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JR'S TOP 10 FILMS-2012
2019, 2019-2010, 2019 MID YEAR, 2018, 2018 MID YEAR, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2009-2000, 2006
"Good Old JR" Jim Rutkowski weighs in with his picks for the TOP 10 films of 2012
 

TOP 10 FILMS OF 2012-1

JR's bottom half of the list: 10) Chico & Rita,  9) Lincoln,  8) Oslo, August 31, 7) Skyfall, 6) Holy Motors 5) Argo
 

TOP 10 FILMS OF 2012-2

JR tick's off  4) Once Upon a Time in
Anatolia, 3) Amour, 2) Zero Dark Thirty, 1) Beasts of the Southern
Wild.

THE YEARS BEST...
Movie Reviews by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
10. Chico & Rita
  9. Lincoln
  8. Oslo, August 31
  7. Skyfall
  6. Holy Motors
  5. Argo
  4. Once Upon a Time in
      Anatolia
  3. Amour
  2. Zero Dark Thirty
  1. Beasts of the Southern
      Wild
#10-CHICO AND RITA
Director: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando
The years best animated film. Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice.They chase their dreams and each other from Havana to New York to Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas. Chico & Rita captures a defining moment in the evolution of history and jazz, and features the music of (and animated cameos by) Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Cole Porter, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Tito Puente, and others. "Chico & Rita" is that rare thing, a cartoon for adults, with a bittersweet take on love and fate and a romantic's view of the night. Available on DVD/ Blu-ray, Amazon Instant and Vudu
#9-LINCOLN
Director: Steven Spielberg, Writer: Tony Kuschner
Daniel Day-Lewis characteristically delivers in this witty, dignified portrait that immerses the audience in its world and entertains even as it informs. The film masterfully captures the dual dilemmas facing the president in the final months of his life: how to bring the war between the states to an end, and how to eradicate slavery. Day-Lewis envelopes the soul of Lincoln around him like a shawl. So immersive is the performance, that it ceases to be a performance and becomes a channeling of essence.
#8-OSLO, AUGUST 31
Written & Directed by: Joachim Trier
Thirty-four-year-old Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie) is a fortunate, but deeply troubled man battling drug addiction. As part of his rehabilitation program, he is allowed to go into the city for a job interview, but instead uses the opportunity as a way to drift around and revisit old friends. The day grows increasingly difficult as he struggles to overcome personal demons and past ghosts for the chance at love and a new life. An upfront study of a drug addict confronting his demons. Quiet and profound. Emotionally devastating and yet paradoxically delicate. It broke my heart many times over. Available on DVD/Blu-ray. Streaming on Netflix, Hulu Plus. ITunes and Vudu In theaters as of this writing.
#7-SKYFALL
Director: Sam Mendes
This is how you revitalize a franchise! A 50 year old franchise at that. Director Mendes takes the familiar elements and makes them utterly contemporary. The film gives us some long overdue back story for 007 and an unexpectedly layered relationship with Judi Dench as M, his usually unflappable boss, that extends Bond’s range of emotions even further. With gorgeous cinematography by Roger Deakins and firmly inhabiting Bond, it’s superior filmmaking that also happens to be extraordinarily entertaining. That’s a combination we don’t see often enough. This was my Avengers! In theaters as of this writing.
#6-HOLY MOTORS
Director: Leos Carax
Oscar rides to work in a white limousine driven by his close friend and associate Céline; Oscar's job, it seems, involves using makeup, elaborate costumes, and props to carry out a number of complex and unusual scenarios. Told in an episodic format, we witness Oscar in a deathbed melodrama, a gangster film, a musical alongside pop star Kylie Minogue, and much more. Mesmerizingly strange and willfully perverse, Holy Motors offers an unforgettable visual feast alongside a spellbinding -- albeit unapologetically challenging narrative. I assure you, you have never seen anything quite like it.
#5-ARGO
Director: Ben Affleck
Based on true events, Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis-the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist named Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so absurd, it could only happen in the movies. Tense, exciting, and often darkly comic, Argo recreates a historical event with vivid attention to detail and finely wrought characters. After Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now this directorial-best, Affleck is establishing himself as one of the best craftsman in film today. In theaters as of this writing.
#4-ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA
Written & Directed by: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
In the dead of night, a group of men - including a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect - drive through the tenebrous Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can't remember where he buried the body. As the night draws on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators' own secrets and hypocrisies come to light. In the Anatolian steppes, nothing is what it seems; and when the body is found, the real questions begin. Ceylan doesn't hit us with big dramatic moments, but allows us to live along with his characters as things occur to them. Ceylan uses a matter of life and death to look at the mundane, human nature, and the mystical effect of women on men in his sixth feature film. 157-minute police procedural at once sensuous and cerebral, profane and metaphysical, "empty" and abundant. A masterpiece. Available on DVD/Blu-ray. Streaming on Netflix and ITunes
#3-AMOUR
Director: Micheal Haneke
Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne begins to shows signs that her age is getting the best of her. The couple's bond of love is severely tested. Powered by beautiful acting and an uncharacteristically tender script from Michael Haneke, Amour is an honest and heart wrenching depiction of love in old age. Haneke treats Georges and Anne with absolute respect, never pandering to sentiment or cliché and most assuredly not sugarcoating the experience of walking one's partner through suffering, toward death. In theaters as of this writing.
#2-ZERO DARK THIRTY
Director: Kathyrn Bigelow
For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty reunites the Oscar winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man. Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal the pair behind "The Hurt Locker" are after something truer and more lasting than getting an audience to burst into applause when the bad guys are outfoxed. Nothing in the climax of "Zero Dark Thirty" settles for easy triumphalism. Everything about the film is potentially controversial, yet hardly any of it can be pigeonholed by way of ideology or politics. It's simply one of the most honest, intense and best films experiences of 2012. In theaters as of this writing.
#1-BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Director: Benh Zeitlin
Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink (Dwight Henry), in "the Bathtub," a southern Delta community surrounded by water. Wink's tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he's no longer there to protect her. Beasts of the Southern Wild combines big scale ideas about the natural world and how humans relate to it with a very personal and subjective portrayal of a young girl reconciling what is happening to her father and community. grand universal themes are juxtaposed to an intimate personal story. The resulting film is a remarkable cinematic experience that is both profound and immensely moving. First time director Zeitlin has coached remarkable performances from his non-professional actors and created an extraordinary world that remains recognizable despite being constructed and exaggerated. Even with the hardship and tragedy that befall that community, seen through the eyes of Hushpuppy it is a beautiful and magical place that is very hard to resist, a lot like the film itself. Part social realism drama, part magical fairytale, part eco-themed cautionary tale, Beasts Of The Southern Wild is exquisitely lyrical, poetic in tone and epic in scope. Available on DVD/ Blu-ray.
THE RUNNERS UP...
Deep Blue Sea
Silver Linings Playbook
The Color Wheel
The Turin Horse
Prometheus
The Dark Knight Rises
The Impossible
End Of Watch
The Grey
Looper
Flight

 
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