Tuesday, January 1, 2013


The end of one year and the beginning of another are special times for us all, but for cinephiles it means you must make an accounting of what you've been watching and what you've been meaning to watch throughout the last 12 months. For us unprofessionals there's bound to be a lot that we didn't get an opportunity to see. Throughout this month, and maybe even into the months to come, I will be posting a loose series that is looking back at 2012 in film, which was an incredible year by my measure. (How do you measure a year in film anyway? Mine is entirely personal and factors in how many of the films I saw were "great" in their own way and compare that number to other years in memory). This series will all be leading up to my very first annual The Film Tome Awards and an ultimate Top Ten (or Top 12, or maybe Top 25?) of the best films of the year. 

This particular post deals with the films I most wanted/needed to see that for whatever reason I have not yet seen. It is impossible for anyone to see all the films each year, but we can try to do our best. Ultimately, if you've seen everything you're interested in seeing and then some I'd say you've done pretty good. Well, these ten will prove I've yet to come close to being done with 2012 even if it is already done with me.

Honorable Mention: ParaNorman

Even though I've yet to see Laika Entertainment's previous hit, "Coraline," their sophomore effort, "ParaNorman" has looked like a fun time to me from the very beginning. I've dabbled in stop-motion animation myself and as a result have the utmost respect for filmmakers who choose/use it for their medium of choice. Also, it's morbid and zombie-fied - I'm all over that kind of stuff!

10. The Deep Blue Sea

Terence Davies' beautifully and softly lit film about a woman (Rachel Weisz) who is cheating on her husband, a British Judge, with a younger man, a Royal Air Force Pilot. I've watched part of this film already and unfortunately got too busy to return, but I look forward to sitting down to this mature drama   by way of the art house again soon.

9. Elena

Another one I only started, but cannot wait to start (and finish) soon. This is directed by Andrey Zvyaginstev, who is responsible for one of my favorite films of last decade, "The Return." When the subject of inheritance comes up in a middle-aged couple's status it leads the title character to make a plan so that the outcome is to her liking. I mostly want to know what is going to happen and that is not usually the reason you will want to a given film.

8. The Intouchables

"The Intouchables" became a hit in France earlier this year and is the country's official selection for the upcoming Academy Awards. It's based on the true story of a wealthy quadriplegic (who looks like he could be Dustin Hoffman's brother) who shockingly decides on a black man from the projects to be his caretaker and the adventures the two of them go on. It sounds all too capable of sentimentality and hilarious antics, but I want to experience a foreign take on such subject matter and see what all the fuss is about.

7. The Impossible

"The Impossible" tells the story of a family who was vacationing in Thailand the week a tsunami hit, their separation and the survivors' efforts to reunite. It's curious that it comes from Juan Bayona ("The Orphanage") but is showcasing that this guy has an impressive range. The disaster appears to be an impressive but terrible thing to sit through, but judging from its title I'd say something pretty miraculous is the result.

6. Rust and Bone

A whale trainer is paralyzed after an accident on the job and her lover's affection is tested and possibly even strengthened as a result. It's Marion Cotillard and Matthais Schoenaerts in the lead roles that caught my eye, but it's French filmmaker Jacques Audiard (director of the phenomenal "A Prophet") who turned my head. 

5. Anna Karenina

While I have only seen one of Joe Wright's previous offerings ("Hanna") I loved it so and will see everything he has done before/after. It's an adaptation of the Tolstoy novel, but it's a movie set in a theater and features a seemingly magical stage upon the screen. The trailer is breathtaking in an aesthetic sense, a production designer's wet dream or something of the like. Furthermore, hearing mixed reactions to it is even more exciting than a unanimous sway either way.

4. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

A group of men search for a body in the hilly realms of the title location. Yep, that's all I know. Critics have raved over this one for the better part of a year and now that it is on Netflix Instant I do not have an excuse any more, except for the 2.5 hour running time...

3. Amour

Directed by Michael Haneke, who I deeply revere, and winner of the Golden Palm at Festival de Cannes (none of the previous winners I have seen were anything but exceptional), "Armour" has been on my radar for a while, but received a very small release here in the States. This French film (third such film on my list) follows an elderly couple coming to terms with the sunset of mortality. It's looks as slow as it sounds and I'm "into" that type of picture.

2. Lincoln

Two words: Steven Spielberg. Three more: Daniel Day-Lewis. This is the only film left that was on my most anticipated films (of the rest) of the year. Honestly, I have not been excited to watch it. That's not near the right emotion I would ever have for a historical drama of this nature. Even if it weren't for all the Oscar-buzz this film was garnering I would still know that I had to see it.

1. Zero Dark Thirty

This is Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to her Oscar-winning force "The Hurt Locker" and it's even more relevant and actual a matter as it follows the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. It's hard to find a top ten list without it in the running and it is garnering speculation and controversy around may of its aspects (namely torture). This could very well be the most pertinent film of the year.

What am I doing writing a post like this anyway?! I could have seen one of these by now! What 2012 films will you confess to not have seeing (yet)? Please comment below and enjoy your time at The Film Tome.

1 comment:

Saruichiban said...

All I've got to say is none of those look interesting except Paranorman. Second note I'm horrified that another movie would dare use the name Deep Blue Sea and not be about sharks or Samuel L. Jackson.