12 of 2012: Part 3 opinion

The final part of the Blug’s 12 favourite films of 2012 (see Part 1 and Part 2), here’s the final farewell to the year:

The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson continues to exhibit firm control and incredible precision attention to detail like few other filmmakers, past or present, have demonstrated. The Master is as thick as gelatinous soup and not exactly the most straightforward, even enjoyable, film of the year. But its technical and artistic merit is ridiculously admirable, in every department, and the director draws out the best in his cast once again, including the year’s single-most impressive performance from Joaquin Phoenix. It is a privilege to witness a master at work, to see the nuances of cinema pushed to new levels, and The Master is another heavyweight addition to PTA’s increasingly notable collection of films.


For a play-turned-film, that thankfully infrequent of things that tends to fail more often than not, Carnage is a welcome anomaly. At 80 minutes in length and with a strong central cast of four, including actress extraordinaire and super-serial-monogamist Kate Winslet, the minimal story, that is little more than a prolonged argument, builds brilliantly and hilariously. Reviewed 6th February.

Life of Pi

If you can overlook the mildly abhorrent, immensely fluffy patronising message that a non-religious life is a life without wonder (it ruins the film for some and I can see why, to be honest), Life of Pi is a hugely accomplished, captivating adaptation (especially for a book that doesn’t immediately lend itself to film) that is, literally, the most spectacular film of the year by quite a distance.

The Hunt

Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg hasn’t half made some crap films since 1998’s seminal Festen. But The Hunt, about a man cast out by a community that wrongly accuses him of child molestation, is a heart-wrenching success necessarily filled with compelling characters helped in no small part by a committed cast, including lead Mads Mikkelsen, one of the planet’s finest actors.


So. There you have it. And, because I can’t help myself, here’s the 2012 top-12, complete with their origin and UK release, in order:

  1. The Master (USA, November)
  2. Michael (Austria, March)
  3. Damsels in Distress (USA, April)
  4. Carnage (Fr/De/Es/Pl, February)
  5. Moonrise Kingdom (USA, May)
  6. Killing Them Softly (USA, September)
  7. Life of Pi (USA, December)
  8. Seven Psychopaths (UK, December)
  9. Skyfall (UK/USA, October)
  10. The Hunt (Denmark, November)
  11. Young Adult (USA, February)
  12. Beasts of the Southern Wild (USA, October)

In a miserly year, each and every one of them receives (4/5). 2013 will be stronger…

31st Dec 2012