|Best Film 2012: THE MASTER|
I’m a year behind on my top ten because I was tired of redacting my list a few months into every new year. Since I don’t get a chance to see many of these great films during their theatrical run I have to wait months for them to be released on disc. Sometimes I can see a film (like Haneke’s AMOUR) before its US release thanks to having a region free Blu-ray player but this is rare. Usually it is 4-6 months after release that I watch a film and that pushes it past my end of the year deadline so my Top Ten is always incomplete. So I decided my list would be a year behind which is beneficial to everyone since by this time the films are easily accessible through streaming or disc.
So much for the preamble! This year’s list is the first time a director has won the prestigious KOROVA AWARD for the second time. Paul Thomas Anderson takes home the coveted award for his none-too-subtle critique of the cult of Scientology. Cristian Mungiu once again makes the cut (see 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS) with a brutal and non-judgmental portrayal of an Orthodox convent in his native Romania where a young woman dies during an exorcism. No, this isn't a “period” drama as this archaic practice still takes place in the 21st century. Mungiu’s BEYOND THE HILLS is based upon a true story. Kathryn Bigelow and Michael Haneke are two of my favorite directors and are both represented in 2012 with daring and controversial films concerning morally “justified” murders. From first time directors such as Leos Carax and Nuri Ceylan to make my list to favorites like David Cronenberg and Wes Anderson, I believe every film here is worth at least a small amount of your time to check out.
- THE MASTER (Paul Thomas Anderson, USA)
- BEYOND THE HILLS (Cristian Mungiu, Romania)
- ZERO DARK THIRTY (Kathryn Bigelow, USA)
- AMOUR (Michael Haneke, France)
- HOLY MOTORS (Leos Carax, France)
- LOVELY MOLLY (Eduardo Sanchez, USA)
- ALPS (Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece)
- MOONRISE KINGDOM (Wes Anderson, USA)
- ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey)
- COSMOPOLIS (David Cronenberg, Canada)