Monday, 14 January 2013

HIGH DEFINITION: TALLAWAH’s Picks for the 10 Best Films of 2012

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK: 
Pitch-perfect and wonderfully acted, this was by far the feel-good movie of 2012, full of clever dialogue and intelligent humour, expertly balanced against an exploration of heavy themes (like mental illness and domestic dysfunction) and featuring seriously award-worthy performances from Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro. 

LINCOLN: 
Veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg has proved that he has no equal when it comes to orchestrating a visceral, sprawling wartime epic. With this well-wrought, well-acted slice of American history centred on the history-changing exploits of the titular 16th Prez (played to perfection by Daniel Day-Lewis), the director offered up a masterpiece with Oscar plastered all over it. Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones and an overlooked Joseph Gordon-Levitt are also superb in it. 

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD: 
Each year sees the release of a “little movie that could” (Juno, Little Miss Sunshine). In 2012, that honour fell to this fascinating, indie jewel from debutante writer-director Ben Zeitlin, and anchored by a watch-out-world breakout performance by nine-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis. 


FLIGHT: 
Denzel Washington is as famous for his legendary sex-symbol status as he is for being uberpicky in selecting film roles. He chose wisely in taking on the part of Whip Whitaker, a commercial airline pilot whose heroics in landing a malfunctioning aircraft saves scores of lives, including his own. It’s Washington and director Robert Zemeckis in ace form, along with writer John Gatins, who penned a brilliant script. 

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: 
Christopher Nolan closed the book on his superb Batman trilogy with this haunting, brutal final instalment featuring a murderer’s row of A-list stars: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman and Sir Michael Caine. 

ARGO: 
Ben Affleck deftly directed and co-starred in this edge-of-your seat dramatic thrill ride centred on a group of Americans caught in hostage situation in revolutionary Iran. In addition to Affleck, solid acting came from the likes of John Goodman and Alan Arkin. 

AMOUR: 
It isn’t hard to deduce why writer-director Michael Haneke walked away with the highly coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for this gripping yet tender-hearted meditation on marriage, old age and, as the title suggests, love. The French-language drama (with English subtitles) is Austria’s entry among this year’s nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and boasts a captivating lead performance by Emmanuelle Riva. 

LIFE OF PI: 
Oscar winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) deftly directed this visually splendid page-to-screen adaptation of Yann Martel’s Pulitzer-winning bestseller about a shipwrecked-at-sea teenage boy (talented newcomer Suraj Sharma) and the tiger hell-bent on devouring him. 


LES MISERABLES: 
A groundbreaking A-list cast breathed full-bodied, lyrical life into this blockbuster interpretation of the legendary Broadway musical, led by ovation-worthy performances by Hugh Jackman (as convict-on-the-lam Jean Valjean) and Anne Hathaway as tragic prostitute Fantine. 

ZERO DARK THIRTY: 
Reteaming with writer Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow returns to the desert-storm landscape of the Middle East with this gritty hunt-for-Bin-Laden movie that offers Jessica Chastain (as a CIA analyst named Maya) a meaty, award-calibre role in which she delivers nothing short of a truly powerhouse performance. 

>> RUNNERS UP: The Impossible, Premium Rush, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower




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