The Independent London Newspaper

 

MOVIES OF THE YEAR: Dan Carrier looks back at what floated his boat at the cinema in 2012

Main Image: 
Six-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy in Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Six-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy in Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Published: 27 December, 2012
by DAN CARRIER

THERE were plenty of big flicks out, with Peter Jackson taking us back to Middle Earth with his first part of The Hobbit and Sam Mendes being given the reins of a new James Bond film, Skyfall.

Thankfully, there were a lack of big sequels (Who kissed Harry Potter? Not I...) and some fantastically original, enjoyable offerings.

Here are some of the films of 2012 that if you didn’t catch in the theatre, are worth finding on DVD.

THE AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

THIS is a film packed to the rafters with the super-heroes, the comic-book characters that defined 20th-century Americana.

It had to be big and bold – and director Joss Weedon nailed it when he united the likes of The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.

It struck a great balance with some massive action sequences, zippy dialogue and plenty of jokes.
 


MOONRISE KINGDOM

FEW can do quirk like Wes Anderson – and Moonrise Kingdom has it with plenty to spare.

Sam (Jared Gilman) is the geeky Scout who has fallen in love with outcast girl Suzy (Kara Hayward).

They decide the only answer is to elope – prompting a frantic search for them as a great big storm approaches.

It works because the story is odd, the acting brilliant, and you’ll not a find a more original screen play out there.
 


BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

SURELY a shoo-in for a range of Oscars, this story of a little girl and her dad living in a Bayou islet called The Bathtub, at the mouth of the Mississippi, was the highlight of the London Film Festival.

Six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), is the star of the show, a wild-haired child whose father, Wink, is a man who can barely look after himself, but whose paternal instincts haven’t been completely buried by drink.

Her friends are other bare-footed children and the animals of the Bayou.

Her child-like wonder gives her an understanding of the natural world, and she recognises an eco-system that is a fragile jigsaw of interconnecting pieces – when one is out of kilter the rest doesn’t fit.

Wonderfully shot – the magical world of a seven-year-old comes alive – this is also a very moving story about the ravaging effect humans have on planet Earth.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA

A DISPARATE group of men head into the hills in Turkey to find the corpse of a murdered woman.

Forensic police officers, investigators and two suspects have a long night ahead of them – and we’re taken along for the ride.

It is grim, it is rainy, and with scenes lit by car headlights, this drip-drip thriller is long and winding, and all the better for it.
 


AMOUR

YOU could be forgiven for giving this film a swerve, as the story of how one half of an elderly couple slips into the twilight of her years while her distraught husband does all he can to make her comfortable is hardly a way to escape the horrors of real life.

But Michael Haneke’s telling of the story is utterly enthralling – life is full of heartbreak and he shows this in all its raw emotion.
 


BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO

TOBY Jones stars as the sound engineer from little Dorking sent to a crazy Italian film company to dub a horror film with splats, crunchs, groans and screams.

Peter Strickland’s first feature, Katalin Varga, was a haunting, scary experience. He shows it was no fluke.

 


THE IRON LADY

IT could have the capacity to cleave opinion down the middle, much like its subject matter.

But this film about Margaret Thatcher works because it isn’t simply a bio-pic about the UK’s first female prime minister, it is a film about growing old, and the horrendous effect of senile dementia.

Meryl Streep turns in a top-notch performance.
 


LONDON: MODERN BABYLON

JULIEN Temple’s film was the cinematic version of Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony celebration of our country, and came out at the start of London 2012.

It’s a documentary made up of a few talking-heads Londoners sharing their memories, wonderful music, and a series of incredible newsreels, home videos, and archive material.

Temple completely aced it. This is a celebration of a London that deserves being highlighted. It was perhaps the very best cinematic experience I had in 2012.

At various times I was moved, disturbed and made to ponder deep Thomas Hardy-style thoughts on the human condition, made better by a deep sense of peace, too.

Comments

Post new comment