Spatz’ top 5:
1. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson getting everything right – his masterpiece. Probably the most effective portrayal of childhood fantasy and nascent love I have ever seen, all told through the lens of a director who has a totally unique voice in a quagmire of repetitive Hollywood nonsense.
2. The Master
Better than There Will Be Blood. More subtle, more thoughtful, more important a comment on the current psyche of America and the West. I cried uncontrollably and don’t know exactly why. It’s a film you need to see more than once, to get inside it, to understand it. It’s a film that you understand innately, but cannot fully explain.
Michael Haneke is quite clearly one of the greatest filmmakers ever to have lived, but up until this masterpiece has made films solely for a knowledgeable middle class. Amour is Haneke using his magnifying glass of truth on a subject that everyone can relate to, which probably makes it one of the most truthful and important films ever made.
4. Life of Pi
Despite the religious subtext, the film is the most visually impressive thing I have ever seen and for that reason alone deserves to be on the list. Add to that a touching and unsentimental appreciation of its characters and you have a movie that demands to be seen.
5. Silver Linings Playbook
The most unabashedly enjoyable film of the year, with exceptional performances throughout and an understanding/representation of mental illness that is refreshingly free of cliché and sentimentality. It feels honest and because of that, the schmaltz works wonders.
5. The Imposter
The best documentary since Senna, which – like that film – didn’t really feel like a documentary. I ended up not really knowing whether the whole film was a fabrication of fact. Clever and unsettling.
Best male performance:
Joaquin Phoenix in The Master – best performance by a male actor I have ever seen, ever.
Best female performance:
Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook – dynamic and dazzling, the performance of a star.
Skyfall made Roger Deakins’ cinematography look flat; story centres around a stolen hard-drive. Everything interesting happens off screen. Nothing really makes any sense. Flat and grey.
Argo was racist propaganda of the most horribly manipulative kind from a filmmaker who relies on the lowest common denominator to affect the audience.
And Prometheus – what was it all about? I’ve no idea. Characters, story, form – all bad.