The Top 10 Films of 2012

Amour

One of the most depressing films I’ve ever seen, Michael Haneke’s uncompromising, unglamorous look at the end of a long and fulfilling relationship is also one of the most haunting movies I’ve seen in a really long time. Despite its title, Amour is at least as much about the indignity of death as it is the perseverance of love and the delicate Amourpersistence of life in the face of one’s own mortality. It’s a wrenching, deeply moving portrait of the end of a life-long love affair that is remarkable not only for its depth but also that the couple, Georges and Anne, have had a rather charmed life together. So it seems especially cruel that fate takes Anne not in a tragedy or in any kind of bittersweet passing but in the slow devastation of stroke. Starring titans of French cinema Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, and co-starring Isabelle Huppert as their daughter, Amour is a painfully raw and honest examination of life and death, framed by Haneke’s spare and unsparing lens.Continue reading “The Top 10 Films of 2012”

Looper is a striking film, flawless story

Rian Johnson is one of the emerging American filmmakers leading a not-particularly-quiet and yet still somehow wholly disregarded renaissance in American film. Every year, as the number of sequels and Kevin James movies produced grows and people lament that film is dead, dying, over, directors like Johnson turn out well crafted, attentive films peopled with interesting characters that walk and talk in ways that actual people walk and talk, and not like walking exposition dumps or the archetypical beings that fill the lesser, more populous films dominating the landscape. It’s happening on a big-budget studio scale, too, this creeping Kudzu takeover of storytelling, but it’s more easily spotted in the indie landscape. For now.Continue reading “Looper is a striking film, flawless story”