I didn’t notice the glory

This entry was posted by on Monday, 31 December, 2012 at

And finally my favourite movies of 2012. This will be quick, because it’s 1o:30pm, and because I didn’t watch a lot of great movies this year (and didn’t keep a careful note so may have forgotten some gems):

  1. The Tree of Life. I watched this in January and it has stayed with me all through the year. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The parts that tell the story of a family growing up together are in themselves as beautiful and truthful as anything I’ve seen in a movie. But the sequences that place this human story in the context of the whole drama of life on earth, the birth of galaxies and stars and dinosaurs, take this to another level. I know some people think it’s pretentious nonsense. But they haven’t read the book of Job. It’s the most theologically serious of films, yet full of quiet joy. Not everything works and the ending is a bit mushy. But this is breathtaking film-making. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
  2. The Lives of Others. Everyone I trust had told me long ago that this is a brilliant movie. I have no idea why I waited until now to confirm that they were 100% right. It’s a simple movie in many ways, a good story well told, and acted with understated dignity. Very moving, very powerful. One of the great movies of our generation.
  3. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It’s a sign of the lack of memorable films this year (apart from my top 2) that I’ve picked a movie I admired but probably didn’t love. This is classy film-making, clever and slick, flawlessly acted, keeping the tension all the way through, but never quite stirring the heart and not leaving much to think about when it was done.

Other movies I enjoyed this year: Midnight in Paris, Never Let Me Go, The Artist, Lawless, Drive, I’ve Loved You So Long, Kickass, The Hobbit.

I have a very long list of movies I want to watch as soon as possible in 2013, including The Master, Rust and Bone, Lincoln, To The Wonder, Silver Lining Playbook, Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi.

What are the movies that have stayed with you from 2012?

Peace to you and all you love in this New Year.

3 Responses to “I didn’t notice the glory”

  1. Rach B

    JM, I am so glad The Life of Pi is on your 2013 list. Tony and I watched it last week and as I was walking out of the cinema, I said to Tony, “That is a John-Mark sermon waiting to happen.” It was an apt film to end 2012 on. After a year of thinking about suffering, it was a beautiful and potent reminder of ‘the better story’. I would also really recommend Argo; one of those ‘life is stranger than fiction’ tales. Rust and Bone was one of those films I could probably never watch again but left me thinking about it for days, some powerfully emotive and beautiful scenes. I am going to check out the others on your 2013 list, thanks! I am marrying a film snob so I need to keep ahead of the game!! 🙂

  2. jaybercrow

    Thanks for the tips Rach. I’m looking forward to all three of those. I’ve loved a lot of Ang Lee’s films and liked the book of Life of Pi and now I have you and Tony’s recommendation too! Can Tony and I go and talk movies at the bar at your wedding? 😉

  3. Ricky mcallister

    I actually thought this was a really good year for films. It was tough choosing a top 5, but here goes…

    1. Amour – one of the most devastating films I have seen, also by some distance Michael Haneke’s best film. What sounds utterly depressing on page, eventually transcends the harrowing deterioration of an elderly lady and becomes a celebration of self-sacrificial love and human goodness. Heartbreaking? Without a doubt. But in the best possible sense.

    2. Argo – I can’t quite remember ever seeing a film that combines such utterly gripping thrills with comedic moments to this effect. Funny, moving, exciting, serious yet playful….Ben Affleck is becoming a top filmmaker.

    3. The Angels Share – I have only recently discovered Ken Loach and I have loved everything I’ve seen so far. This is an understated gem: people with real characters trying to better their situation and their baser natures, it is funny and moving.

    4. Once upon a time in Anatolia – this got even better on second viewing. Atmospheric, haunting, gripping, mysterious…it seems somehow to pull off the most tense of crime movie scenarios with insightful observations about guilt, community, sin and redemptions. And man does it look good.

    5. The Hobbit – it was a toss-up between this and The Master, and this edged it because, well….I just enjoyed it a heck of a lot more.

    Worthy mentions? The Master (compelling yet inscrutable); The Avengers (dumb but fun); The Kid with a bike (moving, charming, exciting); Killing Them Softly (violent and grubby); The Raid (ballet with fists and guns); The Dark Knight Rises (nice conclusion).

    I didn’t get the chance to see Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Hunt or Silver Linings Playbook.

    2013 has Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Django and Inside Llewelyn Davis to look forward to, among others.

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