Top 10 films of 2012 so far
1.) Dreams of a Life (2011)
(NOT depressing as the description indicates. Most gripping documentary I've seen in 2012. Memorable look at the life of Joyce, we are told her dead body was not discovered until 3 years later, with the TV still on. Her interesting tale is set in the UK and told from the point-of-view of friends and acquaintances.)
2.) Margaret (2011)
(About a confused young woman in a career best performance by Anna Paquin. Love the dialogue and how "novelistic" Margaret (2011) is. Set in post-9/11 New York. Not perfect, but was really surprised how effective this was considering it has gone through production hell. Highly recommended, a gem, finally out on dvd/bluray July 2012. A film you could easily rewatch. I think the length of the film makes us step into a world and see Lisa's mood swings, good days, and bad days, good decisions and bad ones. I wasn't bothered too much by the editing, most novels I've read I think need sharper editing, so it's nothing new to me. Maybe it could have been a mini-series instead, who knows.)
3.) Cafe De Flore (2011)
Definitely among the most underrated and overlooked new films. Two separate stories, a mother's love of her son, and also a parallel tale of a 40-year-old having a midlife crisis. The title is a tune from the beautiful soundtrack. I found script to be original, with (no spoilers) a fascinating and un-guessable twist ending.
4.) Detachment (2011)
(The strongest reactions to cinema I have are when I can relate on a personal level to what I see on screen. Detachment is probably not the best film of the year, and not for everyone. The premise is nothing new, but struck a chord with yours truly. I give the film extra points for bringing us close to the suffering, a powerful story, tough to shake from my memory. Great performance by Adrien Brody. The voice-overs at times reminded me of Malick's Tree of Life. Also the visual style I found to be quite original.)
(An under-appreciated independent film with a tiny budget released on dvd/blu-ray April 2012. The story is Lost in Translation in reverse, as a Japanese brother and sister visit the US.)
6.) Prometheus (2012)
(Future classic? The true test is rewatchability. For the moment, I would rank it as my 3rd favorite Alien film, behind Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986). Prometheus was very entertaining and occasionally had some food for thought. I think Ridley Scott succeeds in re-energizing the Alien franchise. There are flaws, for example the stupidity of the brilliant scientists, and tough to care about certain characters when they have so little screen time.)
7.) Shame (2011)
(I realize there is a lot of love for Shame in the blogosphere, but I'm not convinced that it is the timeless masterpiece everyone wants to proclaim it to be. Very good and should have been oscar nominated, yes certainly. But is it great? hmm...I don't know. Let me watch it again, and ask me then.)
8.) Intouchables (2011)
(I usually find it difficult to love French cinema, I will have to make an exception for Intouchables. A star is born in the shape of actor Omar Sy. He beat Jean Dujardin at the French equivalent of the oscars, the Cesars. Yes, Sy's performance is THAT praise-worthy. Likeable characters that can appeal to young and old alike)
9.) Into the Abyss (2011)
(Moving, tragic, and important look at the death penalty. What's interesting is you see it from the point-of-view of all sides. Pretty creepy too, I wouldn't watch this late at night...)
10.) Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
(Very suspenseful entry, for me better than 2 and 3 in the series. The ending was a bit far-fetched, the Dubai scenes were spectacular)
Lots of 2012 films I have yet to see(I'll save those for an anticipated post). I'm aware that a few of my choices here are "old" and were released in 2011 in some areas. I'm more interested in talking about the film experience than release dates. Take this as a subjective ranking.
Have you seen any on the list? Thoughts on my choices? What are your favorite new films of the year so far?