My Top Ten Films of 2012
This is my first WordPress post so I thought I should create one of the best posts of the year i.e. create the list of my top 10 favorite films of 2012. 2012 proved to be one of the best years for filmmaking. There were a lot of surprises, shocks and controversies, but all in all, it was the year of best filmmaking. Obviously, this isn’t the ultimate list of best films of previous year, it’s just an amateur one made by a person who is crazy about films and Hollywood.
Here is the list of my top 10 films along with brief description and TWENTY Honorable Mentions:
1. Life of Pi
Directed by Ang Lee, based on the novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi is my top favorite film of 2012. Honestly, this is the first film that I have enjoyed watching in 3D so much since I’m not a big fan of this technology. Life of Pi proved to be the most wonderful and epic experience of the year and not just because it is visually stunning but also because it is the best filmmaking, the miraculous achievement of cinema, and the exceptional style of story-telling which was only possible because of the team effort of the entire cast and crew. Mychael Danna did the film score wonderfully for which he has already won a Golden Globe, David Magee wrote the screenplay which was directed into film by Lee who has won the Oscars before for Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It is an absolute honour that this film got ELEVEN Oscar nominations in the 85th Annual Academy Awards. I don’t care if it wins the Oscars or not, this film is, and will be my most favorite film of 2012.
Directed by Ben Affleck, who is also the main character of the film, Argo is an unusual thriller and my second most favorite film of 2012. The reason why I love this film so much is the style of thriller, the entire plot and story-telling i.e. the topic that revolves around the plot, the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. Nobody has ever touched it before and it was somewhat genuine of Affleck to make a film on it. It has an excellent screenplay (by Chris Terrio) and in my opinion, it deserves to win an Oscar. The acting is superb, the supporting cast is actually very supporting unlike most of the films where no major work is done on it. The best thing about this film is despite the fact that it is a thriller, the element of violence is negligible, you don’t have to see those torturing moments again and again, and it still manages to get you on the edge of your seats because of great direction and those intense moments spread throughout the film. Argo got SEVEN Oscar nominations which is wonderful but Affleck’s Best Director nomination snub is deeply saddening.
3. Silver Linings Playbook
Sometimes, to be perfect, all you need to do is accept your imperfections. This is what Silver Linings Playbook is about. The biggest surprise of this film is Bradley Cooper who blew my mind away with his performance. Jennifer Lawrence is always amazing at what she does and you can expect that kind of charm from her but I think Cooper and Lawrence have given their best performances in this film so far. The story is perfect. The direction and screenplay by David O. Russell are brilliant. The supporting cast members such as Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker are wonderful. What I love about this film is that its characters are so damaged but they still manage to pull it through and in spite of the imperfections they make their lives perfect. It received EIGHT Oscar nominations which are completely justified and reasonable especially Best Picture and Best Director and acting nominations for Cooper and Lawrence.
Winner of the Golden Palm at 2012 Cannes Film Festival, written and directed by Michael Haneke, Amour is a meticulous, demanding and a delicate psychological drama with a story and narrative beyond your imagination. Haneke has done a wonderful job on this film, it really deserves to be appreciated by every film lover and even if you don’t watch films, you still need to because it has a strong message for everybody: A message of love, affection and commitment. This is an extremely tough film to watch at some points, and it may give you chills on more than one occasions. Emmanuelle Riva has performed extremely well in this film, I don’t have words to describe how much I loved her performance. Amour received FIVE Oscar nominations and this is very surprising and rare for a foreign language film.
5. The Intouchables
A soulful French language comedy-drama film written and directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, The Intouchables was one of the most genuine surprises 2012. I had no idea how great this film would be and I am very, very glad that I had been waiting to watch this for a long time. The excellent incorporation of drama, slight humor, delicacy of the intense joyful/saddening moments and those silly jokes are what make this film so beautiful. The souls of the film are Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet, their performances keep this film alive. The storyline is fresh, as it is also based on a true story and it moves you emotionally and what’s best about it is that it doesn’t deviate from the true purpose of the movie despite the fact that it covers almost every aspect of drama in a single plot. This film has so much to offer once you’re ready to accept it. Unfortunately, it got snubbed from Best Foreign Langauge Film Oscar nomination but it’s alright, this fact won’t change my mind.
6. The Impossible
Terrifying depiction of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, a true story of a family, marvelous performances by Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, outstanding direction by Juan Antonio Bayona are what make the Impossible possible. It is an uplifting and exceptional story of a family that survive the disaster but they lose each other for some time, they don’t know where to find each other, obviously, because of large casualties and also because one cannot think properly after encountering the most shocking thing they would not have even imagined otherwise. It was an absolute tear-jerker of 2012. So, watch it on your own risk. The Impossible only got ONE Oscar nomination of Best Actress for Naomi Watts.
7. Django Unchained
I only have two words for this film: QUENTIN TARANTNO.
If you are a fan of Tarantino’s work then this movie is definitely for you. It has action; humor; a love story; elements of violence; drama; witty dialogues and a powerful screenplay. It has stellar cast members such as Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington, all of whom give phenomenal performances. It has superb direction. You get to listen to amazing songs while watching the film. This film is entertaining in every possible way. Django Unchained received FIVE Oscar nominations and it is probable that Tarantino would win the Best Original Screenplay award just like he won the same award at Golden Globes. Quentin Tarantino doesn’t always makes films, but when he does, he makes a masterpiece.
8. The Dark Knight Rises
After the long and tiring perusal of reviews, I concluded there were two opinions mostly: Either people loved it like anything or they hated it like anything. The Dark Knight Rises may have so many plotholes but we should not forget that Christopher Nolan was still able to give us a satisfying conclusion. The long running time, so many story-lines merged into one plot which is already murky, there were the chances that the conclusion would include some stupidities but I love this film enough to ignore those plotholes and stupidities. It is an absolute treat to watch so many talented actors like Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a single frame. I’m a huge fan of Nolan’s work and the way he incorporates darkness into his films, I love how he does that. Unfortunately, it didn’t get any Oscar nomination which is saddening because it should have gotten nominated in technical categories, at least. Despite the negative criticism from reviewers and its snub from all the awards, I love the Dark Knight Rises and will always do.
9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
You might be wondering why I included this film in my top ten list, then don’t worry, I’m doing the same and I can’t think of any reason to eliminate it from the list. That’s because the Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the most beautiful films I have ever watched. Its whole coming-of-age genre makes me feel more connected with the characters and I can actually understand what they are going through and how are they feeling. All of the major characters’ performances are incredible and I’m actually quite satisfied that Stephen Chbosky, who is both the writer and the director of the film, was able to get what he needed from them. If you like high school/teen drama films, then this is definitely the one for you.
10. Beasts of the Southern Wild
Last, but not the least, Beasts of the Southern Wild was easily one of the most surprising and magical films 2012. The best things about this film are the directional debut of Benh Zeitlin, and astounding performance of the lead actress, 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis who has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, thus making her the youngest nominee in the history of the Academy Awards. The film’s narrative and story-telling are much surprising, goes beyond your imagination at times, supported by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar‘s writing and makes you think what do you want to believe. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a mere proof that an unknown film can become one of the most well-known films in no time. It received FOUR Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. It should have also been nominated for Best Original Score because its score is fascinating and magical just like the rest of the film.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order):
- Holy Motors
- The Master
- Zero Dark Thirty
- Cloud Atlas
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Les Misérables
- Safety Not Guaranteed
- Oslo, August 31st