Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012: The Movies I Loved (pt2)

The final five movies in my ten favourites of 2012 are, like those in part 1, presented alphabetically. To recap, so far we've had Amour, Berberian Sound Studio, The Cabin in the Woods, Excision and Holy Motors.

Martha, Marcy May, Marlene (Sean Durkin, USA)

Sean Durkin's feature length debut is an insidious and haunting tale of emotional damage, an abusive cult and familial angst. Elizabeth Olsen and John Hawkes both give exceptional performances in a movie with a deftly ambiguous climax.

Michael (Markus Schleinzer, Aus) 

While a lot of people went cock-a-hoop for The Hunt, in which an innocent man is unfairly demonised, Schleinzer's humanising of a paedophile in Michael is a bolder, more unsettling and confrontational narrative. Michael Fuith won't have many more complex roles to play in his career than the titular child abuser.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Tur, Bos/Her) 

Ceylan's reputation as one of the world's leading directors is further enhanced by this immaculately constructed, slow burning police procedural. Criticisms that the movie features no central female characters miss the point that it is because of women that the men in the movie behave as they do - for good or ill. 

Sightseers (Ben Wheatley, UK)

Wheatley's outrageous black comedy piles on the gags and gag inducing violence in equal measure. Co-writers Steve Oram and Alice Lowe's creations, Chris and Tina, cut an increasingly bloody swathe through the English countryside as their warped relationship descends into barbaric chaos.

War Witch (Kim Nguyen, Can)

The horrific experiences of a child soldier, tinged with a dash of magic realism, may not appeal to everyone but War Witch is a movie that demands to be seen. Rachel Mwanza, in her first role, makes an indelible mark as Komona, recounting the things she has seen and done to her unborn child. Deserves a widespread release.

Also deserving of a mention are: Nostalgia for the Light, Moonrise Kingdom, Some Guy Who Kills People, The Raid, Cosmopolis, Wild Bill, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, Detention and Jeff Who Lives at Home.

That's all folks, here's to 2013 bringing us many more cherished cinematic memories.

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