2012: Film

The way I typically designate a good film is based on the following, rigorous criteria:

1. There is a story
2. The story works
3. I feel an emotion other than boredom, irritation, or complete and unresolved confusion
4. The absence of Katherine Heigl

That's it. I don't necessarily have to agree with the filmmaker's intent, any moral, worry about the fps rate, or anything else. It's just got to nail the 4 principles and I will probably like it. Of course last year I saw movies that didn't qualify, of which there are legion.

Young Adult
Silver Linings Playbook
Anna Karenina

The "Am I Crazy? or Is this Movie About a 'Crazy' Guy Awesome?" Award:

Take Shelter.

Okay. Technically this movie came out in 2011, which means it basically gets to theaters near me a year later. And it was the best I saw last year. So I'm counting it. Contemporary stylists should take note. This is how style works, when in the service of a rock solid script. For anyone who has ever wondered "am I crazy?" "Am I making all this up?" "Can Michael Shannon actually act, contrary to what he demonstrates in Premium Rush?" these answers and more await you. And does Jessica Chastain.

The Emperor's New Clothes Award:  
The Andersons (Wes, Paul)

Everyone on earth shouted praises of these two last year and I wanted to join on in. But you guys, the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes. Maybe he's wearing like a teensy codpiece or something, but not much more.

Moonrise Kingdom. This one plays like Wes Anderson parodying Wes Anderson. I'm fine with a filmmaker having a signature, but this one feels like a flaccid Anderson just pushed "GO" on the Generate Wes Anderson Movie machine and this little tchotchke of a movie spat out.  Plus, I'm not too keen on movies where I don't feel a single emotion (other than boredom) for an hour and a half. I long for the halcyon days of Rushmore, the movie which I fear Anderson will never surpass.

The Master. I loved the premise. Loved. I loved the performances. I loved the cinematography. I wanted to love the story. I wish someone like Aronofsky or Peter Weir would have made it instead. Or Sidney Lumet arisen from his grave. Actually, I wish someone would still yet take another shot at this concept, with a new screenplay.

Movies I Sill Want To See, That Might've Made One Of These Lists Had I Not Had a Baby, Thus Preventing Me From Going To The Movie Theatre,  And While We're At It, Sleeping, Hanging Out With Friends, Exercising,  And Reading The Moviegoer By Walker Percy Which Has Been On My Nightstand For Months And Which I Have Failed To Read For The Third Time But Is Thematically Connected To This Post, In A Way:
Zero Dark Thirty
Promised Land
Les Mis
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Ruby Sparks
The Impossible


emily and logan said...

SO with you on Young Adult and Looper. Still have to see the rest on your YAY list. We don't see movies til they enter that Redbox thing. YAY to Bernie!! Fabulous! A big NAY to Beasts of the Southern Wild. But still see it since it's nominated. And also, I never liked another Wes Anderson movie after Rushmore. At all. Sorry Wes.

PS- going to back TV shows, you might like Parenthood. I just started it and I'm really liking it.
Next is Breaking Bad, but Logan has to have the time to watch that with me, so I'm not allowed yet. Blast!

Becca said...

The best documentary I watched in 2012 was Searching for Sugar Man. I loved it so much. Please watch it.

Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Artist were so, so good. I loved Looper, Life of Pi, and Take Shelter too. I can't remember when I watched The Beginners—it might have been 2012—but it was one of my favorite movies I've seen in a long time.

I really enjoyed Argo and Silver Linings Playbook, but they weren't necessarily my favorites of the year.

I liked Skyfall, since it was entertaining, but it was a pretty traditional Bond movie.

I was underwhelmed by Les Mis. I think I was so hyped about it due to the trailers making me cry I thought I would get more from it emotionally.

I was entertained by Moonrise Kingdom, but I think it was partially due to being excited that Jessica Hische designed the credits and title. I didn't understand why people were obsessed. Like you said, I didn't get emotionally involved.

I really want to see the documentaries 56 Up and First Position, and I really want to see Amour, Lincoln, The Sessions, and Anna Karenina. I'm still deciding if I want to see Zero Dark Thirty.

I haven't seen Young Adult! I kind of forgot about it, but maybe I should see it.

Wow, I just wrote so much. You totally wanted my opinions, right? :)

Amanda Seria Cook said...

Love this post. And the TV one. Netflix has destroyed my interest in watching shows as they transpire.

I have only seen Young Adult thus far on the "Yay!" film list though I want to see all of them. Young Adult was interesting and I think Charlize totally kept it moving, but by the end I didn't really connect or understand who she would become.

I felt more in common with the people she left behind— feeling sorry for Mavis even though she kept herself on this lonely "I'm above these people" pedestal. But it is true that she just didn't fit in at home. I guess I just didn't fully understand the point of her journey by the end. Was she going to change at all, try to grow up and start new somewhere else? Or would she slip into her E! Hollywood numbing, hair-pulling selfish life?


Sorry. LOONNG comment.

brittany t said...

Hey adrienne! Brittany here, old high school pal of Jared's. Ok, so we are totally film snob twins!! Every single movie you want to see but havent had time for etc, i want, except maybe Les Mis..I KNOW! I am just nota HUGE fan of musicals..but for stories sake, perhaps:)

I saw Bernie and thought it was hilarious yet sad. Argo was def a YAY! Affleck did an amazing job on respecting the story and people who were rescued from Iran. My body was tensed up nearly the last 45 minutes of the movie!

DEF want to see Amour!