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Not Another Best of 2012 List

Posted by martinteller on December 26, 2012

Now is the time when bloggers the world over start tallying their best movies of the year.  Not just best movies, but best performances, best scripts, biggest surprises, saddest disappointments, best lines, most righteous explosions.  Folks are noting recent trends and forecasting the upcoming year.  There’s a lot of summing up going on.  Bloggers are reflecting on what 2012 has brought in the world of cinema.

Sadly, or not so sadly, I will not be contributing to this storm of remembrance of the past year.  Because — as regular readers already know — I just don’t get to the theater that often.  Three times this past year, to be precise.  I acknowledge the benefits of the theater experience, and it definitely can be neat to be at the forefront of discussion, but the cons outweigh the pros to me.  I prefer to catch up on DVD, from the agoraphobic comforts of my couch.  And even though I’m usually late to the party, it’s kind of nice to play clean-up, commenting on a movie after the dust has settled.

Even stretching it to include some arguably 2011 releases, I wouldn’t have enough for a satisfying top 10 of 2012 list.  Instead, I submit a list of the movies I most want to see before I begin to put together a “best of” list.  I’ve probably forgotten a few, and I’m open to suggestions.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Bitter Buddha
Cloud Atlas
The Comedy
Django Unchained
From Up on Poppy Hill
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Holy Motors
I Wish
The Imposter
Jobraith A.D.
The Land of Hope
The Master
Mekong Hotel
On Death Row
Photographic Memory
The Queen of Versailles
Red Hook Summer
Rust & Bone
Searching for Sugar Man
Sexy Baby
Silent Hill: Revelation
To Rome With Love
Wreck-It Ralph
Wuthering Heights
Zero Dark Thirty

14 Responses to “Not Another Best of 2012 List”

  1. Looks like a great to-see list. From those that I’ve seen on it, I most want you to see Wuthering Heights, and highest on my own to-see list are Amour, I Wish, and Holy Motors. Looking forward to your reviews of all of these!

  2. You might consider some of these 2011 films, but here goes:

    The Kid with a Bike
    The Secret World of Arrietty
    Oslo, August 31st
    The Loneliest Planet
    The Grey
    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

    Apologies if you’ve seen any of these already. Since you don’t have a list yet, I’ve no way to get a quick idea what you’ve seen.

  3. JamDenTel said

    The Master, Wreck-It Ralph, Holy Motors, and Django Unchained are all excellent. Very highly recommended–as is Seven Psychopaths, which is remarkably funny.

    Cloud Atlas, Samsara, and Lincoln are all quite solid. Cloud Atlas in particular is impressively ambitious, if flawed.

    I personally thought Argo, Beasts of the Southern .Wild, Flight, and Looper were all overpraised. Not bad, but not as good as the hype suggests.

    The Hobbit was…boring.

    Happy watching.

  4. Exactly the reason why I won’t, and probably won’t ever, post a “best of” —- for the year just finished. I tend to catch up with films after they come out on DVD. And I’ve been thinking about it– how many movies should we see before we can create a top 10? 50 seems a bit slim. 100 is reasonable. But for those of us who have seen 20, and won’t get to the big movies released at the end of the year for another few months… I don’t know. I think there are many of us who feel like a top list is a positive thing,when we really don’t have a broad enough perspective to say.

    I have no idea if Django or Holy Motors might make my top list. And I won’t until the interest for my top of 2012 list is gone. So I’ll pass, I guess. I’m much more interested in creating my discoveries of 2012 list like Cinema on the Road did.

    • I think a lot of bloggers probably HAVE seen at least 100 films from the year. 50 seems reasonable to me, though. It’s hard to put a number on it. Maybe it’s never “safe” to make a top 10 list, not knowing what hidden gems you’ve overlooked.

      My discoveries list — a Filmspotting tradition — will be up soon!

  5. This year, I didn’t have time for the furious catch-up marathon I usually hold starting on Thanksgiving, so I’ve only seen one film on your list. In fact, I’ve only seen 24 films from 2012. (And that number won’t go up too much.) But Being Elmo, God Bless America, Life of Pi, Moonrise Kingdom, The Queen of Versailles, and Tomboy are at the top of my [severely incomplete] list.

    • Also, I’ve heard good things about The Loneliest Planet and Oslo, August 31st. I don’t know if you’ve seen them or not, but those two are films I want to see soon.

      • I’ve seen Oslo (and from your previous post, Moonrise Kingdom). James Black Ewing also pointed out Loneliest Planet. Tomboy, Being Elmo and God Bless America are possibilities. Life of Pi I’m not very enthusiastic about.

        Thanks for contributing!

  6. I’d say you might want to consider Killer Joe – it’s one of the most visceral and compelling things I saw this year. And I saw you said you weren’t that enthusiastic about Life of Pi, but I’d say it merits seeing – it’s one of the most astonishingly beautiful films I’ve seen all year, and the way it handles its themes and ideas while still telling a riveting story make it really top-notch cinema. It DOES deal heavily with faith and religion, which is a turn off for some people, but given your love of Bergman, I don’t see that being an instant turnoff for you.

    Also, Killing Them Softly is didactic, but it’s phenomenally made and really riveting. I loved it in spite of its flaws. Silver Linings Playbook is a lot darker and more interesting than your standard romantic comedy; it’s a crowd-pleaser, but a richer one than you might expect. Similarly, Chronicle is a much better variation on the superhero/found footage genre than you might expect.

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