Day 7:40 am
The year in cinema shouldn’t really be gauged by its highs and lows, as there will always be a few terrible movies and a few great ones. The state of Hollywood is best measured by everything in between – the movies that range between pretty good and utterly forgettable.
Thankfully for 2012, the scale tips closer to “pretty good.” While greatness remained a rarity, the year had its share of standouts.
Out of the 103 movies I saw that were released theatrically in 2012, these were my favorites. It doesn’t include “Zero Dark Thirty” (not screened yet) or some of the smaller films still in limited release. Even without them in contention, it wasn’t hard filling slots.
1. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson’s movies exist in a world slightly askew – rich with characters and details that seem trapped in a time that is simultaneously more romantic and somber than the real world.
Anderson’s lesser movies (think “The Darjeeling Limited”) lack an emotional connection to reality, but his best movies, like “The Royal Tenenbaums” and now “Moonrise Kingdom,” mix the eccentricities with universal truth.
“Moonrise Kingdom” isn’t particularly complicated. The central characters, two pre-teens played by newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, fall in love and run away together. Their relationship is pure, innocent and without the awkward mugging that more “experienced” young actors might attempt with the material. Their scenes capture a feeling of rebellious youth – something that can’t easily be recreated for those of us who are well past our grade school years.
That the movie fills in this altered-but-impassioned world with an outstanding supporting cast (Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand and Bill Murray) is an added bonus. This is Anderson’s most assured and relatable effort to date, and the best movie of 2012. (more…)continue reading