erik lundegaard

It's Late September: Do You Know Where Your Best Pictures Are?

I“m beginning to worry about the 2012 movie season. I know people think of the final three months of the year as the serious movie season, but for the last three years this hasn't been my experience.

By this point in 2009, I'd seen what became my two favorite movies of the year: ”L'heure d'ete“ and ”Up.“

By this point in 2010, I'd seen what became my two favorite movies of the year: ”Un Prophete“ and ”Restrepo.“

By this point in 2011, I'd seen what became my two favorite movies of the year: ”The Tree of Life“ and ”Des hommes et des dieux.“

And by this point in 2012?

I liked ”Footnote“ and ”Monsieur Lazhair“ well enough, both 2011 movies but released in the states in 2012, as well as ”Jiro Dreams of Sushi,“ ”The Avengers,“ ”The Woman in the Fifth,“ and ”End of Watch.“ But none of these stunned me, or worked their way inside me, or acted like a cresting wave showering me with clarity or epiphany. None of them made me look at the rest of the movies coming down the pike and think, ”Let's see you beat that.“

Did I miss something? Is the best still to come? I've seen ”The Master“ (review up soon), which is deeply and resonantly filmed, and beautifully acted. But there's a lot of ”buts“ there. Other critics loved ”Beasts of the Southern Wild“ and ”Moonrise Kingdom“ more than I did; I don't even think of them as Top 10 material. I have hopes for other films that are fast becoming the usual Oscar suspectsóBen Affleck's ”Argo,“ Steven Spielberg's ”Lincoln,“ Tom Hooper's ”Les Miserables,“ Ang Lee's ”Life of Pi“óbut these are the usual Oscar suspects, meaning they're the best movies of the year that fit into preconceived Academy notions of ”best." It's a narrow field, even when expanded to 10 nominees.

Three months to go. Fingers crossed.

Les Miserables (2012) posterSteven Spielberg's "Lincoln" (2012)Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" (2012)

No tagsPosted at 06:36 AM on Fri. Sep 28, 2012 in category Movies - Lists  


Reed wrote:

I first read this too quickly and thought that Tobe Hooper had directed Les Miserables. Now THAT would be something.

Anyway, I moved away from the four years ago, and it's made following movies a lot harder. So perhaps I have no frame of reference here, but it sure seems like movie studios have given up on challenging us or even taking anything to a higher level. Nowadays, when I end up thinking a movie is pretty good, I feel RELIEVED, which is not how this is supposed to work. Living in Europe it is almost impossible to watch current films. It's expensive as hell, and in most theaters everything is overdubbed. So again, I may just be out of touch. But I am beginning to feel like all the good movies have already been made, and we're not going to get anything new that wows us. In fact, reading a lot of reviews here, I get the same feeling. That Hollywood has totally failed people who love great movies, and they can't seem to get out of their rut.

Yet I hold out hope because it wasn't so long ago that this wasn't the case. 2007 was a banner year, with provoking films of all sorts that broke new ground.
But since then, there are only handful to which I would give an A- or above. So the question is, what's broken? And why?

Comment posted on Fri. Sep 28, 2012 at 08:49 AM
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