As usual, if I didn’t see a particular film I could not include it here. Of those I DID see, here’s a 2012 end-of-the-world ranking, plus a few more that could not be squeezed into the top ten, but make a damn fine collective 11. Excluding directors, synopses are limited to ten words or less.
1. The Sessions
Director: Ben Lewin – Iron lung, therapy, nudity, humanity.
2. Django Unchained
Director: Quentin Tarantino – Slavery, vengeance. Jamie Foxx astounds.
3. Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow – The quest for Osama Bin Laden and its toll.
4. Any Day Now
Director: Travis Fine – Alan Cumming, Alan Cumming, Alan Cumming. Amazing.
5. Les Miserables
Director: Tom Hooper – Misery, music and mayhem. Russell Crowe sings, too!
Director: Ben Affleck – A movie about a fake movie. Thank you, Canada.
7. The Impossible
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona – True story of one family’s survival during tsunami nightmare.
8. Life of Pi
Director: Ang Lee – A young man, a lifeboat, a Bengal tiger. Nine months.
Director: Steven Spielberg – No television, no cars, no Twitter. Just Lincoln’s EP.
10. The Master
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson – A cult of empowerment? Seduction? Fraud alert!
And tied for 11…
These just happen to fall into the Action/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre,
perhaps illustrating the reviewer’s slightly tenuous grasp on reality…
Director: Rian Johnson - The circle of life can be deadly, especially for hitmen.
Director: Sam Mendes – Bond is aging. Bardem is blond, Q is embryonic.
The Cabin in the Woods
Director: Drew Goddard – Cue the maniacs! It’s party time!
Director: Joss Whedon – After 90 minutes, the gang’s all here. Hulk, Loki. Superb
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Director: Lorene Scafaria – A perfect 2012 scenario. Zany, odd, sweet, fatalistic.
So, as another year ends (but NOT the world) we look toward 2013 and the promise of unpredictable plotlines, surprising red herrings, and glorious indies filling up the big screen as we sit in the dark among strangers looking for the funny, the profound, or just simply the Apatow.