Before I start my top 10 films of 2012 I should note that I have seen disappointingly few films this year. I’ve no doubt that my list would look a lot different if, for example, I lived closer to a cinema/could afford to restart my LoveFilm membership. I saw practically none of the films nominated for Oscars in 2012 (The Artist being an exception, although that was released in 2011) and other films like The Master, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Into the Abyss would have surely made my list if I had caught them. Anyway, enough bellyaching and on with my list! In no particular order:
1. The Imposter
Absolute favourite documentary of the year. A thrilling tale where truth really is stranger than fiction. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, just if you haven’t seen it, you must.
Ah young love! What do you do when your romantic trip to the Yorkshire countryside becomes a bit of a bloodbath? Don some knitted underwear and get stuck in, of course! Check out my review here. Dark comedy and gore – what us Brits do best.
3. Martha Marcy May Marlene
Wonderfully acted by Elizabeth Olsen, Martha struggles to re-adjust to family life after fleeing from an abusive cult. Living with fear, paranoia and tortured by her memories Martha must start her life all over again. An atmospheric and haunting film.
4. The Hunger Games
A teen phenomenon where the lead protagonist isn’t an affront to feminism – yey! Set in a dystopia future where every year a group of teens are selected to fight to the death, Jennifer Lawrence (who plays Katniss, above) makes this film. The second part of the trilogy is out later this year.
5. The Cabin in the Woods
As a bit of a horror fan, I loved this film which was essentially a bit of an in-joke for all us gore-geeks. A group of teens go to stay in a cabin in the woods, you know the rest… right? Entertaining and silly, this was right up my street.
6. The Dark Knight Rises
2012 had it’s fair share of superhero movies vying for attention (The Amazing Spiderman, Avengers Assemble – yawn) but for me, it was all about the Batman. For me, and I’m sure everyone else, the excitement over finally seeing the finale of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was marred by the tragic events in Colorado, made even more horrifying by the fact that nothing has changed. But politics aside, although it didn’t quite rise to the highs set by The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises was a fitting end to the trilogy and finally erased the dire memories of Bane in Batman and Robin – sorry Jeep.
7. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson is a bit of a crowd-splitter but I am firmly in the pro-Wes camp. A modern Romeo & Juliet tale with an ensemble cast and a particularly delightful turn by Tilda Swinton as Social Services.
Proving that the weapon of choice in 2012 was the trusty bow and arrow, Brave gave us a Disney Princess sans the obligatory prince charming. Instead we had the touching tale of an independent young lady and her relationship with her mum. And lots of gloriously Scottish scenery given the Pixar treatment. Stunning.
9. Berberian Sound Studio
Toby Jones plays an unassuming sound engineer who lands a job working for an Italian horror maestro, but finds things all a bit sinister. Mad; confusing; intriguing; stylish; mesmerizing – this films takes work, but the rewards are worth it.
10. Life of Pi
A late but deserving entry. An epic journey of loss, survival and faith with unparalleled visual effects. For my review, see here.
So that’s my personal film highlights from this year. Please share your own!