My Favorite Films of 2012 … So Far

I had time to catch up on a lot of film this summer, and it now seems appropriate, at this mid-point in the year, to report on my favorite films of 2012 so far. By now, my readers will know that I’m not much given to summer blockbusters, but this summer I enjoyed a few more than usual because they were strong thematically and in character development. Here are my favorite films so far:

10.  Katy Perry: Part of Me. I know — you can’t believe this made my list. I’ll defend it: This movie was inspiring, fun and honest about fame and its demands.

9. Avengers. Incredibly fun, breathtaking action and a great idea.

8. Craigslist Joe. A moving documentary about a guy named Joe who seeks to discover the goodness in America as he launches out on a journey across America, completely dependent on Craigslist connections. He discovers the good in our relatedness through social media, and the joy in difficult times.

7. A Separation. (technically, 2011 film). Conformity to religious rules creates some interesting dilemmas and ethical conflicts that all seem more interested in law keeping than in human feelings, and ultimately separate good people from each other. An absolutely brilliant film.

6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I love this film. Yes, it’s a little crammed with too many characters and plot lines, but it’s easy to follow. The laughs and charms are many, and it handles the topic of aging with grace and humor. It’s about hope and risk at any age. I loved the performance by Maggie Smith, and Judi Dench as always.

5. The Kid With a Bike. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. The performances by Cecile de France and Thomas Doret are remarkable, the film is emotionally captivating, and it tells a tale of hope and forgiveness that is powerful and unforgettable. I loved it.

4. The Amazing Spider Man. The best of the Spider Man films in my estimation, especially in the area of acting and character development. I’m not much of a superhero action scene kind of film goer, but this film was extraordinary. Great story, excellent character development, four amazing actors, and startling 3D. One of the first films other than Avatar where I’ve felt 3D made a significant difference in my experience.

3. The Hunger Games. I was skeptical. I was converted. This is one of the finest films of 2012, and the story of course is captivating too. The film follows the novel by Suzanne Collins closely and features very strong performances by Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson. Excellent cinematography and set design.

2. Beasts of the Southern Wild. The film transports us into a world that seems foreign but is within our US borders, and we are introduced to a mesmerizing character and a great new actress. A stunning debut directorial achievement, and an arousing score that Zeitlin composed. Ignore reviewers who think it’s schmaltzy. If it is, I like it.

1. Moonrise Kingdom. An incredible film by Wes Anderson that is whimsical, humorous, and brilliantly acted. The cinematography has a story book quality, and the story is a simple one about the power of love and the innocence of childhood.

Movies That Should Have Been Great But Weren’t: PrometheusTo Rome With Love, Magic Mike, A Friend for the End of the World, Brave. Too much of a mess, but it was a beautiful mess. Too unbelievable. Too much arse. Not Von Trier. Too much Disney and not enough Pixar.

Movie That Should be on This List, But I’m Too Weirded Out to See It: Batman Returns 

2 Responses to “My Favorite Films of 2012 … So Far”
  1. Andrew King says:

    Although so far it seems like we have very different opinions on what are the best movies of the year, I can definitely appreciate this list and your reasoning behind it, and I do really enjoy your list and reasoning for “movies that should have been great.”

  2. toddbouldin says:

    Andrew, thanks. How would you change my list?

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