How does a year fly by so quickly? How come it only seems like yesterday I was being hassled by MarBelle to put together my 2010 list? I haven’t watched as many films as I would have liked to this year, mainly because I’ve been rewatching my favourites and Caleb and Gallo have been making me watch theirs over and over (which I don’t mind too much as they’ve got fantastic taste). I promise to try a little bit harder to see a few more new films in 2012 though.
10. Tangled – Nathan Greno & Byron Howard
I know I had a Princessy film in my top 10 last year in the form of The Princess and the Frog and I don’t know if the reason I enjoy them so much is because I’m surrounded by boys. Whatever the reason I’m not ashamed to admit that I really did think this film was good, although out of the two The Princess and the Frog wins hands down.
9. The Fighter – David O. Russell
I saw this at the start of the year and remember really liking it, not least because Mark Wahlberg is in it as boxer Micky Ward. Christian Bale plays Micky’s volatile older brother and puts in a superb performance. This is a story of family and perseverance and is based on a true story, and I do love me a film based on a true tale.
Read the DN review of The Fighter.
8. Cold Weather – Aaron Katz
Yay, Mumblecore – c’mon I had to have at least one in this list! Cold Weather revolves around the disappearance of Doug’s ex-girlfriend and his efforts along with his sister Gail and new friend, Carlos, to find her. Things actually happen in this film and move along quite quickly so it’s maybe a good introduction to the movement for those not so familiar.
Listen to the DN interview with director Aaron Katz.
7. Littlerock – Mike Ott
A truly beautiful film shot on a handheld camera in a tiny Californian town – Atsuko and her brother Rintaro arrive in Littlerock together. Rintaro can speak a little English but when he leaves Atsuko is left to communicate as best she can. This is a story of Atsuko’s love of a rundown place and how relationships can form and develop despite obvious barriers.
Listen to the DN interview with director Mike Ott.
6. Without – Mark Jackson
I was so tired when MarBelle told me we had to watch Without and it’s a credit to it that I didn’t fall asleep. It was weird – not so weird that it alienates the viewer but intriguing weird if that makes sense? A girl arrives to take care of an old man in a near-vegetative state whilst his family take a break. She’s totally isolated – they live in the middle of nowhere and there is no phone signal or internet. Without explores her struggle with the monotony of it all. My description doesn’t do it justice – you need to see it for yourself and I need to rewatch it as soon as possible.
Listen to the DN interview with director Mark Jackson.
5. Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
Hilarious. If you haven’t seen this yet do yourself a favour and watch it, it WILL make you laugh, even if you’re not a girl. My future flashed before my eyes when Rita describes her three boys as ‘cute, but when they reach that age. Disgusting, they smell, they are sticky, they say things that are horrible. Everything is covered in semen’. Yuck.
4. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
I napped through Drive the first time around and kept waking up really confused wondering why the ugly guy out of Sons of Anarchy was in it. On second viewing I can see why I was so confused; it’s a surreal 80s montage of violence. And it’s also brilliant.
Read the DN review of Drive.
3. Another Earth – Mike Cahill
Rhoda fucks up. Badly. She finds a way to make amends, kind of, but she goes too far and in the end I was just willing her to confess all. The underlying constant throughout what happens is Earth 2, another Earth that Rhoda has put her hope in. Fantastic film that got a big ooooooooo at the end.
Read the DN review of Another Earth.
2. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
Exploring the relationship between a girl and her sister, this film is interesting in the way that the viewer can never really separate fiction from fact. Martha has escaped a cult and although we glean insights into what cult life was like for her through flashbacks, the main focus is on her efforts to return to some sort of normality and how this, in turn, affects her sister and her brother-in-law.
Read the DN review of Martha Marcy May Marlene.
1. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay
I’ve been waiting for a Ramsay film for years. I got over my disappointment that she stopped working on The Lovely Bones although she would have made that film a WHOLE lot better, and overdosed on trailers to get me through the months until …Kevin got released. I was one of the last of my friends to see it because it kept selling out at my local Picturehouse and I was close to tears when they didn’t come back raving about it. I think that it’s an amazing film and one that totally does Lionel Shriver’s book justice. Beautifully shot and thought provoking, the girl has not disappointed – I just hope I don’t have to wait another eight years for her next film.