I think it’s time to take a look at the year in movies. There were a lot of good films, but not enough great films (both in foreign and in English).
Festivals have struggled somewhat with quality, which is a sign of an industry trying to get back to normal. Whoever it was, Venice, Sundance and Toronto were many years. Maybe 2023 will be even better, I’ve already covered over 80 films that show real promise.
A real sign that things haven’t gone as planned this year is the number of films that have been delayed until next year, with statements by Scorsese, Aster Anderson, Glazer, Lanthimos, Fincher, and Scott opting to release in 2023.
I knew this was going to be a bad year when I attended Cannes in May, a mecca for the best cinema in the world, and left feeling let down by a lot of the things I saw there. It set the tone for the rest of the year because if Cannes almost every elite filmmaker wants their film to premiere could come up with such a frosty lineup, we’d probably be screwed for the rest of the year.
All of this has led to critics praising Absolutely Amazing Ideas for their old-school charm (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “RRR,” “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” “Elvis,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “The Glass Onion”). “,” The Woman King ”) – militancy is back to extremes again. There’s no time to get crafty, it’s big now or go home.
However, there were some great movies I saw in 2022 that still don’t have a release date and they’re almost all, presumably, 2023 titles now. Including Albert Serra Restaurant PacificationParavel / Casting-Taylor human body structureDaniel Goldhaber How to blow up a pipelineTarik Saleh’s boy from heavenEric Gravel A plain tempsand Jean Luc and Pierre Dardenne Tori and LukitaRodrigo Sorogoyen monstersAlexandru Belk Metronomeand Dominic Moll night 12.
While going through potential contenders on my Top Ten list (to be published next week), I wondered, “Is that it?” Don’t get me wrong, I could easily, in the blink of an eye, make the top 20 this year, but what I’ve come to realize is more lacking in sheer greatness. This was the exception:
1) future crimes (David Cronenberg)
Cronenberg may have hinted at retirement in recent years, but his new film is proof that the legendary director isn’t done with cinema. Cronenberg’s best film since 2005’s “A History of Violence”; Future Crimes is speculative, shocking, unique and visionary. The Canadian author’s usual knack for avoiding convention is on display here. His art, riddled with parasites, sexual taboos, and ultra-violent, is what dreams are made of. Or are they nightmares? It’s just the latest, surreal statement of body horror from a master who can’t quit his obsessions.
2) Anisherin from Inisherin (Martin McDonagh)
A semi-plotless, conversation-driven film with an almost biblical dilemma. On a remote Irish island, Colm (the wonderful Brendan Gleeson) suddenly decides to stop talking to best friend Padrick (the never-better-better Colin Farrell). Why? no one knows. It’s an expertly written existential character drama that’s wise beyond words. It encompasses everything I love about movies, the inherently beautiful aura of drama, the mysterious cinema that can arise when you watch something that catches your eye and doesn’t leave you. McDonagh returned to his dark comedy roots and made what is, by far, the best film of his career.
3) Library (Todd Field)
Don’t be anxious to be offended,” Lydia TÀR tells Student, “The narcissism of small differences leads to conformity.” The great thing about Todd Field’s slow motion film is that he leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether “TÀR” is anti-cancellation culture or a tongue-in-cheek indictment of a leader Brilliant but prickly Cate Blanchett.For most of the film, Field stubbornly hints at what’s to come, but takes his time to build it all up.Plot developments are minimal, but ultimately add up to something massive.
4) Happen or occur Follow Favorite
This is an abortion drama that does not speak. The aspect ratio Diwan uses in her small-scale artwork enhances the claustrophobic nature of Anne’s plight in such tense ways. There’s no time to talk in her and Romano’s script, she doesn’t judge anyone, just let’s get down to business, especially in the earth-shattering final 20 minutes. There aren’t many movies where I’m tempted to look away at the screen for a few seconds, but this one definitely has those moments.
5) after the sun (Charlotte Wells)
Debut director Charlotte Wells tells the personal story of a bittersweet resort vacation she spent with her father (Paul Mescal) twenty years ago. It is told in a bold manner in the narrative. Real and imagined memories are shown on screen as she tries to forgive the father she knew with the man she never knew. Their time together is filled with silence that reveals much baggage through facial expressions and carefully chosen words. The use of flashback and flash forward is also moved inventively to bring out the truth in a well-intentioned but failed father. It’s small, slow heartburn that you can’t stop thinking about days after seeing it.
6) funny pages Follow Favorite
A humorous coming-of-age story concerning a teenage cartoonist who vehemently rejects the comforts of Klein’s suburban life. Klein’s sarcastic punches hit where they hurt. The casting in this one is incredible. Not only do the actors populate their quirky personalities, they make you believe they are real flesh and blood. It’s a lo-fay masterpiece, filled with masterfully distorted set pieces that treat sinful artistic impulses in weird and sloppy ways. No wonder the Safdies have produced this one. You can easily see them putting out such a movie in their early years; It’s pure “gutter hair.”
7) Apollo 10 1/2 (Richard Linklater)
This isn’t really a space movie so much as it is about Linklater’s childhood in mid-1960s Texas. Playing as a piece of life, albeit in dreamy animation, Linklater’s movie feels like a time machine from when things were simpler in America. Like Linklater’s best films, “Apollo 10 1/2” is like a slice-of-life meditation, eschewing forced drama and opting instead for the beauty of the moments. However, it never feels overtly nostalgic because you are firmly immersed in the suburban world that Linklater creates with its hand-drawn animation.
8) From (Steven Soderbergh) & Foreman Follow Favorite
This is a tightly plotted movie, filled with the COVID-era bleakness of isolation. However, what fun it is to revel in Soderbergh’s 21st century film Blow-Up and The Conversation. This relevant portrayal of surveillance, isolation, and mental health in the age of COVID-19 has Soderbergh playing with our current anxieties. The film’s main heroine, just as we do, lives in a state of mass surveillance and doesn’t realize it until those same walls end up closing in on her. Soderbergh lays out his scathing indictment of 21st century bureaucracy, a world with an endless stream of personal data possessed by powerful entities.
Meanwhile, Chloe Oconu’s film is filled with dread from Polanski, as a young American woman (Mika Monroe) wanders across Romania feeling like she’s being stalked. Okuno keeps the screws of tension turning throughout its tightly knit narrative, a story in which you are never sure whether or not you should trust the main protagonist. Much like the Soderbergh movie, Monroe’s character is eerily “watched,” but by whom, exactly? This is a mid-budget adult film that deserves a better fate, it has come and gone this summer, and may well be re-evaluated in the years to come.
9) Sadness triangle (Robin Ostlund)
The latest tease from this year’s Palme d’Or winner, Robin Ostlund, is absurdist satire done right. Ostlund again addresses gender and socio-political games. The laughs get stuck in your throat, it’s a very funny movie, and one steeped in sheer social freshness. Characters come and go, and the general feeling is that Ostlund’s distaste for today’s cultural climate is full of outrage. Ostlund tries to tell us that, if push comes to shove, and survival comes, these people cannot help but starkly expose their artificial nature and, above all, their distinct selfishness. It’s the best comedy of the year.
10) Babylon (Damien Chazelle) & No (Jordan Peele)
Bale worked on a much larger canvas with this movie. The result is his most ambitious project, but also his most oddly organized. It is completely unique. It’s an impressionistic statement. Peele continues to experiment with his great visuals, and there’s a real sense of big, gritty filmmaking. There are also plenty of cuts to blacks in No, but especially so in the movie that fights resistance: when a chimp actor takes photos and violently attacks his co-stars. It amounts to an insane, avant-garde vision, which has these most memorable shots in my memory: the UFO interiors where we can see the digestion of its victims, Hoyt van Hoytema’s beautiful photography day and night, and the sinister sleeping cloud.
Just like the Peele movie, there’s really no way to divide Chazelle into one category. However, no film this year aimed higher than “Babylon.” That in itself should earn your respect for this thrillingly frantic saga. Chazelle shoots his film like a mad painter who throws tone and subtlety out the window. He doesn’t mold his film so much as spraying it with surreal brushstrokes. From scene to scene, there is constant wonder as to what exactly you are seeing. Babylon is a strangely conceived movie. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something to be said for a movie that goes from outrageous humor to utter Greek tragedy in the blink of an eye. Everything looks like a hallucination, a fever dream of complete chaos.
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