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movieScope Best Of 2012: Tom Seymour – movieScope

1. Amour 

Part love story, part horror film,  Michael Haneke finally found peace with himself and his audience, making the most accessible, humane and expressive work of his career.

2. Into the Abyss

Werner Herzog finding poetry in the most abject poverty. Macabre, horribly compelling, finally beautiful.

3. Cosmopolis

David Cronenberg and Don DeLillo unravelling the psyche that precipitated the near-destruction of global trade in a film that, at times, felt more like a secular prophesy.

4. Killer Joe

If anyone ever doubted William Friedkin’s ability to make off-mainstream comic-violent works of cinematic genius, this offered a perfect riposte. A filmmaker with a unique, audacious tone.

5. Life of Pi

It took a filmmaker as dedicated as Ang Lee to make CGI and 3D truly belong to the cinema. A spectacle film that advanced the medium, but a spiritual journey first and foremost.

Best male performance:

A tie between Jake Williams, of Ben River’s Two Years at Sea, who took method acting taken to the nth degree, and Woody Harrelson in Rampart, who beat Joaquin Phoenix to provide the year’s most disconcerting portrayal of masculinity in crisis.

Best female performance:

Lea Seydoux in Ursula Meier’s Sister. Conflicted to her core.

Biggest disappointment:

Tony Kaye’s nihilistic attack on state-funded teaching in Detachment was never held to account, and Mia Hansen Love’s Goodbye First Love – a pretentious, highbrow film that seemed apathetic about anything beyond its own emotionalism, made all the more irritating by the fact everyone seemed pre-conditioned to swoon about.




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