When Kim asked me for my top five films of the year, I thought “wow that’s going to be really hard to decide”. I love films and I love reading critics’ top ten films of the year lists. Sports people get excited for draft days and signing of free agents. I, on the other hand, get excited for the end of the year and the start of Oscar season. To read what critics loved and loathed and being able to see how my own list compares to theirs greatly excites me. To finally be able to do my list is really awesome! Unfortunately seeing films in Manhattan is expensive, so I haven’t seen that many 2012 releases.
Author’s note: I have not seen Les Miserables yet. Odds are once I do, that will be number one (unless it sucks). But as of December 9, 2012 this is my top five list.
Number 5: Moonrise Kingdom: An extremely unique love story told by the massively creative Wes Anderson. Just from viewing the trailer, I knew this would be a classic Wes Anderson film. Seeing Moonrise Kingdom offered me some of the most carefree time spent at the movies this year. A great ensemble and great cinematography make this a film not to be missed.
Number 4: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter: Ah, yes the lesser known of the two Lincoln “biopics” films of 2012. Adapted from the equally entertaining novel of the same name by Seth Grahame- Smith, this film tells the unknown history of one of the greatest leaders this country has ever had (you can read my book review here and my page to screen review here.) With action sequences and solid performances that kept the audience at the edge of their seat, this film proved once and for all that there is such thing as a good book to screen adaptation.
Number 3: I couldn’t decide between The Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street, so I picked them both!
The Hunger Games: Another excellent page to screen adaptation and definitely this year’s first blockbuster hit (rightfully so). The young cast, in particular Jennifer Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen, jumped off the screen and made the audience feel like they right there in the games with them. I think the shaky camera work used by director Gary Ross helped illustrate this feeling as well. Every emotion I felt while watching that film lined up perfectly with how I felt as I read the book. If you’re one of the very few people who haven’t seen this film yet go check it out, but read the book first!
21 Jump Street: I’ll admit it. I was highly skeptical that this film would be funny. Channing Tatum in a funny role? No way. I saw his SNL performance and thought it was pretty bad. After seeing this film, I take it all back. Channing Tatum, funny? HELL YES! This is probably the most quotable film of the year. My side hurt from laughing after seeing this film. Jonah Hill as the sidekick was hysterical and his performance just made my night when I saw it. Definitely check this comedy out, it’s so worth it. I’m hoping the film receives a Golden Globe nomination for best comedy. I’m doubting that it will happen, but after The Hangover received one and won it a few years ago, so you never know.
Number 2: The Dark Knight Rises– First things first, screw The Avengers. It was semi-entertaining, but nothing compared to the final installment of The Batman Trilogy. From the bad ass-ness of Bane, the twist ending, and the incredibly gorgeous Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, I could not have scripted a better ending to one of the greatest trilogies of all time (only behind The Godfather Trilogy in my opinion). Like his other two Batman films, Nolan was able to leave the audience wanting more when the credits rolled. He was able to create a Gotham City that was real and very life-like. The film had a tough predecessor, especially with Heath Ledger’s genius portrayal of The Joker, but this film came really close and in some aspects topped the previous two films. Also how could you hate a film that spawns something as awesome as this picture?
And number 1……….
Argo: Ben Affleck, you are forgiven for Gigli and Jersey Girl (actually I was never mad at you for those because I never saw them). This film left me absolutely speechless. Ben Affleck is a master director and because of that was able to tell this unknown story of a classified CIA case with ease and honesty. If you are unfamiliar with the story, six people were able to escape the American Embassy the day the Iranian Hostages were taken. They hid at the Canadian ambassador’s house until the CIA concocted a plan to rescue them. CIA agents went undercover, stating that they were a Canadian film crew scouting a site for their new film, aptly titled Argo. The suspense you felt in this film was real and genuine because it was a real story. Even though the end was fabricated for the screen, I was still on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen to these people who had suffered so much already. It was a mesmerizing story with excellent ensemble acting, and perfect direction from Ben Affleck. He has definitely found his niche as a director and found a fan in me. Definitely check it out.
Well readers, there you have it. My top five (really six) films of the year. Do you agree with my selections? What are your top films of the year?