Monday, December 31, 2012

End of 2012

Looking to the films I've seen...

Favorite Films of the Year
I haven’t seen many films this year, so it feels a little, just a little easy to name the ones that marked me the most. The orders I will be exposing might be and might not be in order of preference, but in any case I think they are all films worth taking consideration for and especially to be remembered by.


It’s heartbreaking and warm and funny and tragic all at the same time. Both heartwarming and emotionally destructive, it was most of all deeply entertaining and a film worth it on every possible level. Maiween is to me a great woman of courage and insight, who did a tremendous work.


I never was so emerged in a film like I was in L’apollonide. I really flew over.

This is a film that gains, inevitably, a particular impact on a woman, being especially hard, really hard to take in. It’s set in a French brothel at the end of the Nineteen century and it becomes this modern look, an universal take I think. At the end, it doesn’t matter if it was Nineteen Century or the Nineties, the story becomes pretty recent. That’s why I think the film is good, but also because it has a great consistent tone, great work of detail both in space and story. The direction is really good too, the actors worked as a team, they were very affective. L'apollonide broke my heart a little. It’s such a hard film to sit through.

A Royal Affair
I already talked about my love for this film, very recently. But it is a really good film, believe me! The story is great, the performances are really great, the costumes, it's good, really good.

What I love about Weekend is that it's so consistent. They know exactly what they want to tell and so they took it very seriously and you feel that. I loved the way it was filmed, loved the dialogue between the protagonists, their development and Tom Cullen and Chris New are tremendous. This is such a good film.

The Beasts of the Southern Wild
To say that Beasts makes you feel something, no matter what might be, it’s really unflattering to the entire piece. This little film is an enormous achievement in so many levels. The story, to start with, can lead you to so many great conversations, this universal story becomes easily a timeless one. It’s about home, it’s about family, it’s about parenting, it’s about growing up, it’s about the world.
With Beasts, it needs to be remembered over and over again of the work done and the accomplishment it reached. Let’s see, Benh Zeitlin worked in the water probably for the most part of the film, he worked with then a five year old girl as the protagonist who carries the story, he worked with animals around the set all the time, he had to create a world we would believe. And he did it.

Anna Karenina – Wuthering Heights
I have them in the same place because they’re both reverent films, even if on a total opposite way, curiously. They both defy the same genre in the most distinctive way. Wuthering Heights is one of the most naturalistic, raw films you could find. You almost feel the animals breathing beside you. Because it’s so different from what I’m used to, it challenged me so much that I loved it. Anna Karenina, which becomes like this theatrical musical and it’s equally beautiful to watch, works every little detail you can look at and it is a tremendous and gorgeous work. I didn’t want to leave the theater at all.

What else can I say about this film? I can’t resist it, that’s literally how I stand. This is the film I’ve watched more times this year, I think. I’ve watched five times already, I don’t know exactly, but Madonna really found a way to break down my guard. I think there’s a lot to do with the work of Abel Korzeniowski and the performances, especially by Andrea Riseborough.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
There's a lot to do with the story, I love the way it makes me feel. And after all the talk, the expectations, the drama, I really enjoyed it, I appreciated the work done by David Fincher and Rooney Mara. I am remembering the time she was chosen and thinking how unfair and curious and stupid would be if she was nominated for an Oscar while Noomi Rapace was not even talked about. Coincidences are always happening.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
No matter how familiar the story might become, it’s universal, it is a good one and it is damn well told. It’s a really consistent and beautiful film.

Loved the outcome. For once, a film I enjoyed Emily Blunt in! Not that Salmon Fishing in the Yemen wasn't bad, I really liked her in it...(* Totally forgot 'Your Sister's Sister'. Sorry Emily)
I loved the storytelling, it isn’t Cloud Atlas humongous, and it is just the right one in meaning and delivers something that it doesn’t need to be that elaborate to bring depth and affection. Tremendous performances from Olivia Colman, Peter Mullan and Eddie Marsan.
La Guerre Est Declarée
A film to admire for its freedom and uniqueness. 
It's such an interesting and intelligent take on an everyday reality that no one really pays attention or perceives.

Favorite Documentary
The Invisible War
I can still remember the dreams/nightmares I had some time later.

Hell and Back Again. 
The Imposter.

Indie Loves
Take Shelter - I don't know how this isn't in the favorite favorite list! Loved it.
End of Watch - The same as the above.
Your Sister’s Sister - Genuinely original.
Hello I Must be Going - There are so great moments in this film, I loved it.
Pariah - Needs to be on some list!
Sound of my Voice - Needs to be mentioned for its depth of work.
Like Crazy - It brings this very original and romantic tone.
Ruby Sparks - For its fiction!
Safety not Guaranteed - For its honesty.
I feel the need to mention them, they're so freaking great. This would be another list of favorite films of the year.

Favorite Comedies
Intouchables - It's a great feel good film, it becomes clear why it made so much money.
2 Days in New York - Like I said, it's genuinely fun.
Gayby - It becomes funnier as it goes.
Pitch Perfect - Rebel much?

Favorite Gay Film

Lesbian Mention: Kyss Mig. Oh there was one...
There were no kids are alright this year was it? No female Weekend of sorts…only a Pariah, which is nice.

Keep the Lights On - Overrating much, much?
I think I’m underestimating Bachelorette. I wished I had enjoyed Haywire more. The Hunger Games. I really liked Moonrise Kingdom. Magic Mike. Young Adult, such a smart, interesting take. Worrior. Moneyball. The Artist. 

Biggest Disappointments
Cloud Atlas
I said I disliked the film, because I didn’t want to say I hated it, because I also didn’t hated it. But here it is, I really didn’t like the film. It was a huge fail, in my view. Great ambition, poor impact.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
A film that gradually sank so badly, it started ok, pretty nice even, but then it was a road down, from worse to really bad, to the most tasteless final. And it was not because the world ended, it was everything else. It had so much potential, I believe. I love you Keira, but this is a fail.
The Five Year Engagement
The word disappointment it’s really the precise word. Brought nothing new, my waste of money.
The Rum Diary
Words amusing and compelling are absolutely out of the picture. It's completely hollow.
The Cabin in the Woods
I just don’t get it. At all.
Dark Shadows
Shortly: It sucks. What doesn’t suck at all: Eva Green.
To Rome with Love
It was awful.
The Art of Getting By
One thing is to use clichés and still be able to be corky, different and interesting, other thing is being a cliché all the way through, letting us stay waiting for the moment it will rise but it never does. It just stays like that, there’s no step forward in the entire film. It wasn’t even that tiring, it was just embarrassing to watch. I think it gets to do with the protagonist and Freddie Highmore, he really didn’t help much.
Lola Versus was pretty disappoiting (bad) too...

Irresistable Film of the Year
An Happy Event.
Follow up: The Artist.

Great fun but later reaction…What the fuck happened there? I don't really know...

What the Fuck Moment
Killer Joe
If not the entire film, I have to take a special mention to the Chicken Blow Job, the last thirty minutes of the film, and then, what the fuck?? I don’t know if I should take consideration for the film’s boldness and the willingness to portrait fucked up people or… I don’t know what to think actually.

The Future
For a moment, I thought this film was a bit pretentious. But how can I? She isn’t obviously imposing anything to me, but nonetheless, with Miranda July it is always a challenge. It was not easy to watch this film and there were certainly a few 'what the fuck' moments, she nails them...

The Babymakers
There were moments it was so bad that I just laughed like a stupid person. Olivia Munn, though, jesus fuck, “shit a brick and fuck me with it” kind of fuck.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Here is a sarcastic note I can say while “watching” (I don’t think I can consider I watched it) this film and clicking the button “forward” continuously, I couldn’t hold it more than ten seconds straight. I think of this film as if you would open a body and there was nothing inside. Think of all the organs, blood strings, all the shit you could find and there’s nothing. Joe is a walking puppet with abs and it's shameful. 
This may be the cliché of a movie that appears on every list of worst films but it’s always important to mention! Always. 

Wanted to Sleep
The Avengers - let's just say I was pretty bored for some time.

Compensating Last Act
In Cosmopolis, the Paul Giamatti sequence. This is the moment in the film that, for at least a few minutes, it made me feel alive, or better, it made me see things clearer. In a way he becomes the most human of all the humans that crossed the screen. Great introspective moment and he is as usual great.

The Actor of the Year
Is it wrong to say that Matthew McConaughey is the Chastain of the year, with a considerable number of films and significant roles in them all? I started the year with him and it is official, a new wave is starting for him. In the last couple of years, it’s like he’s changing his highway. 
In Killer Joe he is incredibly disturbing as this pervert guy, I think it is one of those rare challenges he takes or is starting to take and he is really good in it. In Bernie he’s also inventive and tremendously affecting. Not to mention that I think he is genius in Magic Mike, one of the best and most amusing performances of the year! And I mean, you don’t think of Matthew McConaughey as an actor bringing two films in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. The Paperboy and Mud are the films I missed.

Dallas Buyers Club: Will the film be any good? I'm affraid of the outcome.
He will be in Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street and the detective drama True Detectives with his pal Woody Harrelson.

Rising Star
Scoot McNairy 
The Argo star also appears in Promised Land and Killing Them Softly. He will be starring in McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave and just scored another couple of films, one with Robert Pattinson and another with Michael Fassbender called Frank. He's also in the new Shelton's Touchy Feely, premiering at Sundance.

Other Rising Stars, Revelations, Confirmations.
Rebel Wilson - Pitch Perfect, Bachelorette, What to Expect When You're Expecting.
Alicia Vikander - A Royal Affair and Anna Karenina.
Domhnall Gleeson - Anna Karenina.
Adam Driver and Christopher Abbot - Girls guys! Adam is everywhere these days, including in Lincoln. Who isn't in Lincoln?
Brit Marling, Elizabeth Olsen and Rooney Mara.
Should we take a look to the blond boy from Very Good Girls? Boyd Holbrook.

My Favorite Performances of the Year
To me it was the most affecting group of people I’ve seen working. They were brave, relentless, and authentic, they were amazing.

Olivia Colman, Tyrannosaur - she broke my heart playing a broken woman.
Kirsten Dunst, in Bachelorette - her eyes, her expressions are so real, it's amazing to watch.
Alicia Vikander, A Royal Affair - what an instant crush.
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - she took control, brought both fierce and vulnerability into this wonderful, difficult and mesmerizing Lisbeth Salander.
Melanie Lynskey - She becomes this refreshing thing to watch. She carries herself just fine. It was wonderful to see her carrying a film.
Jenn Harris, Gayby - She got me some genuine laughs.
Julie Delpy, 3 Days in New York - Genuinely amusing.
Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz - No less complex than the character she was playing.
Andrea Riseborough, W.E - Her willingness to become Wallis Simpson.
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts - Because she sustained the tears and she still cried.
Keira Knightley - I am suspicious! Nonetheless, she is a great irresistible and strong force. I think she is perfect for this film, I think she has the perfect screen face.

Ary Graynor in For a Good Time Call… - She's so good in here, she deserves nominations! She's hilarious, she's authentic and a great support to Lauren. "I am literally all talk..."
Alicia Vikander, Anna Karenina - Completely irresistible...
Rebel Wilson, Pitch Perfect - Every single moment she appears in the screen, she steals the show.
America Ferrera, End of Watch - There are great moments in this film and one of them is the moment when America's character confronts one of the gangster women, it is one of the most real and tense scenes from the film. She's incredibly good, she's authentic and always consistent.
Brit Marling, Sound of my Voice - She's scary, she's so unpredictable, she controlled the whole show.
Céline Sallette, L’apollonide - I think everyone in this film is considered a supporting character, so to all of them I must stand out Céline Sallette, there's something about her eyes...the way she carried herself. She really broke my heart.

Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild – I think it is one of the most unconventional, real and touching performances I’ve seen.
Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly, Moneyball – It’s the maturity I think and it does great work to people.
Matthias Schoenaerts, Bullhead – I think he consistently translated his character’s past through his eyes but also transforming his body and it showed great dedication. It was a touching performance.
Omar Sy, The Intouchables – Crucial contribution to the film, it was all about his energy.
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter – He’s great.
Tom Cullen and Chris New, Weekend – They made the film become what it was, right?
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, End of Watch – Great chemistry, it felt absolutely real.

Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower – he’s a scene stealer, brought amazing energy and wit to the film. It was a great casting choice.
Mikkel Boe Folsgaard, A Royal Affair – he brought great balance to this rich character he plays, and he’s so affective, it was a fantastic way to start a career.
Jude Law and Matthew McFeydon, Anna Karenina – In a great ensemble performance (let’s forget about Aaron Johnson for a bit), including the rising star Gleeson, I think Law and McFeydon considerably stand out. In opposite roles, Law gives a delicate and meaningful contribution, but McFeydon, amusing as he is but also transcends into becoming the most human of them all. I think he gave an amazing performance.
Garrett Hedlund – I have to mention him, because first and foremost he is playing Dean Moriarty and for whomever plays Dean Moriarty, he either understands and knows how to balance one energy or he might as well sank in this complex and reverent character. Garrett absolutely found Dean Moriarty spirit and he was amazing.

Worst Performance
Freddie Highmore, The Art of Getting By.
Ellen Page and Jesse Einseberg (and whatever…), To Rome with Love.

Body of Work
Chris Pratt in Zero Dark Thirty
I’m kidding! Though on a serious note, I do wonder how he schedules his year…

Adele Precious Moment
As a doll. Brilliant.

Born Silent Starts
Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo
Perhaps you already forget about a film called The Artist! It felt like the starts of this film were born to be silent starts, they were so great. This is one of the other irresistible films of the year to me.

The Scene
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Father and Daughter last moment – it is consistently composed, everything comes together faithfully to its story and becomes the most accomplished, the most touching scene I can think of these days. It was mind blowing and it needs to be praised over and over again how authentic Wallis and Henry are in this scene, how heartbreaking and felt it is.

Other awesome-heartbreaking moments in films

In L’apollonide, The Moody Blues created this melancholic, nostalgic, this surreal atmosphere and I went to heaven for a few minutes. I couldn’t believe it I was listening the Moody Blues, it was so out of context, unconventional and it still worked beautifully.

The subway train in Skyfall, I covered myself, it was awesome!

The "birth scene" in Prometheus, it's exhilarating, disgusting and utterly and bloody awesome! No matter the film itself, this scene is one of the most accomplished moments of the year.

The Credits of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Adele’s Skyfall, one of the best parts of the film!

Magic Mike’s dance sequences and many other great moments, like Channing Tatum and Alex jumping to the water…

Video killed the radio star, in Take this Waltz – It is mesmerizing and it brings this great impact between two worlds, one of wonder and the other one, the reality.

Come on Eileen – it is Charlie entering their world and it is amusing!

Heroes – it is a great ending (spoiler)!

W.E - You know my love relation with this film and soundtrack.

The Beasts of the Southern Wild – Can’t stop listening to the work of Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer these days.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – They kept working unconventionally and being significant to the film, I loved this soundtrack.

Moneyball - Absolutely loved the subtle but very crucial work done by Mychael Danna.

Anna Karenina, Dario Marinelli – How could I not love Dario Marinelli?

My Greatest Addiction
Parks and Recreation…whatelse? (*USWNT)

2013 - here we go!

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