2012: Year in Reviews, Part 2

Now that I’ve looked at thw worst and most disappointing, it’s time to take a look at the indivisual accomplishments that abounded in 2012. From performances to design work, these are my highlights of the year. And while I loved a great deal of the work done in film this year, there are some performances and accomplishments that have been praised in other circles, but which don’t quite merit my enthusiasm.

Starting off, let’s look at the performances and accomplishments that aren’t getting nearly the attention they deserve.

Should Be in the Conversation, But Aren’t

Most critics can agree on a handful of achievements as the year’s best, but frequently some very deserving performances and artistic merits are left behind in favor of sticking to the consensus. They might get some traction here or there, but in the end, they aren’t getting nearly the attention they deserve. And there are still some who have been maligned by mainstream critics and ignored by the public in spite of their noted accomplishments. Here are some of my favorite undervalued achievements for the year.

Screenplays
Everyone talks about the films nominated for Oscar with frequency, but seldom do they mention the scripts that accomplish something unique or don’t resort to cheap theatrics. While many of those Oscar nominees deserve their spots, here are a few that people should have been talking about.

Promised Land may seem like a conventional narrative and, to an extent it is; however, what it manages to do with its traditional story elements is craft a compelling, intriguing story that exposes the dangers of hydraulic fracturing from a perspective one wouldn’t typically imagine from such a film.

The Avengers was destined to have problems. Combining five major characters from a series of independent films into a single cohesive production was a daunting task, but one carried out with aplomb. In the superhero genre, this is a classic. It may not be an accomplished screenplay compared to the likes of Lincoln or Moonrise Kingdom, but it’s a superb example of how the genre can succeed if it tries.

The Hunger Games seemed like the kind of movie that audiences were sure to flock to, but those of serious critical credentials would tear down for being too simplistic. While the base novel may seem like a easily defined affair, the compassion and richness of detail come through in the film. It’s a superlative adaptation of a compelling novel.

Compliance was surprisingly ignored through much of Oscar season, especially considering its heavily charged subject matter. This indie sensation has a profound screenplay that demands the audience understand and decide just how far one should reasonably go when an authority figure demands it. The screenplay is the foundation that keeps the film from spiraling towards absurdity.

Safety Not Guaranteed is a quirky, inventive narrative about a man perceived to be crazy suggesting he can go back in time and re-write the past to save the woman he loved. The romantic drama has enough twists and turns to be involving while saving the best for the end. It routinely upends expectations and if it is about time travel, is probably the best written film about time travel in nearly two decades.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has received some decent praise in many circles and even has a nomination form the Writers Guild of America, but the Academy chose to leave it off in favor of weaker screenplays. That disappointment was to be expected as Perks is one of the finest displays of how to write a narrative from a teenager perspective that isn’t condescending or unrealistic.

Technicals
To build a solid film, you have to have a solid foundation and while the screenplay is the basis from which all movies draw their inspiration, the creative talents behind the camera who craft sets, costumes, makeup, sound, visual effects, photography, music, editing and more too frequently go unsung, especially in movies where these elements are expected, but not celebrated.

The Woman in Black‘s production design is stellar, creating a haunting, terrifying environment in which to set its story. The premise may have lacked gravity, but the house did not. Along with the gloriously Gothic house, the sound design added a measure of depth and tension that few ghost stories can achieve.

Haywire proves that Steven Soderbergh is one of the finest creative directors working today. Tilting the spy genre on its ear, Soderbergh’s film may not be the creative equivalent of the masterful Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but the careful and controlled editing of fight scenes combined with naturalistic sound make for one of the best action landscapes in any film in the past year.

Flight is being singled out for Denzel Washington’s performance and rightly so, but the opening plane crash sequence is a riveting exercise featuring some stellar editing and some even more impressive visual effects. When effects-laden films so frequently rely on heavy and overabundant use of CGI, it’s nice to see a film that uses visual space along with its computer-aided effects to create a thrilling encounter that was merely the starting point for the film.

Cloud Atlas has its problems, but one of them is not its gorgeous musical score. Tom Tykwer, Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek created an aural landscape for the film that acts as a perfect backbone for the story. As the musical composition itself is a key element in the film, it needed something that was melodious, endearing and heartfelt. This score, combined with some strong multi-story editing and a terrific production design helped to elevate a film that needed to be better.

The Impossible came out far too late in the year to get the attention it should have in three very important categories. The visual effects, sound mixing and editing employed in the opening sequences are among the best in any film in a number of years. That thrilling tsunami set piece was exciting and terrifying and the decision to employ naturalistic sound, including the deafening silence of aquatic submersion, was superb while the skillful editing helped tie it all together. These elements appear later in the film as well, but its that opening that deserves all of the praise.

The Hunger Games, like so many genre films before it, is often dismissed for being fluff. Yet, when you look at the richness of detail that went into the film, you can’t help but be impressed by its craft. To create a dystopian future is no small task, yet it’s been done well frequently in the past. Here, it’s done exceptionally well, employing the Roman themes the novel emphasizes to create a detailed environment and then populating it with the garish costumes and makeup of a populace undeterred by their wanton wastefulness. The production design, costuming and makeup should have been considered more routinely than they were.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been given short shrift in a number of circles claiming the film is more of the same from the makeup effects to the production design and everything in between. Yet, anyone who has a level of appreciation for the first films not only respects the decision to tie the films together visually, but recognizes the distinctive elements that separate the films. The film’s musical score may have strains of the prior adventure’s music, but the underlying work is nuanced and distinct. The same can be said for the production design, costumes, visual effects and especially the distinct and original makeup effects used on the dwarves in the film.

Performances
There were a number of fine performances this year that were not celebrated nearly as frequently as they should have been.

Of the blockbuster genre flicks this year, a number of them featured strong central and supporting performances that are often discounted simply because they take place in films that aren’t “serious” enough. Whether it’s the superb lead performance of Martin Freeman in The Hobbit, the terrific recreation of the iconic Spider-Man by Andrew Garfield, the excellent work of his co-star Emma Stone, the supporting work of Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises, the entire quintet at each others’ throats in The Avengers, or the career-enhancing work of Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games. These are the kinds of performances that will never be taken seriously, but need to be recognized for attempting to elevate the genre beyond the realm of fanboyism.

Out of all of these, two of them strike me as far more exceptional in terms of overall, non-genre excellence. Lawrence’s performance in The Hunger Games is of superb quality regardless of the general dismissal of films in that style. Likewise, Martin Freeman excels in capturing the very nature of Bilbo Baggins with both compassion and civility while fully displaying his masterful comic timing. I think both were at least worth of Oscar attention, though Lawrence at least had the far better performance in Silver Linings Playbook to take her towards the podium.

Matthew Macfadyen as the excitable brother in Anna Karenina; Jake Johnson as the selfish, love-starved journalist in Safety Not Guaranteed, Tom Wilkinson as a guilt-ridden lawyer in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Emma Watson as the affable but twisted teenager in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, her co-star Ezra Miller as the zany yet vulnerable gay friend, Eddie Redmayne as the enamored idealist in Les Misérables, his for-country compatriot Aaron Tveit, and his would-be lover Samantha Barks. Each represent some of the finest supporting work this year and all deserved far more attention than they received.

There was an embarrassment of riches in the acting categories this year, so it’s not surprising that a number of big names were left out. However, there were a handful of actors whose names woefully did not enter into the conversation long enough to make a difference this year.

Richard Gere had a late-career resurgence with Chicago a decade ago, but his work in Arbitrage is top-notch. He manages to make a soulless, scheming businessman seem like a relateable figure.

Rachel Weisz received quite a bit of attention for her performance in The Deep Blue Sea and rightfully so, but she never materialized as a competitor, which is a shame. More shameful is the equally resplendent performance of Tom Hiddleston as her lover in the same film. While audiences were taking note of his villainous The Avengers character Loki, Hiddleston was quietly turning in one of the year’s most exquisite male performances.

Tom Holland is a fresh face on the scene and at 16 years old showed more range as the lead in The Impossible than many of the stars working today. His performance was too frequently cast aside in favor of the more precocious debut of Quvenzhané Wallis this year, which is unfortunate for his is among the best juvenile performances this year.

Emayatzy Cornealdi isn’t a name you’ll find on many lips this year and that is certainly unfortunate. In the mostly uneven Middle of Nowhere, Cornealdi gives a shining example of a pitch-perfect performance. Her love-torn Ruby is simultaneously strong and vulnerable and there isn’t a scene where you can take your eyes off of her. A stunning debut that has slipped under too many radars.

While the above have gotten the short shrift this year, there are some that have gotten too much acclaim and aren’t as special or spectacular as some might claim.

Shouldn’t Be in the Conversation, But Are

Screenplays
In the world of screenwriting, it isn’t just an inventive narrative, compelling characters and cunning twists that make a masterful screenplay. Sometimes it’s the clever dialogue or the subtle nuances that make a movie work. These concepts are often lost on screenwriters like Paul Haggis who’ve made a name for themselves with superficially important screenplays. A few of the films that have been given more credit than the deserve are below.

For all it’s colorful verbiage and stabbing sermonizing, Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay for Django Unchained is too often interested only in its own grandeur. What amounts to a culmination of his best writing from other projects, Django feels both fresh and stale at the same time. Whether the ideas themselves have merit or not, the level of acclaim the film’s writing has received far outstrips its actual accomplishment. It’s a good script, but not the achievement some claim it to be.

Another successful film whose screenplay is one of its weakest elements is The Dark Knight Rises. Building on two superb prior entries in the franchise, Christopher Nolan indulges himself, creating an unwieldy, lumbering narrative that was severely overpopulated and was under-nurtured. It’s the kind of script that lumps everything together, but forgets to cut and strengthen its weakest elements. Nolan’s own hubris may be getting in the way.

I often wonder what in Benh Zeitlin’s screenplay for Beasts of the Southern Wild merits the heaps of praise the film has received. Even if the screenplay were more than a series of coming-of-age events that happen to collide in this one film, it would still suffer from a perturbing self-awareness that ultimately works. Whether Zeitlin’s direction brings everything together or the screenplay miraculously works, I think some of its success lies in the strength of the source material. When you have a good base, even a rudimentary adaptation can still work.

A lot of people give the screenplay for Looper credit for the film’s success. Yet, little can protect it from its time-traveling plot holes that don’t hold together on detailed inspection. Sci-fi isn’t a particularly easy genre to perfect, but time travel-based science fiction is the most complex to do correctly. A single line early in the film shared between present and future self tries to dust aside the thorny subject of paradox, but it is ultimately selfish and lazy writing. The film still manages to work even with its glaring, gaping logical problems and that’s thanks to Rian Johnson’s directing, not his script.

Technicals
It’s tough to screw up the creative elements of a film. Yet, there are some movies that manage it. What’s more disappointing is when normally respectable critics and fans defend the design choices without realizing just how painful they are to look at.

Makeup is frequently the most challenging design element to perfect. Hitchcock received an Oscar nomination largely based on the prosthetic work turning Anthony Hopkins into Alfred Hitchcock. Let’s forget that the man beneath the makeup barely looks or speaks like the famed director (an issue I’ll take in the next section as well), but add to that an Oscar-nominated makeup job that doesn’t complete the transformation and you have an example of how not to build your makeup design. The Hitchcock makeup looks so unreal that I was frequently distracted by it.

What’s worse than a film that is thought to be perfect even when it’s not is a film that blends both the perfect and the garish together. Such is the makeup work in Cloud Atlas. Much fuss was made over the decision to unconvincingly turn several actors Asian, but that design wasn’t as egregious as a couple of other attempts to change nationalities. Doona Bae may just not have a face built for such alterations, her overweight Hispanic is awful and her red-headed Southerner is distracting, but not bad. Further challenges existed in making Halle Berry white and Tom Hanks any number of shades of crazy. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t and that unevenness causes the film to suffer.

Yet, above all this the cinematography of Les Misérables is the most galling. I’ll state up front that I think the film is fantastic and this one element is the only one that really, truly bothers me (excepting of course the overpraised performances of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham-Carter). I watched the film the first time on screener. On a small screen, the persistent close-ups don’t distract much from the film’s heartfelt depth. However, on the big screen Hooper’s decision to bring the camera into the character’s pain via close-up becomes almost distracting. Too often, a few moments with a medium or long shot might have alleviated the tension, but being stuck inside the characters’ personal space for such a distraction only made things feel uncomfortable. That’s not to say all of the photography in the film is bad, but allowing such rampant use of close-up is disappointing.

Performances
What exactly does Jacki Weaver do in Silver Linings Playbook that merits an Oscar nomination. I’ll give her credit for making her character so distinctively different form her prior Oscar-nominated performance in Animal Kingdom, but other than employing a squeaky little voice, she has absolutely nothing to do in the film. So, I cannot entirely fault Weaver’s performance, but it’s one that certainly appears to have been overpraised.

Maggie Smith has done so many good things in her life that it’s hard not to forgive the bad ones, yet something about her character in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel feels fake. Whether it’s the over-indulgent racism on display or the sudden, last-minute redemption the audience can see coming from a mile away, this is not even remotely close to one of Smith’s best performances. That she even gained a measure of traction this year is surprising.

Overall, the performances of Sally Field and Martin Sheen are meritorious, but they may have been miscast in The Amazing Spider-Man. Although Garfield is a far better Peter Parker/Spider-Man than the original’s Tobey Maguire, Field and Sheen pale in comparison to the superb Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson of the originals.

A more emotional version of his Oscar winning performance in No Country for Old Men, Javier Bardem’s light-hearted villain in Skyfall is one of the most overrated performances this year. While I think his performance in No Country lacked depth, there is at least a morsel of vulnerability to Silva. That alone doesn’t elevate Bardem’s performance. I’m beginning to feel as if Bardem may be one of those actors whose work will always be inexplicably praised even when he isn’t doing the best work he can.

Quvenzhané Wallis is young, perhaps too young, to be thought of us more than a manipulated child actor. There is a great debate over when a child has the ability to make decisions about his or her character that impact a performance in any meaningful way. In Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wallis is a charming presence, but there’s little subtlety or originality to her work. Frequently, she just seems to spout whatever emotion the script tells her to without truly understanding the complexity of her character or the situation in which she is found. I know adults who wouldn’t be able to understand some of the exaggerated “depth” in the film. I simply do not buy that she had any measurable input on the direction of her performance.

An actor as accomplished as Anthony Hopkins is bound to have a few clunkers in his collection, but I’ll be forever stymied by anyone who says his impersonation of Alfred Hitchcock is more than unsatisfying. Of course, Philip Seymour Hoffman has an Oscar for one of the worst impersonations of Truman Capote I’ve ever seen, so it’s not surprising that Hopkins has gotten a fair measure of support for his performance. Even setting aside the pathetic attempt he’s made to capture the essence of Hitchcock, he just doesn’t make the character interesting. Here’s a legendary director with a philandering personality who seems to be mostly just a collection of tics and superficiality with no soul. Hopkins bears full responsibility. As an actor, he knows how to invest a character with spirit, depth and personality. He just didn’t.

And while some of the year’s best performances and creative endeavors are included in the first section above, there are some who have received a certain level of acclaim who deserve all of it.

Are in the Conversation and Should Be

Screenplays
Of the year’s dominant screenplays a handful are easily superior to the rest of what was created this year.

Among these, Silver Linings Playbook seems to have the most detractors, focusing on the absurdity of several elements in the film. It’s focus on mental illness and the ability to stretch beyond it to survive, thrive and love is a powerful message. Russell may have delved a bit into the incredible at times, but the emotional resonance of the film wins through in the end.

It’s easy to dismiss the screenplay for Argo as reliant more on the events to sell the story than the script, but Chris Terrio’s fascinating drama begins honestly and capably with a recap of the events that led to the Iran Hostage Crisis. From there, it quietly moves along until a thrilling conclusion that is supported by exhaustive research and recreation. Terrio’s script does a fine job delivering believable dialogue and setting up a series of events that feel both plausible and effective.

Moonrise Kingdom is as much a creation of Wes Anderson’s warped mind as any of his prior films, yet the emotional depth and resonance of the film is supported by a firm foundation in his screenplay. The movie plays like an exhibition of the theater of the absurd while managing to endear the film’s characters and wacky situations to the audience. Anderson’s ability to craft forecefully witty dialogue is among the elements of the screenplay that seems to work best.

Tony Kushner is probably the best researcher film history has ever seen. His exhaustive examination of the events surrounding the passage of the 13th Amendment help make Spielberg’s Lincoln one of the most impressive historical documents ever filmed. Watching the film, it’s hard not to feel that you’re caught in the middle of this affair thanks largely to Kushner’s evocative use of dialogue and situational humor.

Technicals
Like last year’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Ben Affleck’s Argo is deftly crafted to create place and time without overemphasis. Set in 1979, the film could have gone to great lengths to exacerbate the designs of the era and make it feel like a garish return to the period, yet it manages to keep things subtle and realistic. In addition, the film refuses to resort to frenetic editing to tell its story, enabling the narrative to move forward deliberately, but with a level of tension few action movies these days can sustain. From the scenes surrounding the groups movement through an Iranian marketplace to the final airport showdown, everything flows perfectly, keeping the audience engaged without being overstimulated.

As is typical of a Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom is a colorful array of art direction and costume designs that evoke a long-departed period of history while adding deliberate touches of excess to generate a fantastical environment as flesh-and-blood as any aged period drama. Anderson’s decision to bring Desplat back to score his film was a wise one, giving the film an almost ethereal quality suffused with grand substance.

As visually pervasive as Anderson is, only one other director commands such a fine palette in his films. Ang Lee knows how to fill his frame with lush, fresh colors. He effortlessly crafts beautiful spaces for his action to take place in without getting in the way of the narrative. Life of Pi is a sensational use of Lee’s talents even if the film suffers from a bit of tedium in its lofty length. The production design is evocatively captured by the camera and is embellished by stunning visual effects. The sheer detail of The Hobbit is the only thing preventing me from crowning Life of Pi as the year’s best visual effects piece.

Capturing the grit and gory glory of the downtrodden in Paris, Les Misérables may seem superficially garish, but in the framework of the film’s sprawling narrative, it almost seems opulent. This is a film that, were it not so reliant on close-up, could be considered one of the year’s best designed.

Still, the design work in Anna Karenina is far more effective. Piecing itself together like an stage play, the overall look and feel of Joe Wright’s film is vastly superior to much of what was produced this year. The costuming is equally brazen and stunning in its own way.

Those whiskers! Lincoln may well be the epitome of sartorial history this Oscar season. Every conceivable style of facial hair is on display in Lincoln, recreating a period where outfits were becoming more utilitarian, the one place a man could express himself was on his chin. While this isn’t the lone achievement of Lincoln, and the makeup work in The Hobbit is vastly superior, it’s a notable accomplishment regardless.

Django Unchained is not Tarantino’s best, but it one of his most visually distinctive. His early films were more heavily tied to story, but since the new century began, he has focused on creating films that look spectacular. Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds are easily superior, but Django has enough excellent production and costume design work to feel at once a part of the past and a startling vision of absurdity. It works.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has gotten uneven response with regard to its creative specs. As I mentioned earlier, several excelling elements have been unfairly ignored this year, but its visual effects, art direction and makeup are among those that have been rightfully recognized. Reminding us of the spectacle of the original trilogy, Peter Jackson’s new endeavor builds upon the glorious work featured in those films and creates a sensational setting for the amazing adventures of Bilbo Baggins and his fourteen dwarven companions.

Performances
Her film may not be the stuff legends are made of, but Helen Mirren is completely dependable in Hitchcock playing Alfred’s seldom visible wife, Mirren adds a measure of stoicism and dignity to a character that could have come off as shrewish or insulting.

Dwight Henry showcases the strength of unknowns as actors. Beasts of the Southern Wild has been absurdly overpraised in many circles, but there’s one element with whose acclaim I agree. Henry’s character is not the typical loving father we’ve always expected. He’s flawed, frustrated and independent. It’s easy to see where Quvenzhané’s character gets her attitude, but there’s a humanity bubbling under Henry’s skin with which even the most experienced actors might have struggled.

For his role in The Sessions, John Hawkes endured physical pain as he uncomfortably and unerring dug into the role of a man bound to an iron lung looking to escape his imprisonment and expand his sexual horizons. Hawkes has been giving fine performances for years largely in disturbing roles, but here he’s a lovable, kind-hearted hero whose passion and success are inspirational. That he didn’t get an Oscar nomination is unfortunate.

As disappointing as elements of Django Unchained were, there’s one area in which the film excels. Performance-wise, this may be the finest ensemble of spaghetti western actors yet collected. Leonardo DiCaprio revels in his character’s utter villainy while Christoph Waltz plays the other side of the coin of the character he created in Inglourious Basterds, a man so incensed at the idiocy around him that he takes up bounty hunting to placate his murderous desires. Samuel L. Jackson plays the sycophantic master of slaves whose foolish devotion to his master leads to his downfall. Others are fine in the cast, but these three easily stand above the rest.

Ann Dowd spent thousands of her own money to field an Oscar campaign for her performance in Compliance. Her film’s studio missed a terrific opportunity to snag her some recognition, but running one’s own campaign is a challenge and it ultimately failed. Part of the reason may have been voter confusion over her status as a Supporting Actress. Unlike Naomi Watts who really wasn’t the lead of her film, Dowd is unquestionably the lead in Compliance. Regardless of her status, there’s nothing unexceptional about her performance. From an out-of-touch fast food restaurant manager, Dowd spirals out of control in her vain attempt to be both hero and good citizen. There isn’t a moment where Dowd permits her character’s right-thinking veneer collapse. Without her work, much of the moral impact of the film would be lost.

Another terrific ensemble exists within Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson’s stable of dependable talent is at the top of their respective games in his latest film, yet the most interesting and electric performances in the film come from its two stars Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman. Stealing the show as the star-crossed lovers who run away together in spite, Gilman and Hayward are fine young actors who should find decent work in the future. That’s not to say the other members in the ensemble aren’t terrific, they are.

You may never see this side of Bradley Cooper again. Long the action/romantic lead, Silver Linings Playbook gives him the opportunity to step away from the populism and embrace a role that’s more flawed and honest than any he has yet portrayed. There’s an amazing actor struggling to free himself here and while Silver Linings Playbook may well be the best performance he ever gives, it would be nice if he could use this as a stepping stone to better things in the future.

Ensemble work this year has reached an impressive pinnacle. Among the fine casts working this year are those for Ben Affleck’s Argo and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Where as Lincoln features a raft of A-listers taking on bit parts in Spielberg’s Civil War history lesson, Argo largely focuses on lesser known actors whose acting credentials are nearly unimpeachable. The two films carefully blend the lines between substance and performance and prove that historical documents don’t have to be stuffy, four-hour spectacles.

Denzel Washington has always been a dependable actor. From his Oscar nominated performance in Glory through his work in Flight, Washington has shown that he is the kind of everyman audiences love and whose talent only improves his reputation. In Flight, Washington plays a self-centered alocoholic pilot whose talent behind the yoke of a plane is subsumed by his ego. Washington takes the role and adds vulnerability to the selfishness and creates a compelling, detailed portrait of a troubled man.

It’s a challenge to act. It’s a bigger challenge to act while singing. Tom Hooper’s decision to permit his actors to sing live instead of emote and dub in the vocal performances later enabled some gifted actors the chance to show that they could deliver complex emotional concepts while singing their hearts out. I’ve already mentioned a handful of actors whose acclaim hasn’t been as great as it should have been (Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks and Aaron Tveit), but the two performances that have rightfully received the lion’s share of attention this year are Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. Jackman is no stranger to singing and acting together and so finding a raw, emotional performance from him isn’t unexpected. Hathaway on the other hand makes an impact with few scenes and very few musical numbers. While much of the praise has focused on her knock-out performance of “I Dreamed a Dream,” she has parts in a number of other songs and is equally dependable in those.

His delightful co-star Jennifer Lawrence is quite simply one of the best young actresses working today. Equally at home in genre films as well as romantic comedies and realistic dramas, Lawrence has in a very short span defined a new generation of acting. Her performance in Silver Linings Playbook is feisty, tender and lovable. She has compressed many of the best qualities of her past performances into this role and has been getting acclaim that she richly deserves. I’ll be fascinated where she takes this capability as she ages. Could she be the next Elizabeth Taylor? Signs are so far pointing to yes.

Tomorrow, we’ll finish out this trilogy of articles with the year’s overall filmic highlights.

3 Comments

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  1. Prometheus was panned in my prior post. Intouchables never came out here. Amour hasn’t opened either. The Master came and went and I didn’t care and ZDT is on my list of movies I can wait to see on DVD some day.

    1. Jajajaja. Ok, point made.

  2. Excellent Wesley.

    I agree with you in many of your opinions.

    But I wonder, What about Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Amour, Prometheus, The Intouchables, they aren’t mentioned in this article, I supposed you have a place for them in the next one. And the what about the best bong Nominees, these are the best 5 in a long time, I was beginning to believe the academy was going to eliminate that category.

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