.
Love it, like it or leave it. We all have choices.
better late than never...but to eventually do the 'best of the decade's' list 7 years from now i need to post this....
truly, it took me this long to catch up with all the 2012 films i needed to see to be a fair judge here. my movie going was limited, very, after my surgeries and during an extensive recovery. i promise, hopefully, that i will not use this excuse again but the cancer was real and the past six months were hell. however, the thought that YES i would get to see all these films helped that recovery amazingly.
so well after the oscars, the globes, the guild awards, the critics awards and everyone else's top 10-20 lists it's my turn. so although it may look like i have been so influenced, or not, by all these awards i have not. these are my choices after a lot of thought. it may help you decide to see some films you may not have seen and that are now all pretty much available on disc or streaming.
here goes my favorite films of 2012. they are films that somehow moved me, touched my soul and heart, made me laugh, cry, think, ponder and in each case make me want to see again.
the top ten in ascending order are:
10. 'the queen of versailles'
'the queen of versailles' was the best documentary i've seen in a long time. and quite a nice surprise. i generally would not put a documentary on this list but this proves the exception. it plays more like a 'movie' more than a documentary. that's a great accomplishment.
9. 'salmon fishing in the yemen'
this film was sadly among the lost films of 2012. in an excellent year many good films will fall by the wayside. this is one that did but thanks to video it is not gone. it's a charming 'slice of life ' movie with wonderful characters, a nice but simple plot and wonderful performances. emily blunt and ewan mcgregor are at the top of their game. add to them a rare comedic performance by the brilliant kristen scott thomas just adds to it's pleasure.
8. 'best exotic marigold hotel'
i love the film. i love the cast. it was one of the films i got to see early on. as i started catching up i wondered if this might fall below the top ten. (again i repeat 2012 was the best year in years for movie lovers.) but after juggling and moving titles around the board it remained a constant. judi dench and maggie smith top a wonderful cast. it touched my heart.
7. 'django unchained'
this was my great surprise i cannot say i am a fan of tarantino's past films. infact i disliked most of them yet found one almost entertaining '(inglorious basterds'). but djano and company got me. it made me laugh. it made me think. it made me not want it to end. and jaime fox and christoph waltz were amazing. this is a definite to rewatch. surprise surprise.
6. 'anna karenina'
i believe this is one of the most misunderstood films of the year with regards to how it was filmed. i know the theater to other locations back and forth confused some viewers and threw others off guard. keira knightley and jude law shined. give it a try with an open mind. in it's own way it's a masterpiece of film making.
5. 'rust and bone'
another lost film of 2012. it just didn't quite hit in this exceptional year. subtitled films often get lost in the united states. i think it's laziness. americans want to be entertained and reading at the movies does not fit their idea of entertainment. film lovers like me search them out. i mean how do most americans think the rest of the world see american movies? duh. anyway to see this gritty french film is to not only see a remarkable film but two brilliant performances by marion cotillard and matthias schoenaerts. neither was oscar nominted. shame on the academy.
it's all about the performance of daniel day lewis right? well wrong. there are a number of great performances in this film amongst them a superlative turn by sally field as mary todd lincoln. it actually is one of the only spielberg films i've truly enjoyed in the last god knows how many years. i've often quibbled that spielberg is overrated. not this time. although it played footloose with history it is a damn good film. not the best but almost there.
3. 'les miserables'
tom hooper has made a brilliant musical. i have filmed this in my mind over the past 25 years. i loved the musical on broadway, in london and in paris. i thought after the 25th anniversary concert it might not be necessary. i was wrong. the entire casting was right. hugh jackman was the perfect jean valgean. amanda seyfried, samantha barks, aaron tviet and eddie redmayne were perfectly cast and delivered the goods. and yes anne hathaway surprised me. i generally find her unappealing, untalented and overbearing but her fantine was remarkable. that mr hooper got this performance out of her says more about him than her. i've written it before and repeat: this is the best musical film in years. and that's saying alot because i am a fan of musicals on stage and film.
2. 'life of pi'
if for no other reason this makes #2 because it is the most beautiful movie i have ever see. but that is not the only reason. ang lee has made an impossible book to film quite possible. he did it. he won the oscar for best director and deservedly so among the nominees. the best director was unfortunately not nominated. i have only seen the film in 3d and that is the film i am giving this slot to. i can't guarantee the 2d version.
and the best picture of the year is
i guess you saw this coming. i have championed this film from the first weekend it arrived on screen. as i watched each film since, and prior to, it's release i never wavered. it never once fell to #2. it was a perfect film. even though the outcome was never in doubt it keep me on the edge of my seat. it is as intelligent as much as it is a thriller. ben affleck has made a great film. he has directed three films to date and they all shine. the academy should still be holding it's collective head in shame over his oscar snub. they did award it best picture and rightfully so. i cannot imagine this not being one of the best pictures of the decade. it is #1 at the moment.
under the top 10 in alphabetical order:
1. 'the bourne legacy'
it wasn't jason bourne but it worked. and rachel weisz got to be in a franchise film. who am i to complain.
gripping and the best denzel film since 'philadelphia'. he stole matthias schoenaerts (rust and bone') oscar nomintion but what the hell he didn't win it after all.
3. 'the impossible'
this almost made the top 10 in the 10th slot but i went with the documentary 'queen of versailles'. it is naomi watts best work to date. i was not once bored watching this film.
4. 'little white lies'
here is another french film that got to little exposure. depending on where you live this may have been a 2011 film. sometimes america is slow on the uptake. sometimes???
5. 'magic mike'
for awhile i thought this would make the top 10. but the movies just got better and better. it proved channing tatum and matthew mcconaughey were not just pretty faces. they can also act and damn well too. this is a fun movie.
6. 'silver linings playbook'
i was not as enamored as most critics or my friends. it was a nice 'slice of life' film with wonderful moments. but the first hour or so went on and on and... what did blow me away was the performance of bradley cooper. he was great in a cast the was really good. jennifer lawrence got the press and the oscar. bradley gets my respect.
7. 'the twilight saga: breaking dawn'
don't start! it had the best 'holy crap' moment on film this year. there was a collective audible gasp from the audience when i saw it. that alone gives it this standing.
8. 'zero dark thirty'
well it made it 'under the top 10' which is better than it's director, kathryn bigelow, did with me with her 2008 'the hurt locker' which made my worst of the year back then. jessica chastain stole marion cotillard's (rust and bone) oscar nom for what? it was a one expression throughout and tossing a red mane of hair performance. i don't get it.
worst film of the year 'woman in the fifth'
it's what happens when you expect so much and get so little or nothing at all. it's kristen scott thomas for god sake. what a mess. there were other contenders but for me this was a personal disappointment.
this was a tough one. daniel day lewis is the obvious choice and has been since he signed on to play 'lincoln'. but there was another contender or two. after a lot of thought and consideration i am going with everyone else's also ran hugh jackman. he was the perfect jean valjean in 'les miserables'. he had to vary his character more than mr day lewis and work with varied time spans which he did effortlessly. many believe this to be true: i just have the balls to say it out loud.
the not oscar nominated marion cotillard gave the best performance of the year period, period. the problem is i'll bet is that half the academy did not see this performance. also, they would not nominate two french, or foreign, actresses in the same year. so by word of mouth they nominated emmanulle riva for 'amour'. whereas the winner, jennifer lawrence had a 'showier' role in 'silver linings playbook' and one damn good scene, ms cotillard showed a sense of despair and then eventual hope throughout 'rust and bone'. i dare you not to see this film and not acknowledge marion's brilliance.
best supporting actor
hands down it is and was christoph waltz in 'django unchained'. this was a tour dr force for mr. waltz. mr tarrantino seems to be his lucky charm as it is his second win in this category for this director. this portrayal will go down in the books as one of the best of all times.
best supporting actress
i so so want to say sally field in 'lincoln'. i so not want to say anne hathaway in 'les miserables'. i can do neither. it is anne hathaway as fantine. she nailed it. this was not a one song win. her approximately 40 minutes on screen is what film is all about. she owned it. now go away. you had your day in the sun. even i bow to your performance. i repeat, now just go away.
and last but not least
the non oscar nominated ben affleck hands down. again collectively the academy should bow it's head in shame for ignoring his directorial brilliance earlier this year. enough said.
marion cotillard's brilliant, yes brilliant as in absolutely brilliant performance, gets it's bluray and dvd releases today. it was a success on the 'art house' scene last year and got some play in a simplified wider release. ms cotillard received critical acclaim, won a few awards, was nominated for many but was ultimately snubbed by oscar. she was in good company. remember ben affleck anyone?
this film is intense and often diddicult to watch. it is one of the best of 2012. yes it is in french thus subtitled. don't be lazy: read. be smart rent this movie.
did i mention it has a brilliant performance by marion cotillard? i love this actress as an actress and it doesn't hurt that i believe she is currently the most beautiful woman on screen today.
ben affleck won the dga last night. and with no nom foe best director in the oscar race. soooo is he on the way to best picture? appears to point in that direction. his oscar snub was and is an embarrassment to the academy.