last year (or who have ever heard me talk about lists) know that I have an extremely difficult time ranking things - especially art. Favorite song? Why pick one? Love song? Rock song? New wave? Folk thrash? Who could choose just one?
Sometimes, I see a movie that seems to be written, directed, and filmed JUST FOR ME. It's about a subject that moves me, it features characters I can relate to, and it FEELS right. I connect to it in some indescribable way.
Side note: as I type this, the trailer for Gangster Squad has just come on the TV. I am totally distracted. Can we just talk about Ryan Gosling for a bit?
We are discussing top ten lists. Right. Let's just call mine "Movies That I Can't Stop Thinking About: 2012" (please don't be mad at me). I will number them, but please know that in my heart, many of these are tied.
10. Moonrise Kingdom/The House I Live In/The Invisible War/The Queen of Versailles - The kind, smart man who runs this site said I can't have a four-way tie at number ten. But I'm making my own rules! If you are reading this list, and only one movie is left in the number ten spot, you'll know I was edited. Message me. I'll tell you all four movies that deserve to be here.
9. Magic Mike/Haywire - It's a tie! Soderbergh's signature style is all over both of his 2012 films.
8. The Central Park Five - I've talked about this Ken Burns documentary every single day since seeing it. While the film is maddening, depressing, and disheartening (and reminiscent of the West Memphis Three story), it's a must-see for anyone who cares about justice/correcting injustice in any way. PLEASE SEE THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE.
6. Looper - I really enjoyed Looper when I saw it in theaters, and then a month later, images from the film kept popping into my mind, begging me to re-watch. Looper took me by surprise. I love its "slickness"; every second felt new and engaging.
5. The Cabin in the Woods - Have you seen it yet? If not, get thee to a video store! I think there are two left in each state, maybe.
4. Cloud Atlas - I feel like a broken record with this list, but I guess
that is normal, since these movies all made it for a reason - and the
biggest reason is that they all captivated me and moved me in some way.
Even when Cloud Atlas was confusing, it was still interesting.
Interesting to watch, interesting to think about, and interesting to
FEEL. It's ambitious and layered, and it never wastes a minute of screen time.
3. Argo - Ben Affleck can do no wrong (anymore). His hair and beard in this film deserve the top spot on the list, by the way.
2. Safety Not Guaranteed - I'm happy that I saw this in the theaters
right away without knowing much about it or even knowing anyone else who
had seen it. It felt like my little secret. But I'm glad that it grew
an audience and that others really loved it too; we need to remind
Hollywood that there needs to be more of these types of movies. I've
been thinking about the characters and the ending of the movie since I
saw it. Also, what is with Mark Duplass? He and his career fascinate me.
The Sessions - Based on an incredible true story featuring sharp, honest performances. Wow.
The Master - I really loved it when I saw it, but it has not stuck with me in the way these others have.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - Despite some of the Keira Knightley characters's manic pixie characteristics that I am so, so over in movies, I really liked this flick. Sad, warm, sweet, moving. Thinking about Steve Carell's character seeing his dad en route to trying to help Keira Knightley's character get home makes me need to take a deep breath -- and leads me to wonder if I should re-watch this and move it higher.
Beasts of the Southern Wild - I was sick when I watched this. A second, proper viewing might move it up. Can I re-post this whole list in February?
Jack Reacher - Yes, Jack Reacher. Did you see it? I don't care if it wasn't exactly true to the book. It was dark and moody and Tom Cruise kicked lots of ass. I recently re-watched Ghost Protocol; between that and Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise is the coolest ass-kicker of recent years.
The Avengers - Let's get some Shawarma! This movie was soooo much fun.