My top 12 films of 2012

I suppose most people do a top 10 at the end of the year. But I’ve seen so many good films in 2012 that I was finding it difficult to narrow down to just 10. And then I heard Mark Kermode decide it was OK to have 12 films for 2012 – and who am I to argue.

As with the worst films of 2012, click on the film title to read longer opinions.

Number 12 – Martha Marcy May Marlene

Gentle, sinister and chilling – difficult to say more without giving too much away.

Number 11 – Cosmopolis

Intriguing, mystifying and enigmatic, giving Robert Pattinson a new challenge.

Number 10 – The Dark Knight Rises

A fitting finale to the trilogy – always difficult to fault Christopher Nolan’s directing.

Number 9 – Melancholia

Maybe this was officially released in 2011, but I didn’t get to see it until this year, so I’m allowing it. An excellent observation of a chronicle of severe depression, and visually very powerful. 

Number 8 – Shame

Powerful film about the shame of addiction (of any type), of not being able to break free from it, of battling inner demons; with an excellent performance from Michael Fassbender.

Number 7 – Argo

A tight, excellently constructed film, and the ‘will they, won’t they’ sequence towards the end are some of the most tense few minutes I have ever experienced watching a film.

Number 6 – Jagten (The Hunt)

The ending to this film about a teacher accused of inappropriate behaviour with a pupil stayed with me for quite a while after I’d seen it. Mads Mikkelsen is excellent.

Number 5 – Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgia for the Light)

Finely meshes together two themes, looking up from the Atacama desert to unlock the secrets of the universe, and looking down beneath the desert for the remains of Pinochet’s many ‘disappeared’. 

Number 4 – En Kongelig Affaere (A Royal Affair)

Second appearance for the beautiful and brilliant Mads Mikkelsen. Not your common or garden fluffy period drama – this is social history brought to life.

Number 3 – Skyfall

Where No Bond Has Gone Before. All the action and glamour of Bond, plus the added layers which, don’t spoil the Bond mystique. Beautifully shot.

Number 2 – Samsara

An absolutely beautiful film that will say something different to everyone who sees it – a juxtaposition of faith, nature, humanity and automata which had me leaving the cinema with a feeling of wonderment.

Number 1 – Even The Rain

Fascinatingly weaves in the real life story of the exploitation of locals in Cochabamba with a film shoot also using locals. Parallels are drawn yet not over-stated, and when the modern police encroach on the filmset and find themselves face to face with the red-painted indiginous people, the point is well and truly made. Brilliant.

I’d love to know what you liked this year, and if you agreed with my choices.  Happy New Year! 

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